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Old 05-05-2011, 03:48 PM
15 posts, read 14,848 times
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I am from the Midwest and New Hampshire is always shown in the media as being a very conservative state both culturally and politically. Is that still true? We are moving to NH. I don't think the political tone matters to me so much if NH is a state where people just stay out of each other's affairs and are respectful of different points of view. I live in an academic community now where my views which are somewhat conservative (although I used to think pretty middle of the road, libertarian views) are constantly berated. I just want to be left alone to think and live how I'd like to, as well as raise my children how I'd like to. Thoughts?
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:18 PM
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That's about it in rural areas, I can't tell you about urban areas. In the rural areas for the first year almost no one will talk to you, unless they have to, or plan to test you on winta'. That year will be what you make of it. If you want alone you will be, if you want to get out and socialize you will have too.

I like my solitude and Peace, and don't go about to bother anyone, to the point I don't really know the folks in the town I live in and I don't really want to.

The very last thing I want is someone coming to my ball of wax and telling me how to do it. That just doesn't happen and if it does then it gets funny quickly.

This is normal for a stranger even if you are no stranger to NH and winter. Once after a move I really bummed out a real old Yankee up high in the Ossipee's. He came to give me that winter test, and when I was done toasting him he was almost in tears. It ended well and we became good friends untill he passed. But to the day i can close my eyes and see him leaning on his truck with both hands on his hips, scowing at the newbie to his mountain.

If something like that happens, and yer outside as I was , at hand splittin' winta's wood. Don't stop till you would have stopped. Just keep at it and when your done then look up and say May I help you.

And we expect the same. If you see me on a horse in a red blanket coat with a rifle or a musket, don't be callin' the damnned cops. It's legal here.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:05 PM
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
3,079 posts, read 2,716,597 times
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NH tends to be conservative, but not in the Bible-thumping hellfire intrude on your personal liberties way that some regions of the US seem to be these days. It's not the New England way to be in someone's face with political or religious views. If you get into a discussion people might disgree with you but they rarely get icky about it.

If what you are looking for is a place where individuality is respected, you've come to the right place in NH. It's not a state that is big on doing a lot for its residents and accordingly the taxes are also low. You're generally expected to take care of your own business. Don't expect sidewalks, roads plowed within an hour of snowfall, or roads repaired within a year of developing huge frost heaves or potholes.

I think if you get way out in the woods you might run into some hard core tight lipped Yankees, but by and large this is a region where people are decent to one another. We're just not real big on chit chat and people running their mouths. I'm in the seedy part of the Dartmouth - Lake Sunapee region and the old timers have been nothing but friendly and welcoming. Reminds me of a German saying: "What you holler into the woods is what you'll hear echoing back."
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:17 PM
203 posts, read 740,396 times
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NH is no longer considered the conservative state it once was. Note the presidential election results 1992-2008 per Washington Post.

1992 Clinton D 209,040 R 202,484
1996 Clinton D 246,214 R 196,532
2000 Bush D 266,348 R 273,559
2004 Kerry D 340,511 R 336,237
2008 Obama D 384,591, R 316, 937

However, certain counties do lean strongly red or blue.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:17 PM
47 posts, read 89,789 times
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Being a frequent tourist in NH, I've concluded the whole "left/right" thing doesn't apply in the least. For the most part, in the US at least, "left" means socially and fiscally liberal, while "right" means socially conservative and fiscally moderate to liberal.

NH is none of that, and to me, is why it's the state I really want to live in. NH tends to be fiscally conservative - for real, not the crap that the current Republican party pretends to call fiscal conservatism. That means you'll pay less in taxes, but the government won't tend to your every need. Public education remains well-funded, for the most part. Socially, NH is liberal. Not liberal in the sense that you must be 100% PC and accept anything, but liberal in the sense that what others are doing is none of your business if it's not causing any direct harm.

If I needed one word to sum up NH, I'd ditch left/right and probably go with Jeffersonian.

Some basic principles that I've found in making friends with locals when we come up to visit:

- Don't be an *******
- If you want to talk to someone, initiate the conversation, because New Englanders tend to keep to themselves. Not unfriendly, but not entirely outgoing
- Respect others' space
- Don't judge, impose your opinion as gospel, or tell others what to do

Also realize that these are generalities, and can't possibly apply to every one or every part of the state. I've never felt out of place as a tourist, though. I've always felt welcome, and that's something you can't say about everywhere.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:50 AM
Location: Londonderry, NH
38,410 posts, read 39,001,138 times
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All these posters are fairly accurate. Even political discussions stay fairly civil and we don't talk religion at all. That is the individual's business.

If you are a believer I suggest joining a church of your preference when you get here. In some areas the Grange is still active. If you have military experience the Legion and VFW have many posts that welcome newcomers. Generally the more you give the more you get. Just like anywhere else.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:56 AM
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,273 posts, read 9,793,961 times
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These previous posters have hit the nail on the head. Part of what I love about NH is that people are much less quick to judge you based on your religion (or lack of) and politically, we're pretty much middle of the road. As you can see from the numbers posted, NH swings back and forth, but overall tends to be fiscally conservative. There are liberal pockets throughout the state, particularly our few cities (Manchester/Nashua/Portsmouth/Concord) that most reliably vote D.

When we moved from New England to Missouri, the first question we were greeted with from many was "What church do you belong to?" while here, you'll find that nobody really cares what their neighbor does behind their closed doors, and especially where or if they go to church. If you need help, they'd be there for you in an instant, but only if you asked. You most likely, you also won't be greeted with multiple pies, baskets of brownies, etc. from your neighbors. Some may feel that we lack in hospitality, but it's really a matter of not being in people's business. You may find the lack of idle chit chat in the grocery isle to be 'rude' or you may find it a relief on not having to make small talk with strangers. Either way, here is an early welcome to NH for you

After making my post, I just read what sjwaste had to say, and have to say that in my opinion, it is spot on.
Nicely said, reps for you.

Last edited by Valerie C; 05-06-2011 at 07:02 AM.. Reason: Made a comment on SJWASTE's post
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:59 PM
223 posts, read 349,098 times
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only scattered traces of the old, classic NH remain..... Now pretty much the same melting pot as the rest of the nation. As in all places, the big difference is urban vs rural attitudes, and perhaps college town vs. working class town differences....
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:24 PM
Location: Exeter, NH
4,748 posts, read 3,123,729 times
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Conservative NH natives have been slowly being replaced by transplanted Mass. liberals, culminating in a pretty strong voting majority of liberals about 6 years ago that resulting in massive increases in taxes and fees and government debt--though no increase at all in services. This has resulted in a bit of backlash in the last couple of years, as property taxes here in southern NH are now some of the highest in the nation and are coupled with both extremely high assessments AND double-digit percentage increases even in December's tax bill. There were big Republican gains in the legislature in the last election, but unfortunately Governor Lynch was re-elected when challenger John Stevens would have stopped the continuing budget disasters at the state level. NH residents will continue to pay, and pay, and pay for that mistake, as the State grabs for more revenue in every imaginable way.

How a retiree can afford to keep their average Exeter home, at $12,000 a year and up with not even trash pickup included, is beyond me. Apparently NH elected officials have decided it is in their best interests to drive out decent NH families and retirees in the hopes of getting more prosperous replacements that they can tax to feed the spending spree party.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:35 PM
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Aren't most people moving to NH from MA voting republican fairly reliably? I seem to remember seeing some information on this...
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