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Old 05-03-2009, 11:02 PM
 
412 posts, read 847,515 times
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My husband and I have been looking at moving to West Michigan for a while. Someone suggested Holland, and it looks like a very nice city. However, we're both generally progressive in our political beliefs. Also, neither of us is religious. I know that Ottawa is one of the most conservative counties in Michigan. Holland is also considered generally conservative.

So, how difficult will it be for liberals to live in Holland, the city or township? I'm not interested in living around only liberals, but I also don't want to live around only conservatives .

I don't want to start any political discussions or anything. I'm just looking for honest, open opinions what it would be like for a liberal to live in Holland.

Last edited by skchi; 05-03-2009 at 11:16 PM..
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:44 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,626,464 times
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I think there are plenty of diverse viewpoints to be found within the city of Holland. The city itself has actually gotten much more diverse as far as ethnicity goes, which has probably changed the political scene somewhat as well. While it's still a conservative city by most standards, there will be plenty of liberals around too.

I think Ottawa County's conservative nature is very much still alive, but you will see it the least in Holland. Places like Zeeland, Hudsonville, Jenison, Allendale and Grand Haven, as well as the rural areas, are still old-school conservative. That's where those conservative voting stats are coming from.

Plus, hey... if you keep an open mind, you can probably learn something from those crazy conservatives
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:14 PM
 
447 posts, read 1,122,780 times
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Hope College is probably one of the most liberal colleges in the state of Michigan. Holland went 50% for Obama in the last election.

The fact that there are a bunch of conservatives in Holland shows it truly is diverse. Most places are entirely liberal these days! Holland has a very nice mix.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:46 PM
 
412 posts, read 847,515 times
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Thanks for the great information. This is really encouraging, because those Ottawa statistics looked a little scary for someone like me! Also, thanks for mentioning Grand Haven - I actually was considering it as well, because I assumed that it wasn't as conservative as Holland.

I had no idea that Hope College was a liberal college. I wish Hope had some graduate and continuing education programs beyond bachelors degrees (I've searched their site, and I couldn't find anything beyond 4 year bachelor level programs). I guess GVSU isn't far away, though.

I have no problems discussing and learning from conservatives! I'm actually conservative myself on some issues. I don't really want to live in an area that is dominated by either idealogy, though. I'm really glad that it won't be a big deal.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:21 PM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,019,063 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allbusiness View Post
Hope College is probably one of the most liberal colleges in the state of Michigan.
I agreed with everything you said except for this... there is no way Hope is one of the most liberal schools in Michigan. It's not Bob Jones U, but it's not Kalamazoo College (about as liberal as it gets) or UofM Ann Arbor (equally liberal) either.

At any rate, progressives can live just about anywhere in Michigan and find like-minded folks. Ottawa county is tougher than other places, but you'll be fine. It's a neat area with some great lakefront scenery and plenty of progressive-minded folks.

One other thing I've noticed in West Michigan is that "conservative" doesn't always mean "anti-progressive." I'll give you two examples:
  • Buying local produce - Holland has a top-notch farmer's market. Folks in Ottawa county truly support it, and the local farmers selling their stuff. While progressives often think the whole buying local/organic/etc. thing is theirs, in West Michigan, where farmers grow the food they feed their own families on family-owned farms, the whole movement is alive and well in all circles, regardless of political leanings.
  • The Environment - Grand Rapids, home of the biggest conservatives in the state in terms of Republican donations, is also home to the most LEED certified buildings per capita in the country. Smaller West Michigan towns are also similarly minded. The West Michigan Strategic Alliance (HQ: Zeeland) promotes the triple bottom line (including "Ecological") for business sustainability, across the region. I could go on, but you get the point.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:47 AM
 
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I think politics aside, most people in the Holland area are going to be your church going folk, whether they vote to the right or not. My experience has been that this will cause you to most likely as pointed out, find other like minded folks, but for the most part be in the minority. (especially in Holland)
Hope to me is the ultimate conservative college, although one might argue that any college is going to be a bit more liberal if you were to think of most younger folks in a steriotypical manner. However, with the Holland/Grand Haven area I find this not to be the case.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
112 posts, read 269,284 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by skchi View Post
My husband and I have been looking at moving to West Michigan for a while. Someone suggested Holland, and it looks like a very nice city. However, we're both generally progressive in our political beliefs. Also, neither of us is religious. I know that Ottawa is one of the most conservative counties in Michigan. Holland is also considered generally conservative.

So, how difficult will it be for liberals to live in Holland, the city or township? I'm not interested in living around only liberals, but I also don't want to live around only conservatives .

I don't want to start any political discussions or anything. I'm just looking for honest, open opinions what it would be like for a liberal to live in Holland.
I don't see any problem. True conservatives, in general, welcome everyone to the community table (True progressive liberals...not so much).
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,748,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topshop View Post
I don't see any problem. True conservatives, in general, welcome everyone to the community table (True progressive liberals...not so much).
Yes, true conservatives. Unfortunately, many West Michigan conservatives are religious conservatives, who look at people who are non-Christian as fresh meat to be converted.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:26 PM
 
412 posts, read 847,515 times
Reputation: 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by topshop View Post
I don't see any problem. True conservatives, in general, welcome everyone to the community table (True progressive liberals...not so much).
I'm not sure what your definitions of "true conservative" or "true progressive liberal" are, but would you say that many people in Holland share your opinion?
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:40 PM
 
412 posts, read 847,515 times
Reputation: 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by deslok View Post
I think politics aside, most people in the Holland area are going to be your church going folk, whether they vote to the right or not. My experience has been that this will cause you to most likely as pointed out, find other like minded folks, but for the most part be in the minority. (especially in Holland)
Hope to me is the ultimate conservative college, although one might argue that any college is going to be a bit more liberal if you were to think of most younger folks in a steriotypical manner. However, with the Holland/Grand Haven area I find this not to be the case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
Yes, true conservatives. Unfortunately, many West Michigan conservatives are religious conservatives, who look at people who are non-Christian as fresh meat to be converted.

I'm not religious, and I don't attend a church. I understand that religion is a very important issue to some people, and it wouldn't be a big deal if someone asked me if I attended a church or invited me to theirs in a friendly (not judgemental) way. However, if things went much further than that or I sensed that I was being judged for not attending a church, I would be uncomfortable. Do you think I'll have problems in Holland?
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