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article imageLiberal-conservative conflict is small town recession fallout Special

By Carol Forsloff     Mar 19, 2010 in Politics
La Grande - A trip across the country finds Americans struggling with many issues related to the recession. People who find themselves at odds with their locations find new socio-political problems related to the downturn in real estate.
Scott Matthews wants to leave La Grande, Oregon but he can't now because he is unable to sell his home in the present real estate market. Like many people in America, the lack of mobility created by the economy has create special problems for him.
Matthews went to La Grande, Oregon to retire after working as an Air Force pilot. His fine home is located near the town hospital, and he was happy to have the ambiance of the small town and the beauty of the landscape that makes the Grande Ronde Valley special when he first moved to the area. After awhile, however, Matthews found himself at odds with much of the political and social philosophy of the small town of La Grande, a place where approximately 11,000 people reside. He decided to move on. But his home has been on the market now for a year as he finds conflicts betweeen his political orientation and that of many of the townspeople.
Those who haven't grown up in small towns maintain they either find bliss or conflict because of the cultural differences that occur between cities and rural areas. That is particularly true for Matthews in La Grande, an Oregon small town which is quite different than Portland, a city in the western part of the state. The eastern part of Oregon is considered politicallly conservative; the western part is liberal. Those of politically liberal philosophy find themselves in conflict with eastern Oregon folk whose attitudes and opinions are often radically different than people who reside in other areas of the state. Matthews has observed the conflict and considers it one of the reasons why he wants to move from the area.
He wants to leave and says this, " I came to La Grande to retire. I found the area very appealing because it is so beautiful. It has a relaxed atmosphere. What I didn't expect were the narrow-minded and negative attitudes. I find that difficult to deal with at times. The people here seem to be negative about almost everything. People who work for the local University as instructors or professors want to leave because of that, but they can't because of the economy. It makes a difficult situation for people. Folks here find it surprising that I don't have the same conservative opinions they have because I am retired military, but I find some of the resistance to change a problem for me and for others, like those who work at the University."
The gloomy, negative atmosphere and the fact that Matthews to date has been unable to sell his house creates issues for him. He went on to say, "The financial cutbacks are affecting lots of people, especially folks who want to leave the region, like some of the professors who can't find jobs other places. They feel locked in here, while I feel like I don't fit in either in much the same way they do."
Matthews dilemma is similar to other people across the United States who find themselves unable to relocate because they can't sell their homes. What folks like him want is the real estate market to change so they can make the personal changes they need to be happy, especially when they are faced with socio-political conflicts. It is a situation faced by many people as the recession continues across the country.
More about Real estate problems, Political divisions, Financial cutbacks
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