Which is the most ideologically diverse American city? by Tyler Cowen April 17, 2018 at 12:37 am in Current Affairs Education Political Science When I requested requests, Jimmy wrote back: (1) Conversations with Tyler featuring an actual Straussian. (2) What is the most ideologically / politically diverse city? Which most moderate in that regard? Where in America am I least likely to be in a bubble and why? I have several nominations for #2: 1. Houston. It still has plenty of Texas conservatives, but enough non-conservatives to elect a lesbian mayor. Mexicans fit along a political spectrum of their own. 2. Washington, D.C. and environs. The intellectual class in this city is about half conservative/Republican/libertarian and always will be — just don’t think too hard about who actually lives here! Most of all, everyone is used to the fact that there are oodles and oodles of forces on the other side of the debate. No one flips out over this. Even the media types have a reasonable amount of non-left representation. 3. Chicago. Its presence in the Midwest moderates its left flank, there is a diverse mix of ethnic groups, and the city has lots of Midwestern civic virtue. Real estate prices have stayed relatively low, so not all blue collar and working class types have been driven out. “Old Chicago” is still up and running to some extent. That’s the national capital, plus two of the five largest cities. And I’ve already argued that, in a Straussian sense, Los Angeles is the most right wing city in the United States. Orange County is ideologically diverse as well. In other words, urban American is doing pretty well on intellectual diversity once you get out of (parts of) Manhattan and San Francisco and Seattle. San Antonio measures as quite moderate, but is neither typical nor extremely diverse. Here are some basic data, Nashville, Wichita, and Las Vegas also measure in the middle, and of those Las Vegas seems most diverse to me rather than simply dull. Which place in the country is the least likely to leave you trapped in an intellectual bubble? Somewhere in Ohio? Columbus or Cincinnati? Knoxville, Tennessee? Louisville? Kansas City, MO? In those locales you truly are confronted with the everyday problems of regular American life and you are not obsessing over either crypto or what just passed through the subcommittee. The proper conclusion may be that intellectual bubbles are a useful means of moving forward.