“....why is there not an influx of liberals from red states where they are oppressed by us backward hicks?”
Excellent question. Liberals I’ve met in S.C. tend to be highly condescending toward Southerners, that’s a given. If they were in Boston or S.F., they’d be like more coals to Newcastle. Being the enlightened minority surrounded by bigotry & ignorance is a powerful tonic to the liberal ego.
Pragmatically, they know the cost of living is much less in the Southern red states. The climate is milder than Boston or Buffalo. The quality of life is better than L.A.
Again, liberals in the South find their own coteries where they commune, meet in their favorite watering holes & feed their own prejudices, without putting up with all that awful traffic in NYC & Newark.