Re: American Character - Ch. 3: The Rival Americans
At first the eleven nations idea seemed a little sketchy to me. Each "region" is a glorified label that is definitely more specific than "liberals" and "conservatives" but still just labels that would be hard to pin on actual people. For example if you went and talked to an "Appalachian" would they agree with the following:
But the deeper I get into the book, the eleven nations idea becomes more applicable and useful for discussion. A true "Appalachian" may be difficult to find, but I can see that many of the political currents swirling around in the early years of our country's existence would have set things in motion for the journey
that Robert discusses above.
And odd as it may seem, I can relate to the Midlands' nation idea which "shares the Yankee belief that society should be organized to benefit ordinary people, but rejects top-down government intervention . . . and where ethnic and ideological purity have never been a priority, government has been seen as an unwelcome intrusion, and political opinion has been moderate, even apathetic."
That's sort of me in a nutshell. And I was born in the Chicago suburbs too.
As such, Woodard's thesis goes a long way toward explaining why we can't seem to agree on much, except perhaps in times of existential crisis, such as the Great Depression and WWII. In today's climate we are more of a house divided. It can get very nasty sometimes.