Why no hate for the Midwest?

Shhhh! You can move in next door to us, but don’t tell anyone else… I cringe every time Wisconsin (or Milwaukee or Madison) tops a list like Forbes’s ‘Best Places to Live’. We live in fear that those Coastal Elites will show up, and open a Scrapple ‘n’ Tastykakes food truck.

But hey, feel free to open a Wegman’s or a Wawa’s…


I remember Jon Stewart (in 2012?) showing the electoral map, with Blue States on the coasts and around the Great Lakes, and Red States inland: “Apparently, if you’re a Democrat, you own a boat!”

I think of those 4 blue states, plus Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa. If you really stretch it I might include northern Missouri and eastern Nebraska.

Wisconsin became the first state to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. In 1982.

As for the OP, I think it’s because the Midwest is seen as “the real America” rather than being a separate region. When I think of a generic “American” accent it’s the Midwest that I think of, with all others being regional accents. Same thing with people. If someone is from New York City, LA, Dallas, Atlanta, or Miami, I think of them as being from a specific region rather than just being an American first. When someone is from, say, Davenport, Duluth, Grand Rapids, Fort Wayne, Columbus, Madison, etc., I tend to think of them as being from America in general rather than being from a specific region.

Not that there is anything wring with being like Nebraska.

And you have to drive halfway across Nebraska before it starts changing. Try our Sandhills for pretty.

More to the point, the Midwest has not had policies that provoked, or were ever likely to provoke - a civil war.

Well, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party added a plank to their party platform supporting Gay Marriage – in 1972! Nearly 40 years ago.

And a few months later, we elected the first gay member of the Minnesota Legislature, Allan Spear. He served there for 30 years, including 10 years as President of the Senate.

My intense hatred of Texas simply doesn’t leave much room for other places.

Nebraskans seem so diffident about their lovely state; they always seemed taken aback when I expressed enthusiasm. I am a person who came into my true northerliness late in life, in appears.

Lived in Nebraska for five years (mostly in Lincoln but briefly in the countryside). It is a lovely state, although the usual issues with rural insularity apply and there was a wee bit of a meth/opioid problem. And of course the worship of college football.

But I’d recommend it, especially Lincoln.

I think midwest as most see it as too large to have meaing. It makes more sense to me to divide it into the Rust Belt and the Great Plains. I count the Rust Belt as any state that touches a Great Lake and (except for IN) have diverse populations and have a chance of electing a Democrat to statewide office. MO, IA, KS, NE, ND, and SD are blood red.

The entire region is the vanilla ice cream of the country. Not many people hate it, a lot of people like it, and a lot are indifferent to it.

Plus, having spent a month in Cleveland one week, there are more than enough reasons to hate on Cleveland entirely on its own “merits”.

It does have some nice bridges, though.

Indeed. ISTM we inherited calling the lands between the Ohio and Mississippi “midwest” from back when it was the Northwest Territory and everything past the Mississippi was considered THE West (remember the James/Younger outlaws did most of their crimes in states bordering the Mississippi?), then extended the word to encompass the farming plains along the Missouri when “The West” was redefined to mean rugged range and not nice farmland.

It sort of was allowed to become whatever was left over untagged by some other region — anything south of the Mason/Dixon line and the Ohio was South, any Original States north of that was Northeast; beyond the river, anything south of the Adams/Onis line was Southwest or Texas, anything north of that but west of the Continental Divide was Oregon Country/Pacific Northwest, and then in the late 1800s Powell popularized that longitude 100 was the edge of the “Far West”.

The lands between the Mississippi and Ohio and the lands bordering the Missouri should really be distinct regions … but … ISTM that the way that for most of their history, as the usual node to reach these areas was either Chicago or St. Louis, that created a strong imprint of identification as adjuncts to the Old Midwest.

Um, the Governor of Kansas is a Democrat. She’s not likely to be re-elected next year, but she is our second Democratic Governor this century.

Forgot about her. But she had the good fortune to have Brownback’s disastrous years putting a sour tasted in the voters’ mouths.

Correct. Plus, she also ran against Kris Kobach, who proved he was too much of a right-wing loon even for our red state.

Illinois is pretty much Chicago (liberal and a majority of population) vs the rest of the state.
Other than its NW corner (minorities and unions), Indiana generally gets more conservative, whiter (and more racist) every mile you go south.
Iowa is pretty much red throughout - w/ the possible exception of modest sized college towns.
My impression is that states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio are varying shades of purple, tending more blue in large cities, and more red the further away you get.
Head SW, into Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, and you (generally) get fewer large cities, and more conservative populations.

So you can talk about Illinois politics, but you ought to acknowledge that those politics are VASTLY different in the northern 90 miles, than in the 300 miles south of that. I grew up in Chicago - where EVERYONE was Democrat and Catholic. It was quite the culture shock to attend the U of Illinois 140 miles to the south, where everyone (other than students/faculty) was Republican and protestant. Only gets mores as you head south.

This past weekend my future SIL was in town. He grew up in New Hampshire. To hear him talk, the northern 3/4 of NH is basically Dixie.

I bet a list of truly homogenous states would be rather short.

For Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Madison (the state’s two biggest cities) are both pretty strongly blue: Milwaukee is about 40% African American and about 20% Hispanic/Latino, while Madison is historically just an uber-liberal city, and is home to a large and extremely liberal university.

The other bigger cities in the state (Green Bay, Kenosha, Appleton, etc.) are probably purplish, at best, these days. As @Qadgop_the_Mercotan noted upthread, Wisconsin has a long history of progressivism, but that seems to have increasingly faded over the past few decades.

Yeah. I recall election night, and for just about EVERY state - not only WI, but also FL, GA, PENN, OH, MICH - they kept saying they were awaiting the metropolitan results which would either sway things blue or not.

Heck, even CA is (at least) 2 different states, from the coastal libs and the red inland. Take a look at how quickly OR and WASH turn red east of the coasts…