A recent book says the United States is really 11 different cultures, and until we know which we come from, we’re pretty much wasting our time trying to converse with each other.
Business Insider reports on investigative reporter Colin Woodard’s work, which claims the cultures in the U.S. are Yankeedom, New Netherland, The Midlands, Tidewater, Greater Appalachia, Deep South, El Norte, The Left Coast, The Far West, New France, and First Nation.
Encompassing the entire Northeast north of New York City and spreading through Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, Yankeedom values education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and citizen participation in government as a shield against tyranny.
Yankees are comfortable with government regulation. Woodard notes that Yankees have a “Utopian streak.” The area was settled by radical Calvinists.
Woodard doesn’t seem to offer a lot of hope that we’ll become less polarized by understanding — let alone accepting — our cultures.
“People choose to move to places where they identify with the values,” Woodard tells Business Insider. “Red minorities go south and blue minorities go north to be in the majority. This is why blue states are getting bluer and red states are getting redder and the middle is getting smaller.”
“We are trapped in brinkmanship because there is not a lot of wiggle room between Yankee and Southern Culture,” Woodard says. “Those two nations would never see eye to eye on anything besides an external threat.”
(h/t: Chris Worthington)