My grasp of Tea Party politics is faint and my interest in them fainter, but the Washington Monthly feature ‘A Geography Lesson for the Tea Party’ is worth the read purely for author Colin Woodard’s insightful breakdown of America’s unacknowledged territories. His description of my home region, the Left Coast, is just perfect:
The Left Coast
A Chile-shaped nation wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade and Coast mountain ranges and stretching from Monterey to Juneau, the Left Coast was originally colonized by two groups: merchants, missionaries, and woodsmen from New England (who arrived by sea and dominated the towns); and farmers, prospectors, and fur traders from Greater Appalachia (who generally arrived by wagon and controlled the countryside). Yankees expended considerable effort to make it “a New England on the Pacific,” but were only partially successful: the Left Coast is a hybrid of Yankee idealism, faith in good government and social reform, and the Appalachian commitment to individual self-expression and exploration. The staunchest ally of Yankeedom and greatest champion of environmentalism, it battles constantly against Far Western sections in the interior of its home states.
NB: I found this article via my subscription to The Best of Journalism.