I WANT TO ASK YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MAINE, BECAUSE WE'VE OBVIOUSLY GOT A TEA PARTY GOVERNOR, AND I'M ALSO LOOKING AT PEOPLE LIKE MICHELE BACHMANN WHO'S A BIG TEA PARTY ICON FROM MINNESOTA, YANKEEDOM. IN READING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NATIONS AND HOW THEY CARRY THINGS OUT, TO ME THE TEA PARTY SEEMS DEEP SOUTH IN CHARACTER. It is indeed, and the regional nature of the Tea Party is to be discussed in a feature that I wrote for Washington Monthly that's coming out in about a week or two. I'll be treating it in great detail. I don't want to steal their thunder, and I will back it with statistics and everything in that article, but yes, the vast majority of the Tea Party caucus in Congress, the self-identified Tea Party caucus, come from the four nations that form the Dixie Bloc coalition with a staggering number from the Deep South, and there are only three from the entirety of Yankeedom, none from New Netherland, none from Left Coast, and almost all of the Tea Party's most high-profile leaders, with the exception of Bachmann, all come from the Far West or Deep South or Greater Appalachia, and those who have succeeded here, the Tea Party has seen major setbacks in Yankeedom, including in Maine. Scott Walker in Wisconsin who won by very little, it's not as though the majority culture of Wisconsin has embraced his platform. He's encountered enormous headwinds, including the successful recall of state senators. Paul LePage's agenda, he won in a vote split. Not only are his opinion-poll ratings staggeringly low, but within a month and a half he managed to alienate the legislative Republican leadership in the state and is well-known to not be friendly with the conservative head of the Republican Party. So yes, the Tea Party appears to be national at first glance, but in fact when you actually look at where it's succeeding and where it's failing, it's extremely regional. But details on that coming up shortly in that magazine piece.
What the book is ultimately suggesting is where we see all these divisions today and the country seems to be so polarized and everyone's worried about it and the federal government's having difficulty functioning, what I bring forward in American Nations is that a lot of these divisions that we see now are regional in nature and in fact the country has seen those same regional divisions throughout our history, in all sorts of events. We've always been divided on regional grounds ever since the beginning. I think people sort of forget that. In times of crisis, we often are trying to look back at the Founding Fathers to recapture the supposedly lost set of shared ideals. You know, that if we only could recover those the country would be healed again.
>> READ: Excerpt: American Nations by Colin Woodard <<