We inadvertently started this week's Macrodosing with a discussion about states and the regions they're considered part of in this country. It wasn't even meant to be part of the show, it just went so ling and was mildly interesting enough that we put it in.
Here's the deal: nobody refers to regions of the United States properly. People refer to 20 different states as the "Midwest", almost all of which are not in the middle or west of anything. Ohio could much more rationally be considered the Northeast than it could the Midwest.
This conversation amongst my co-hosts drove me to create U.S. regions which actually have some sort of geographical backing to them. Without further ado, here is how the 50 states should actually be categorized.
SOUTH: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina
We've gotten way too willy nilly with throwing states into the South these days. Kentucky is not the South. Missouri has an SEC team now, which is about the only logical basis Kentucky has to claim status as a Southern state, and we certainly all agree it isn't part of God's Country. Florida is obviously the glaring omission from this list, but we'll get to it later.
SOUTHWEST: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma
This seems pretty straightforward. There's a category we'll get to later which Texas probably belongs to culturally, but it's not egregious to group it with these other states. This is your Southwest.
MIDWEST: Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois
Here's where y'all need to really look at a map. Those states are in the Midwest. All the other ones you don't care about and want to just lump in as "Midwest" aren't actually anywhere close to what that word actually means. I struggled even putting Illinois in there, but I think it pairs much more nicely with Missouri and Iowa than Kentucky and Ohio.
MIDEAST: Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia
Yep, we made a new region. Deal with it. Ohio and Indiana are not in the Midwest, but since y'all insist on saying they are, we'll call this group the Mideast — a name much more fitting, given where these states actually are. Kentucky also fits much better with this group than it does with states like Alabama and Mississippi.
NORTH: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan
Here are the rest of those "Midwest" states y'all keep going on about. Nope, they're just the North. Most of them border Canada.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST: Washington, Oregon
This is our only group of states that's staying the same from what everyone already thinks.
WEST: California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado
We're putting a group together with quite a mix of cultures and ideologies here, but the idea of this list was to make sense geographically before ideologically. You could make the argument that all of these make sense together even in that regard, too, except those weirdos in California and I have to lump them in with somebody.
MID-ATLANTIC: Virginia, Maryland, Delaware
These three states get their own little group because the first two are just enough in the middle to not be considered the Northeast and Delaware exists, also. Anyone who says Virginia is in the South is an asshole, by the way.
NORTHEAST: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut
The one-ply toilet paper of regions. Nothing but sky-high taxes and assholes, but at least it's geographically accurate.
NEW ENGLAND: Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island
This is also just the Northeast, but we give these states their own designation to make them feel more special. If I was to create my own name for this region, it would be "Less Important Northeast."
STATES THAT ARE THEIR OWN THING: Florida, Louisiana, Alaska, Hawaii
Here are our four states which can't really be put in any box. Obviously, Alaska and Hawaii will always be out there on their own because they're not even in the contiguous United States, so it would be silly to categorize them as part of these regions. Florida and Louisiana, however, are so culturally unique that they stand alone. I know I said geography was the main idea here, but most of Florida does not fit in with the rest of the South and none of Louisiana fits in with anything. Texas also could have been on this list, but it's at least pretty similar to other Southwest states.
That's the new list. Quit saying Minnesota is in the Midwest.