Isn’t it amazing that so many different people can form one nation? Unity in diversity has been a trademark of the United States for centuries. It’s a beautiful thing reflected in the balance of powers laid out in our Constitution – different powers for state and federal governments, checks and balances among the three federal branches. Though the balance has been disrupted, Americans still value the wisdom of the principle today.

Reporter Colin Woodard has identified 11 ‘nations’ in North America – regions classified by “dominant cultures explain our voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government.”

It’s an interesting perspective on what shapes our thinking in different areas of the country. Woodard frames his discussion of the regions around violent tendencies and common attitudes in the gun control debate. But in the process, he can’t help commenting on regional attitudes towards government. By Woodard’s analysis, only two of the eleven dominant cultures view increased government involvement in their lives positively.

Yankeedom and New France (both in the Northeast, plus New Orleans) are most accepting of government regulation. But most of the American ‘nations’ are suspicious of faraway big government controlling their lives, probably owing to the fact that they were all frontiers at one time.

Even in a mobile society, we can’t escape our history. Many regional values still prevail, and try as big-government advocates may, they can’t erase the American instinct for self-governance.

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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