A few minutes ago, a former professor of mine directed my attention to this New Republic article on the subject of condescending coastal attitudes towards the American midwest.
I cannot speak for the Americans, but we have something similar here in Canada whereby people in Ontario and Quebec regard everyone in the Western half of the country, particularly the three prairie provinces, as being a bunch of unsophisticated hicks. This is a bit of a problem when you consider that almost our entire national news-media is based out of Toronto. Here, as in the United States, broadcasters occasionally try to take a more sympathetic approach to the region, by reporting on matters of local interest: matters such as farming, because this apparently is all that happens west of the Canadian shield. This truth is that substituting a bunch of condescending “corrupt hick” stereotypes for a bunch of equally condescending “salt-of-the-Earth hick” stereotypes is no way to win friends and admirers.
I have lived in Western Canada for my entire life, and as such I can tell you with absolute certainty that not only are there no cow-pies in the streets of our major cities, but that this sort of condescension was far and away the biggest reason that westerners turned their backs on the two “mainstream” political parties (the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives), and threw their support behind the fringe Reform party in the 1990s. Not because of any particular affinity for libertarian economics or fundamentalist religion*, but because of pure resentment from being told over and over again that our issues don’t matter.
*And here I direct your attention to the fact that two out of three prairie provinces fairly reliably supported democratic-socialists of various partisan stripes up until the end of the 1980s