It seemed for a while that "Midwest" values, mores and even "personalities" were so much the thing that the "Midwest" had expanded to take over what used to be the West, and the South, other than anything which touched a body of salt water.
Kansas is for me, personally, in the Midwest.
What states are included in the Midwest, for you?
I thought it'd be easier to draw a map and highlight all the places that are not the midwest:
When I googled the midwest, it actually included more states than I thought. I think Michigan is very different from Kansas. I think Ohio might as well be the east coast. It's right by Pennsylvania, for heaven's sake! And a lot of maps don't consider colorado to be the midwest, but if you've driven through colorado you know that eastern colorado is basically Kansas. And with more and more Kansans moving there, it might just become Kansas... but not yet. So far everybody I know who's moved to Colorado spends all their time on facebook begging their Kansas friends to come visit them in cliquey Colorado.
Google also says Arkansas is not the midwest? What is it? Arkansas and Missouri have a lot in common - lovely streams and caves and hills, strange people.
People from Kansas are polite, they hold doors open. But not as loud as southerners. They are quietly judgmental, southerners are loudly judgmental. Kansas farmers are hard working. Southern farmers are from some kind of exploitive aristocracy. We were once an extremely progressive place. We started as a free state just as the civil war was breaking out, achieved statehood almost in the name of adding our count to the north. Women had the right to vote in 1912. We're proud of Brown v. Board desegregating schools. We've elected several democratic governors, but almost no democratic presidents. Plenty of Kansans think we can reclaim our forward-looking moderate politics, it's only a matter of time. Lots of time, I guess.
I see Kansas as the dead center of the midwest but I suppose that's not how the rest of the world defines it. I also see Kansas as distinctly difference from the north/south but maybe it's hard for outsiders to see the difference. I see it as, well, the middle. Smack dab in the center of the US. The support structure for everything else to circle around.