Kansas

Kansas is the Wild West. Dodge City is in Kansas. So is Abilene. If you are in the Wild West, you can’t be in the Midwest. The Wild Midwest? I’ll simply not have it. I know what you’re thinking: L. Frank Baum was from New York, wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz while living in Chicago, and based his descriptions of “Kansas” on the Dakota Territory. You’re right.

Kentucky

Derby hats? Mint juleps? These people are Southern. They need to get over it.

Nebraska

Great Plains state. Just because your state is flat doesn’t mean you’re in the Midwest. Did you know that people in the flat part of Colorado call themselves Midwestern? Ridiculous. You’re not in the Midwest, you’re in the crappy part of Colorado. It isn’t the Midwest’s fault that California stole “West” from you people. You should think of something to call yourselves.

West Virginia

Too hilly. Too much Virginia.

Pennsylvania

People in Pittsburgh sound Midwestern. They say “pop” rather than “coke” or “soda,” but Pennsylvania also has Philadelphia. Philadelphia is not Midwestern. Also, Pennsylvania is a Commonwealth—very un-Midwestern-y.

Oklahoma

I hesitate to include Oklahoma, because I think people from Oklahoma know they’re not Midwestern. Oklahoma City is further away from Chicago than New York City is from Chicago. Oklahoma isn’t the Midwest. Oklahoma is Diet Texas.

North Dakota

Too Canadian.

South Dakota

Wild Bill Hickok did not get shot playing cards at a saloon in the Midwest.

Missouri

Missouri is Dixie, or maybe it’s the West. Missouri was a slave state that stayed in the Union. It’s like they’re being deliberately confusing. St. Louis is the “Gateway to the West,” which means that 90 percent of Missouri is “the West.” Then again, I like Mark Twain. Maybe Missouri can be Midwestern. No. Missouri is out. Why? Because of Joe Scarborough and his insistence on pronouncing it “Mizurruh.”