Or, rather than thinking \”you can't have a 'from sea to shining sea' mantra without a shining sea ending\”, you could think \”you can't have a 'from sea to shining sea' mantra without a middle\”. I'll also point out that a base element of US prosperity (in the past, definitely, partially still) is that we have the largest contiguous chunk of arable land on the planet – the Missouri-Mississippi-Ohio river system, in the lands around and between those large rivers. Without that, this country does not become a world powerhouse. That all exists in the middle, and is still extremely important, even if most Americans don't realize it. Anyway, that is the kind of thinking I would encourage if I were a mid-westerner (I grew up in the Philadelphia area in the Seventies – a city that had its own inferiority complex back then (maybe still?), due to its proximity to The Big Apple, not to mention its often failing sports teams. So, even a large East Coast region can suffer these things).

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