I think by temperament I'm a westerner.
When I was but a teenager, my sister gave me the Complete Works of Jack London for Christmas one year. It took me a while--maybe a year or two--to crack it open, but when I finally did, I devoured it. All of those great stories of man standing alone against nature, society, himself. But most of all, the idea of the West captured my imagination. The frontier, frought with danger, drawing weirdos and outcasts and loners and people who had run out of options to disappear into the wilderness and make a new life for themselves.
When I've spent time there, whether it be Santa Fe or Seattle, those romantic strains are always running through my head.
But what I really like about the West is the ethos: Leave me alone. And it's corollary: Do as you want to do, and have fun, just as long as you do it without bothering me.
That rugged individualism has come in for some hits, in extremis it surely has its flaws like everything else.
At any rate, I sure prefer the West to the South.
(Ahhh... What fun would there be in life without Sweeping Generalizations? Let's indulge in a few!)
In a way, the West is the opposite of the South.
My Awful Ex, who hailed from Nashville, Tennessee, was the one who put me on to the propensity of southerners to pass judgment. He told me about the Universal Tell-Tale Sign That A Southerner Was Poised To Pass Judgment: pursed lips. When you see the lips disappear, you know just what's going on upstairs. It's all about, "Why that's no way to live your life! The correct way to live your life is the way that I live my life. Now don't be deceived by the fact that what's coming out of their mouths is, "Hi! How you? It's so nice to see you! And don't you look nice, too!"
Lest ye be judged, brothers and sisters.
Alas, America today is all about Southern Ascendancy.
Huh. Another reason to support New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson!