I am a geographical elitist. The first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have it, and I admit it. I am a geographical elitist.
In politics, there is a lot of talk about elitist folks on the coast (east and west), but it is primarily presented as a class issue, or an urban/rural divide pitting the cities of the east against homespun, heartland folk. But that doesn't quite get at what I feel. My geographical elitism centers around the fact that I live near the capital, which is in one corner of a very sprawling nation. It feels very imperial: there is the capital, and then there are the provinces -- like the difference between Rome and Gaul or Lycia. Other East Coast cities (the Washington -- Boston corridor) at least feel like they are part of the same segment of the nation (they are all Italia). Get much beyond that, and things start to become strange.
I spend time sojourning in Minnesota, with their strange customs (ridiculous quantities of politeness), dialect ("ofer cute!"), and food (lutefisk?), and it's difficult to resist the sentiment that I'm approaching the borders of the imperial reach. The Twin Cities are a charming little outpost. And I know it's not an urban or population thing, because I have similar views of Chicago, even though it is nearly 5x larger than Washington. They are far-flung tendrils of the American civilization, but when the empire falters and begins to crumble, they're going to be the first to go. By the time Washington is sacked, they'll have been long lost to the Canadians.
It's a very bizarre feeling, but it's very much there. D.C. is very central to my identity, and it feels very much like the center of the world. So I apologize to all my friends who are not east coasters. I mean no disrespect, and since I've signed on to another three-year tour of the mid-west, maybe it is a character flaw I can outgrow.