As a New Yorker with lots of friends in so-called flyover states, it was wonderful to read praise of Ohio. I went to college (in Cleveland not Columbus) briefly, left for personal reasons, wound up going to school in New York and then living there.
But I take exception to the claim that AU states are all alike. It may seem so from the east, but go to Perth some time and find out just how WA-oriented they are. They may even know that WA didn’t want federation and wouldn’t have joined if it weren’t for the “immigrant” (from other parts of AU) vote. Indeed, WA voted to secede from Australia again in 1933, although Westminster decided to ignore the vote because the WA government lost power in the same election.