In his 1928 campaign speech, Herbert Hoover used the term ‘rugged individuals.’ It was meant to rekindle the frontier spirit that built the United States of America.
Hoover’s speech extolled the virtues of the individual over the collective, emphasizing that the first waves of pioneers didn’t need (or even want) government assistance. Instead, they preferred to do things themselves, building homesteads, farms, ranches, and entire towns with nothing but a few tools and their own bare hands.
“The American system is based on rugged individualism and self-reliance,” said Hoover, who was himself a self-made millionaire. “Only through liberty, freedom, and equal opportunity to the individual will his initiative and enterprise spur on the march of progress. My government would not take responsibility for building a future for you. It would free and empower you to build it for yourselves.”
The speech convinced the majority of American voters. Hoover won the election and served as the 31st president of the United States from 1929 to 1933.
Many Americans still believe in the ideals of life, liberty, and freedom. For others, Hoover’s speech (and many more like it since) is a fancy way for governments to abdicate their duty toward the people while continuing to enact policies that protect the rich and powerful – banker bailouts, anyone? As Martin Luther King Jr. said in his “The Other America” speech, “This USA has socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for the poor.”
Either way, the myth of rugged individualism persists as a cornerstone of American culture, values, and history. So how do today’s modern (and some might say pampered) citizens measure up when it comes to the old-world’s do-it-yourself approach?
Home care and design expert Angi decided to find out. Using geo-tagged data on pro and negative DIY Twitter mentions, Angi’s design team created some maps showing which states and cities in the USA hate doing home improvement jobs the most. And they also put together a separate infographic highlighting the most dreaded DIY tasks across the USA.
Overall, Indiana is the state with the highest DIY-related stress levels. More than 1 in 5 (21.46%) DIY tweets from The Hoosier State are negative. Rhode Island (21.20%) and Mississippi (20.13%) come next.
Texas scored surprisingly high. Over 17% of its DIY tweets were negative. Come on,Texas: where’s that Texan toughness we hear so much about? Maybe it’s being softened up by the large influx of new residents from the ‘less rugged’ suburbs of Los Angeles and San Francisco!
Life is always pure chill in Hawaii. And the state’s laid-back approach to life extends to any jobs that need doing around the house. With less than 5% of negative DIY-related tweets, it’s the most relaxed US state in the study. Then again, it’s pretty easy to shrug off the stress when it’s sunny for 204 days of the year.
Check the maps below to see how the rest of the US feels about DIY, including the one disgusting job it hates the most.