A North Dakota Tea Party
North Dakota is home to protectionist policies ranging from agriculture co-ops to state-run insurance to a law demanding that all pharmacies be locally owned (banning the only advantage of a Wal-Mart: cheap drugs). There is the state-run Bank of North Dakota, which in a year that saw private banks taking federal bailouts, returned $30 million to the state's general fund. More importantly, these state organizations operate in competition with private business, a fact that keeps everyone honest and is a system that, while quite successful and popular here, is clearly going to destroy America if partly implemented on any national scale, such as with health care.
This nails the contradiction of the state, which has two of the more progressive senators -- Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan -- yet is culturally more red than Utah. If you ever wondered what a libertarian socialist economy would look like (and who hasn't?), North Dakota is basically it.
Conrad, the senior senator, was on Charlie Rose recently, speaking about the glories of social co-operatives. Co-operatives!