If you think I spew much, check out this blog [and if that is not strong enough for you, check out the very distinct link in the piece!]. It raises a very valid question--why do folks consider farmers to be Real Americans, as they are a very, very distinct minority? And have been for quite some time. My guess would be that path dependence is pretty hard to break. Plus journalists and other commentators (such as myself) are lazy.
Anyhow, check it out while I giggle when I think about the phrase "average American."
HT to Jacob Levy's tweet.