Changing the Red and Blue


For the past four years the country has been wrapped up in the political/cultural labels of red states and blue states. Now, of course, we have those states labeled purple for their commingling of the red and the blue.

In 2000 the Republicans were red states and the Democrats were blue states. A lot of Republicans, already skeptical at the media’s bias, were offended at being the “red states” because the commies were red; therefore, the Democrats should be the red states.

This all developed sometime in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The media rotated the colors so that in one Presidential election the GOP would be blue and the Democrats red. The next election the GOP would be red and the Democrats blue. By the 1990’s, numerous media outlets, including the Associated Press, designated the blue states for the incumbent and the red states for the challenger.

What will happen this year? A whole host of documents, websites, and other journalistic endeavors have staked their name to the current red state/blue state identifiers. Will the red states now want to be considered blue? Will the media, having used that labeling system for so long, want to change?

By right, they ought to change. The Republicans don’t deserve to be labeled red in perpetuity. At the same time, it will certainly cause lots of future confusion.

Part of me actually thinks we should now permanently make the red states GOP states and the blue states Democratic states. When our kids, twenty years from now, ask us about the designation, we can give them the story of how the colors were rotated until that fateful election of 2000.

Any thoughts?

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Erick Erickson


  • Red v Blue? Not for Me! Not For You!
    But Erick Erickson has an interesting post on the attachment to the designation of one’s state as “red” or “blue” and wonders if we should make such a distinction permanent or or go back to a rotation model.

By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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