Skip to comments.Now about that color scheme...
Posted on 08/09/2008 6:15:18 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
Without a doubt, all politically alert Americans are aware of the Red State, Blue State color scheme that's used to describe the voting patterns of various constituancies in the U.S. In it, Red states are conservative Republican, Blue States are liberal Democrat. There are some marginal states, which have become known as Purple States. But, on Free Republic, I've noticed some Freepers complain about the colors that are applied. I personally never felt strongly about it, but others seem to, and they have a point.
The term became fixed into our conciousness on election night in 2000. The networks chose the color red for states that voted Republican and blue for those who voted Democrat. As we all remember, the nation as a whole was almost evenly divided in the Presidential election. At the same time, most individual states voted solidly one way or another, with only a few being close. It became noticed that there was a high degree of polarization, as if Americans were moving into areas so that they could live around like-minded people. And as a result, the terms Red State/Blue State became a central part of American political jargon.
It used to be that each news network used its own color scheme to differentiate between the parties in election night coverage. Each network had its own pollsters and conducted its own interviews with voters. But during the 1990's, they consolodated their services to save money, and all relied on the now discredited Voter News Service. This caused the networks to use the same color scheme simultaneously
Here is the source of the complaints I've noticed. Historically, the color red was equated with Communism. And in much of the world, that is still the case. The Marxist-leaning former Mayor of London, Ken Livingston, was nicknamed Red Ken. In earlier times, Americans who were suspected of Marxist sympathies found themselves labeled "Reds," and the term was not a compliment. So it is a historical paradox that in the United States, it is those of us who are opposed to Marxism who are Reds.
What's also noticeable is that for the most part, establishment conservatives seem to have accepted the label. There is an excellent conservative site called RedState. And there is a book advocating the election of more conservative Republicans by Hugh Hewitt called "Painting The Map Red: The Fight to Create a Permanent Republican Majority."
An entire generation has been born since the Berlin Wall fell, and as a result, the label Red doesn't have the same impact as it used to. So perhaps, it's much ado about nothing. But others say we've allowed ourselves to be painted red by a devious, biased media and ought to fight to get the color scheme changed, reclaiming the Blue label as our own.
And if those who oppose the color labels think we should contest it, how can it be done? Can we change the vocabulary that the Washington Press Corps has foisted on us?
It should be inetersting to hear what a large number of Freepers have to say.
From now on, conservative states are white, all others black...
Nothing the MSM does is by accident, nor is it (nowadays) benign.
In my opinion yes, much ado about nothing. Thank you for enlightening me as to the colors origins however. I’d often wondered about that.
I remember thinking that the colors were assigned the wrong way around, and that it was specifically the intention to do so.
Dems? Red? No-brainer.
“From now on, conservative states are white, all others black... “
Clever idea, but wouldn’t it strain the eyes of the audience?
Reagan's Blue GOP America, 1984
“Historically, the color red was equated with Communism.”
We know that the reason they used red for Dems is that they are closer to the communists and to label them red would be too close to home.
My entry anyway...
This is silly.
I would like it to be switched back. The MSM never would, but Fox could. It would be another way to distinguish themselves from the herd. Then, when we win, it's not a lake of fire, but a sea of blue, once again.
I think that it was a conscious put down of all of us who have been defenders of the old White and Blue.
The original tradition was to have Red as the Challenger/Party, and Blue as the Incumbent/Party.
Ask yourself, why did the networks switch colors then, if it made no difference? Why did they change the color scheme that was universally used for several elections in a row? Hmmmm?
They did it because they know it helped their cause. Maybe only slightly, but om a Red/blue contest, there is some value to being blue, and when you are a leftist, there is some value to not being perceived as "red", even if you are.
In sports, it is the opposite. Studies have shown that the color red has a slight effect on the participant in athletic contests. Red teams win more than they should statistically, at all levels. It is very slight, but not an anomaly.
It irked me a bit when it was new, but now I don’t really care. Too late to change it anyhow because it’s a part of the political lexicon now.
Other more important things to spend time thinking about.
I don’t know about when you are talking about, but as I recall, 1976, 1980, 1984 and I believe 1988 all used blue for Republicans, whether they were challenger or incumbent. I think the first time the networks used red for the GOP was 1992, which would make sense, since Clinton focus-grouped everything.
You are correct, Blue was always the republican color as in true blue republican or bleeding republican blue and the Dems as far back as I can remember always used red. It has been only the last few election cycles where it has changed from blue to red. I suspected it was because of the commie association and I think it’s pretty well confirmed.
"Look - behind that rock - it's ANOTHER major conspiracy!!!"
It’s never too late to change it back, and we should demand it be done. Continuing to use the lexicon makes us look like lemmings. Fact is that this is just one more thing we’ve allowed the left to do to us in their neverending psychological warfare game. If we can’t even correct this, how are we ever going to win at much of anything else ?