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Now about that color scheme...
August 9, 2008 | me

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.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: bluestate; purplestate; redstate

1 posted on 08/09/2008 6:15:19 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
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To: fieldmarshaldj; AuH2ORepublican; Kuksool; Norman Bates; LdSentinal; ExTexasRedhead; ...

Freep away!


2 posted on 08/09/2008 6:17:22 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (If Islam conquers the world, the Earth will be at peace because the human race will be killed off.)
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To: Clintonfatigued
Mess with everybody's minds.

From now on, conservative states are white, all others black...

3 posted on 08/09/2008 6:20:18 PM PDT by ZOOKER ( Exploring the fine line between cynicism and outright depression)
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To: Clintonfatigued

Nothing the MSM does is by accident, nor is it (nowadays) benign.


4 posted on 08/09/2008 6:20:34 PM PDT by niteowl77 (If you push too hard, you won't believe what happens next.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

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.


5 posted on 08/09/2008 6:20:43 PM PDT by TheZMan (Bitter backwoods east Texan Christian gun clinger with the AC at 72 degrees.)
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To: Clintonfatigued
I think the whole red State/blue State thing took off when USA Today published that election map on the back of section one.

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.

6 posted on 08/09/2008 6:22:00 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: ZOOKER; Impy

“From now on, conservative states are white, all others black... “

Clever idea, but wouldn’t it strain the eyes of the audience?


7 posted on 08/09/2008 6:23:37 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (If Islam conquers the world, the Earth will be at peace because the human race will be killed off.)
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To: Clintonfatigued
To hell with these media newsspeak colors. To quote a young Democrat I spoke to not so long ago, "I want my red back !" They can gladly have it. Anybody that calls me a "Red Stater" (living in a GOP state) or "Red/Red Republican" to my face is gonna get a fat lip. Proud BLUE Conservative Republican here. :-)

Reagan's Blue GOP America, 1984

8 posted on 08/09/2008 6:24:36 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: Clintonfatigued

“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.


9 posted on 08/09/2008 6:25:06 PM PDT by garjog (Used to be liberals were just people to disagree with. Now they are a threat to our existence.)
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To: Clintonfatigued
I think of "blue" as associated with "bluebloods" -- our arrogant self-appointed (politically and psychologically inbred) elites, whereas I am a red-blooded American and anything BUT a "Red."

My entry anyway...

10 posted on 08/09/2008 6:27:04 PM PDT by sionnsar (Impeach Obama |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: Clintonfatigued

This is silly.


11 posted on 08/09/2008 6:27:41 PM PDT by Jedidah
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To: TheZMan
As I recall, the GOP color was always blue. When Reagan won in 1980, the board was described as a "sea of blue". I think that social research showing that blue has a calming effect, while red inspires aggression, caused the networks to switch to blue for the Dems. That, and they saw the Marxist connotation, and in an era when they didn't like being called liberals, and when they were supporting the communists in Nicaragua, Cuba and wherever leftists had a grievance, they decided to change the colors on election day maps. It is just another example of MSM propaganda politics.

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.

12 posted on 08/09/2008 6:27:49 PM PDT by Defiant (Democrats complained that the war was for oil. Now they make war ON oil.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

I think that it was a conscious put down of all of us who have been defenders of the old White and Blue.


13 posted on 08/09/2008 6:27:56 PM PDT by MARTIAL MONK (I'm waiting for the POP!)
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To: Clintonfatigued

The original tradition was to have Red as the Challenger/Party, and Blue as the Incumbent/Party.


14 posted on 08/09/2008 6:32:38 PM PDT by PghBaldy (Obama is hiding something about his birth, parents or name- but what?)
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To: Jedidah
This is silly.

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.

15 posted on 08/09/2008 6:34:47 PM PDT by Defiant (Democrats complained that the war was for oil. Now they make war ON oil.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

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.


16 posted on 08/09/2008 6:38:15 PM PDT by Ronin (Is there some rule that says that when an evil man gets sick, we must pretend he was saint?)
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To: PghBaldy

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.


17 posted on 08/09/2008 6:39:27 PM PDT by Defiant (Democrats complained that the war was for oil. Now they make war ON oil.)
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To: Defiant

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.


18 posted on 08/09/2008 6:40:51 PM PDT by ABN 505
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To: Jedidah
This is silly.

Indeed.

"Look - behind that rock - it's ANOTHER major conspiracy!!!"

19 posted on 08/09/2008 6:41:30 PM PDT by TexasNative2000 (Is this tagline governed by McCain-Feingold?)
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To: Ronin

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 ?


20 posted on 08/09/2008 6:42:14 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: PghBaldy
I was imprecise, according to WaPo:
Year
 Incumbent
Party
 Incumbent
Color
 Challenger
Color
 
1976
 Republican
 Blue = Ford
 Red = Carter
 
1980
 Democratic
 Red = Carter
 Blue = Reagan
 
1984
 Republican
 Blue = Reagan
 Red = Mondale
 
1988
 Republican
 Red = Bush
 Blue = Dukakis
 
1992
 Republican
 Blue = Bush
 Red = Clinton
 
1996
 Democratic
 Red = Clinton
 Blue = Dole
 
2000
 Democratic
 Blue = Gore
 Red = Bush
 
2004
 Republican
 Red = Bush
 Blue = Kerry
 

21 posted on 08/09/2008 6:43:10 PM PDT by PghBaldy (Obama is hiding something about his birth, parents or name- but what?)
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To: PghBaldy

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_11/005157.php


22 posted on 08/09/2008 6:45:01 PM PDT by PghBaldy (Obama is hiding something about his birth, parents or name- but what?)
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To: Clintonfatigued
I have been angry at this for some time.

During the Reagan landslide, some newscasters joked about "Lake Reagan" while viewing the electoral map, mostly colored blue...for Republican.

Historically, blue was used for allies and red for enemies on military maps. I believe that the choice was purposeful to camouflage the fact that most Democrats are pro-socialism and were sympathetic to Soviet aims. Hence the term "pinkos."

Since our gutless Republican Party has acquiesced to the color change, I doubt anything can or will be done about it, but some of us know the truth and will not forget.
23 posted on 08/09/2008 6:50:44 PM PDT by Sudetenland (Those diplomats serve best, who serve as cannon fodder to protect our troops!)
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To: PghBaldy
The original tradition was to have Red as the Challenger/Party, and Blue as the Incumbent/Party.

That is also my understanding. If McCain wins Republicans will remain red. If Obama wins, Republicans will become blue.

24 posted on 08/09/2008 6:57:36 PM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma (my)
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To: Sudetenland
Damn right. Of course, all we as individuals need do is #1, refuse to use the lexicon and #2, demand to media outlets (starting with our Conservative ones) that it be stopped dead in its tracks. If they need a reminder of why the Democrat party needs to be associated with the left, we need merely point to the folks in Beijing...

That ain't a Bonnie Blue flag.

This is "Red State America" right here (Massachusetts 2004)


25 posted on 08/09/2008 7:00:22 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: Conservativegreatgrandma

Guess again. The liberal media will never identify Marxist Obama with the color “red” (especially if he wins).


26 posted on 08/09/2008 7:01:36 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: Clintonfatigued

I don’t think it’s intentional...but it still irks me. Leftist parties should be red. Until Tony Blair took over, the logo of the British Labour Party was simply a red flag.


27 posted on 08/09/2008 7:04:28 PM PDT by NYIslander
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To: Clintonfatigued

No question about it. The pathological liars in the TV networks deliberately reversed the traditional color scheme, and presumably they did so because they thought it would benefit the Democrats.

Red has long been the color of Communists and other revolutionaries. Blue has long been the color of conservatives. Red is emotionally hot and angry, blue is soothing and loyal.

I would have changed it back then. Can it still be done now? I don’t know. Certainly it SHOULD be done. As George Orwell was among the first to observe, these leftists achieve their propaganda victories in part by continually monkeying with the language. And color symbolism is a kind of language.

I am constantly aware of that kind of trickery. It’s really too bad that conservatives let themselves be conned into accepting this reversal.


28 posted on 08/09/2008 7:09:00 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Clintonfatigued
I grew up with US News and World Report and they always colored Democrats Red like the Red Army that implemented the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia or the Red Chinese.
29 posted on 08/09/2008 7:11:47 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Make all taxes truly voluntary)
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To: Cicero

Because Conservatives allow themselves to be bullied and defined by our leftist opponents, always on defense. We need to go on aggressive offense and respond in kind — they need to be defined by US... as authentic Reds.


30 posted on 08/09/2008 7:15:30 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: Clintonfatigued

It’s a mind game thanks to the left. Let’s give the left their traditional color, red. The left is fond of tyranny, like they were during the Cold War. They hope we’ll forget. Look up pinko.


31 posted on 08/09/2008 7:20:14 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: TexasNative2000

“This is silly.
Indeed.
“Look - behind that rock - it’s ANOTHER major conspiracy!!!””

Don’t discount the power of subliminal suggestion. I noticed this back then too, like many posting here, and when they got away with it was resigned to the left having won another one.

Nothing to do about it now, and even to raise it as an issue will only get us labeled as petty whiners. Gotta just get over it now.


32 posted on 08/09/2008 7:20:56 PM PDT by pyrless (I carry a gun, 'cause a cop is too heavy)
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To: garjog
Like I always say, it isn't that Obama is Black, it's that he is Red. He makes McGovern look like Reagan.

If anyone here thinks that the Red / Blue switch was not intentional, you're on the wrong web site.

33 posted on 08/09/2008 7:26:22 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (OMG, I lost my tag line.)
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To: pyrless

I wouldn’t raise it as an issue. They don’t control the language, except in places like universities where you can lose your job unless you speak the politically correct lingo.

I would just start using the traditional words and imagery again. There’s no point in arguing with them. But if the proprietors of Red State decide to call themselves Blue State, that’s their business.

I don’t say “choice,” I say “abortion.” I can’t change the way they talk, but I certainly refuse to adopt their language.


34 posted on 08/09/2008 7:31:36 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: 1rudeboy
I'm quite certain I remember when it was just the opposite...in fact..i think there was a minor discussion about it in FR...

anyway to get the old TV coverage back?????

35 posted on 08/09/2008 7:36:50 PM PDT by M-cubed (Why is "Greshams Law" a law?)
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To: Clintonfatigued

Perhaps it’s time for the Right to use the Left’s penchant for redefinition against them.

Red obviously refers to the blood that runs in the veins of conservatives, which we are willing to spill in defense of the Constitution and the Republic.

Blue, in relation to the Left, is a reference to blue blood, elitism and the effete false intellectuals who love themselves more than their fellow man.

Or, we can just ask the MSM to do our bidding and reverse the colors. ;^)


36 posted on 08/09/2008 7:39:23 PM PDT by DesertDreamer ("I don't believe in a government that protects us from ourselves." - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Clintonfatigued
Historically, the color red was equated with Communism.

And Netflix :)

Thanks for the ping.

37 posted on 08/09/2008 7:39:58 PM PDT by upchuck (Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about. (nObama))
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To: Clintonfatigued
There are several -- and conflicting -- stories on how the GOP red and Dem blue color schemes came to be.

For sure, prior to 1980 it was blue for Republicans and red for Democrats. If my memory serves, in 1980 the broadcast networks used different colors from each other, so that if you were changing between ABC, CBS, and NBC, you might get confused. I seem to recall that one election night anchor referred to Reagan's dominance of the map as "Lake Reagan," while an anchor on another network joked that "the country's going red."

Some of the media adopted, for a while, one color for the party in power (with respect to the Presidency), and the other color for the party out of power. Other media kept their colors for each party the same from election to election, regardless of which party was in power. But by (I think) 1988, for whatever reason, there was general agreement that the GOP would be red, and the Dems blue (Dave Leip's excellent election site remains an exception).

Why? Who knows? Some have speculated that the Dems complained about being associated with socialism/communism -- maybe the truth hurts. Others have said that red was Nancy Reagan's favorite color, and that "Reagan Red" can be traced to her; that seems highly unlikely.

Red for the GOP doesn't bother me. It's a "better" color in terms of intensity -- it jumps out at you on a map, whether on TV or on paper. The Dems, I'm guessing, would like it back. I say embrace the red. Lay claim to it.

38 posted on 08/09/2008 7:41:26 PM PDT by southernnorthcarolina (May contain traces of tree nuts.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

It could be as simple as the fact that “blue” is the favorite color of most Americans. And the MSM would only want the best for their pets, the dems. So, they gave them the best. Guess we’re lucky they didn’t pick some putrid shade of orange for us...


39 posted on 08/09/2008 7:43:13 PM PDT by GOPJ (What someone thinks is going to happen is not news. After it happens it is news. - Sowell)
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To: Clintonfatigued

While we’re on the topic of reclaiming doublespeak from the Statists, how bout the whole capital-L “Liberal”? Meaning, in practice, “one who opposes virtually every form of actual individual liberty”.

I cringe every time I hear someone use the term “Liberal”, because it’s used to describe the leftists who want gov’t control of every facet of people’s lives.

That makes them the opposite of what I and many Freepers are...whether you describe yourself as “libertarian”, “fiscally conservative, socially liberal”, or just in terms of our Founders’ philosophy, a “classical liberal”, you shouldn’t be applying the capital-L word to those fighting tooth and nail for command-and-control.


40 posted on 08/09/2008 7:43:51 PM PDT by BobbyT
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To: BobbyT

Living in Europe in 1980, and having to listen to the European’s complaints about Reagan, it was really great to see that sea of blue sweep over the US. It was one of the great days of my life.
There is no doubt in my mind that the networks finally settled on Red for the GOP to take away the pink stain on the Rats..and now the outright nomination of a marxist.


41 posted on 08/09/2008 8:00:31 PM PDT by Oldexpat (Drill Here, Drill There..we must drill everywhere.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinko

Surprisingly accurate!


42 posted on 08/09/2008 8:10:04 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: Clintonfatigued
The "Campaign Manager" game published in Compute's Gazette, August 1984 used red for Republicans and cyan for Democrats, so red=Republican isn't anything new.
43 posted on 08/09/2008 8:10:05 PM PDT by supercat
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To: Clintonfatigued
It all started with this website, and the colors were supposed to switch back and forth each election year.

Take a look at it. He has all the Bush states in blue and the dimwit states in red!

44 posted on 08/09/2008 8:23:06 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Clintonfatigued
I may be entirely wrong, but I seem to recall that the first election year that red state/blue state was used, blue referred to Republican. I had to wonder when in the subsequent election, suddenly we were red...
:-)
45 posted on 08/09/2008 8:26:41 PM PDT by ArmyTeach (speak true, right wrong, follow the King)
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To: garjog

They didn’t use red for the Dems. They used red for the party out of office, and blue for the incumbent party. The deviation from custom came in 2004 once everyone started nattering about ‘Red States’ and ‘Blue States’.

Communism is a spent force. The PRC and Vietnam are fascist rather than Communist now; in North Korea ‘Juche’ is a bizarre form of oriental despotism and emperor-worship dressed up with Stalinist-style police, concentration camps and bad uniforms; Russia may not be democratic, but they have a market economy and Christian religious education in their schools.

Red is a fine color (just ask any Nebraska Cornhusker fan). We liberated it from the Commies when we won the Cold War. Besides it alliterates with Republican.


46 posted on 08/09/2008 8:30:33 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: Clintonfatigued; ZOOKER; fieldmarshaldj; niteowl77

The acceptance of red by conservatives makes it unlikely it will ever change. I imagine most people don’t even think about ir or care, they just accept it.

Interesting in the rest of the world colors have long been associated with parties but here just since 2000.

I’m not sure the MSM picked Red for Republican just to dissociate the historic color of leftism from the rats, since many people aren’t even aware red=commie. There have been marketing studies showing people like blue better (Pepsi did this). That’s perhaps a simpler reason.

I wish it were reversed though to fit international political color meanings, history, Luke Skywalker versus Darth Vader parallels and those dave leip maps.

Better yet pick a really ugly color like greenish yellowish brownish grayish pet vomit for the rats. GOP gets all other colors.

IDEALLY the rats would get invisible.


47 posted on 08/10/2008 1:40:06 AM PDT by Impy (Spellcheck hates Obama, you should too.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

The GOP should be Blue, and the Democrats Red (since they’re the leftist party). That’s the way it was traditionally, and that’s the way that Dave Leip’s presidential elections atlas has it. http://uselectionatlas.org/


48 posted on 08/11/2008 7:22:41 AM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (Fred Thompson appears human-sized because he is actually standing a million miles away.)
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To: Hawthorn; Tublecane

This is a vanity thread a wrote a while back. Thought you’d be interested.


49 posted on 09/06/2008 8:40:36 AM PDT by Clintonfatigued (If Islam conquers the world, the Earth will be at peace because the human race will be killed off.)
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To: Clintonfatigued; Tublecane

> This is a vanity thread a wrote a while back. Thought you’d be interested. <

An excellent post and a great discussion. Thanks!


50 posted on 09/06/2008 3:26:55 PM PDT by Hawthorn
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