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 ?
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
That is also my understanding. If McCain wins Republicans will remain red. If Obama wins, Republicans will become blue.
That ain't a Bonnie Blue flag.
This is "Red State America" right here (Massachusetts 2004)
Guess again. The liberal media will never identify Marxist Obama with the color “red” (especially if he wins).
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.
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.
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.
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.
“This is silly.
“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.
If anyone here thinks that the Red / Blue switch was not intentional, you're on the wrong web site.
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.
anyway to get the old TV coverage back?????
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. ;^)
And Netflix :)
Thanks for the ping.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Take a look at it. He has all the Bush states in blue and the dimwit states in red!
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.
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.
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/
This is a vanity thread a wrote a while back. Thought you’d be interested.
> This is a vanity thread a wrote a while back. Thought youd be interested. <
An excellent post and a great discussion. Thanks!