April 16, 2012

Red states and blue states.



A helpful depiction, which appears at the Wikipedia article "Red states and blue states," which I was reading in an effort to determine whether it's true — as I'd long assumed — that Republicans got the color red because if red had been assigned to the more leftward party, it would insinuate Communism. I read the entire "Origins of the color scheme" section, and there's a complicated story going back to 1888. ("Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison used maps that coded blue for the Republicans, the color Cleveland perceived to represent the Union and 'Lincoln's Party,' and red for the Democrats.") Apparently, things have gone back and forth, and the current fixed color assignment dates back to the post-Election Day squabbles of the year 2000:
In the days following the 2000 election, whose outcome was unclear for some time after election day, major media outlets began conforming to the same color scheme because the electoral map was continually in view, and conformity made for easy and instant viewer comprehension.
Ha ha. Love the super-bland Wikipediaese. Whose outcome was unclear for some time after election day... The election results were so confusing, that MSM decided to bestow some clarity upon us. At least we could understand one thing: Blue means Democrat. Red means Republican. And we gripped tight to that childish simplification ever after.

21 comments:

Fen said...

...in an effort to determine whether it's true — as I'd long assumed — that Republicans got the color red because if red had been assigned to the more leftward party, it would insinuate Communism.

Its true. Red/Blue was devised by the MSM and used to indicate the party of the incumbent President. They made it permanent and gave their boys Blue for the optics. Blue is a more "comfortable" color, while a combination of Lefty and Red would be too much a reminder of the marxism of the Left.

The Drill SGT said...

LOL,

cause labeling Dem's as Red's was Kinsleyian.

PS FWIW, in US/NATO Military graphic symbology, Blue = Good guys, Red = Bad guys

I suspect the Warsaw Pact used the same colors with the reversed polarity

ricpic said...

I always knew Brooklyn was bigger than Texas.

edutcher said...

Yes, the Republicans would want to use blue - the color of the Union, after all, and, either gray - for the Confederacy, or red for the small c communists they are, for the Demos, if they had their way - either would be most fitting.

IIRC, the modern colors go back to around the '80 election. That's the way I recall so many states going Republican - because the nets called the election too early.

David R. Graham said...

I think The Drill SGT has the current origin of the blue/red rhetoric. DNC/Media consciously employed military usage to signal their self-image as warriors against common sense and kindness, as typified, not accurately but in their minds, by the "vast[, evil] right-wing conspiracy," aka, Republican Party -- and anyone else not firmly their donors, voters or footmen. Their blue/red rhetoric reflects their unprecedented, leash-slipped public belligerence since 2000. They want war and are resolved to create it. Blue/red rhetoric helps them fix targets and deploy forces against them. Their self-identity is militaristic.

Carol said...

When I ran for local office I was accused by my minder of running a false flag op, because my signs were blue instead of red.

That's about how ignorant the average lefty blogger is.

ricpic said...

I've always identified with the Green Team since Color War at Camp Mineetonka. The Orange Team was the enemy then and will always be the enemy!

By the way, I wonder if Color War is allowed anymore?

dreams said...

The election was unclear according to the media and Gore but at no time did Gore ever have more votes than Bush. Gore, the Democrats and the liberal media tried to steal that election. Remember the media called the state of Florida for Gore before the polls closed. People are far more likely to vote if they think their candidate is going to win than if they think he has already lost. Plus, all the states that Bush was expected to carry were too close to call according to the media though they were no different than the Gore states which were called early, they did that to influence west coast voters by conveying the impression that it was shaping up as a win for Gore. Also, the Democrats had a pubic relations firm in Florida on election day calling black voters drumming up the voter disenfranchised farce. I doubt anyone followed it more closely than me and I watched on TV as the Republicans had to have big name Republicans observe the recount so as to discourage the mostly Democrats recounting the votes from cheating. Of course the military absentee voters were disenfranchised but that was ok because everyone knows they mostly voted for Bush. Lets remember that at no time did Gore ever have more votes than Bush. Gore did our country a great disservice by not adhering to his concession.

bagoh20 said...

The U.S. differs on this with most of the rest of the world, who use red for the more leftist party including the left themselves self identifying with it. Red is always associated with change, risk, and revolution; and blue with stability and integrity. Is there anything the American left is open and honest about on purpose?

Mitchell said...

Blue combined with red yields purple, the color of royalty.

Michael Brand said...

I have a 1977 Inauguration commorative program printed by the DNC...the election map has Carter states in red, Ford in blue

drozz said...

that illustration is nealy the same shape as china

Peter said...

Except, the "I stand with Walker" yard signs are ... blue.

Teri said...

I imagine that the lefties were also influenced by "redneck."

chickenlittle said...

Rebranding as blue -->

Matthew said...

The story I've heard in Political Science Departments (and repeated at David Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections) is that Blue was the color of the incumbent and red was the challenger. However, in 2000 the maps stayed up so long, everyone associated the colors with the parties and they just kinda stuck that way.

Indigo Red said...

The two colors didn't always depict a particular party. Blue was the incumbent, red the challenger. The Carter/Ford race was Democrat red and Republican blue. Before that, JFK Dems was blue while Nixon Reps were red. Other colors have also been used by the various partys.

Colors were most often used to help illiterate voters to vote the "party ticket" before individual candidates were all the rage.

The Red/Blue color palette became static in the Bush/Gore campaign possibly because of a Texas tradition going back to the 1870s when red was assigned to the Republican Party and blue to the Democrats specifically to help illiterate Hispanic voters. When Bush and Gore came along, Bush chose red as his campaign color and Gore chose blue which corresponded with the color scheme of the news network's red is challenger, blue is incumbent - Gore was the VP after all.

traditionalguy said...

The Commies make us blue when we wake up and discover we are poor and the blue masters have us enslaved.

Then the patriots turn the color of the war planet Mars, the Roman god of revenge.

I still want an answer on why Homeland Security needs to erect concentration camps fed by railroad lines and put on order 500 million rounds of military grade ammunition

Farrakhan and Obama are two peas in a pod visionaries, and they see a coming civil uprising of citizens against the Federal Government.

The only disarmed groups today are the American soldiers on military bases. Why are the Obama guys afraid of them?

Andrew X said...

Yeah, it is a little odd that I thought of China at first glance at that map.

Now, about the red-blue. I think people are a bit over-thinking and/or over-researching it. I would have to verify, but I really don't think those terms were used at all before the 2000 election. Then... an interesting fact, both FOX news and the Washington Times (which I have saved) used blue for GOP and red for Dems. All the other networks used the reverse. Reason? I leave that for another day.

The primary fact to keep in mind is that those maps stayed on our TV screens, and in our faces, for about six straight weeks! THAT alone is what set the color scheme into our culture and consciousness. And of course, MSM being MSM, they didn't start tossing around FOX's color choice for brevity in punditry.... thus it became "red states" and "blue states".

And frankly, I really don't think there's a whole lot more to it than that.

JSF said...

That map was also used in the movie, "Southland tales,"

Weird.

Fen said...

Now, about the red-blue. I think people are a bit over-thinking and/or over-researching it. I would have to verify, but I really don't think those terms were used at all before the 2000 election.

They were. Blue was for the incumbent party (whoever held the Presidency), Red for the opposition.