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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:31 PM
Original message
The Red State/Blue State Meme
I first encountered it as a Republican talking point in the wake of the 2000 election. Embarrassed by Bush's loss of the popular vote, his minions were all over television pointing proudly to the red/blue map, declaring that the enormous stretch of red running from the Atlantic to the Sierra Nevada and from the Canadian border to the Mexican border proved that Bush was the real people's choice, unlike Gore, whose support mostly came from those small enclaves of latt-guzzling, cheese-gobbling "liberal elitists" huddled nervously on the coasts.

It was bullshit, of course--people vote, not empty land--but in the years since it seems that a lot of Democrats, liberals, progressives, etc. have taken it up and made it their own. Some have become downright obsessive about it.

This is a mystery to me because the whole red/blue thing:

  1. exaggerates both the GOP's strength and our weakness. (That's why the Republicans invented it.)

  2. obscures the rural/suburban vs. urban nature of the divide.

  3. obscures the class issues involved in voting.

  4. is extremely divisive.

  5. causes many to ignore the pressing need to have a functioning party in every state.

  6. exaggerates the importance of the White House at the expense of Congress and state and local governments.

So what's your take on this? Is the red/blue meme not as simplistic as it seems? Is there some way that it does benefit Democrats? Or is it time to give it back to the Republicans?
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. I agree with what you say.
However, it can also be useful to point out to those bloviating fools that the current red/blue state map very closely reflects the slave vs. free states just before the Civil War. The old slave states, of course, became today's "red" states. Coincidence? Not so much -- more of an embarrassing reality.
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yes, all the states are actually purple. Except for Utah. Bush voters are
still idiots.
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Ksec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. that map is misleading
The population of NYC is more than (practically) the whole midwest.All the major population centers are Democratic.

One of our cities trumps most of their states in pop.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Exactly--so why do so many Democrats live and breathe that map?
We have nothing to gain and much to lose from this simplistic and deceptive talking point, but many of us sure do love it.
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. do away with the Electoral College,
that'll put a damper on things a bit. No entirely, cause they still can live on their hate for another 50 yrs.
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boobooday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. Totally in agreement
The red state/blue state meme is a CROCK. Not only that, it is counter-productive for us.
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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
7. Well, if you are a progressive who lives in Alabama, you
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 10:06 PM by Dhalgren
might be inclined to recognize the "red" nature of your state. Even the Democrats down here are regressive "near-Republicans"...
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Well, I am a native of Alabama, so I know the place pretty well.
I also know that there are quite a few Democrats there, even if they are not up to your standards, and that pretending they do not exist doesn't help us in any way I can imagine, though it certainly helps the Republicans.
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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. If there is a majority of Democrats in Alabama, and our
state legislature is majority "Democrat", then a whole bunch of them vote Republican. So, yeah, they don't "live up to my standards". If they are going to vote Republican, why not "pretend they do not exist" - at least as Democrats...
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Would you prefer to have the legislature in Republican hands?
Then they can do some Texas-style redistricting and ensure that no Democrat ever has a voice in Alabama again. Personally, I would rather have good liberals in those seats, but if it's not going to happen--and it's not--then I will take conservative Democrats over jackbooted fascists.

But back to the subject of the thread: how does it benefit Democrats to adopt a Republican talking point?



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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
11. This is a ridiculous premise. Many progressives live in the
South and we work very hard to get dems elected. In Kentucky the Republican House would screw the world if the Dem Senate did not stop them. We almost beat Bunning with a virtual newcomer in 2004. We have the first Pug guv in 30 years and he has been such a disaster that probably we won't have another for another 30. At least I hope so. Stop with the Civil War. That was 150 years ago. Every part of the country has conservatives (who conserve nothing) and liberals. Live and let live, why don't you? I worked very hard for Gore and Kerry and I do not like my efforts minimized and demeaned by people who haven't a clue what we do here.
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