Why Are Democrat States Called 'Blue'?

Discussion in 'Education' started by PoliticalChic, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    “One of the most irritating things about the presidential election is the constant use of the term “red state” to describe those conservative states that tend to vote Republican and “blue state” to describe those liberal states that tend to vote Democrat. The red state blue state descriptions are inaccurate, unhistorical and confusing as red has long been the color identified with the left and blue the color of the right

    The color blue has long been associated with political conservatism. Blue is the color associated with Britain’s Conservative or Tory Party a party which according to Oxford historian Maurice Woods dates back to 1660 as the party or faction loyal to King Charles II. Phrase Finder credits the term “true blue” a term often used to describe conservatives to a color fast cloth made in Coventry England in the late Middle Ages. The term later morphed into a metaphor for political loyalty in the late 17th century.

    The historical association of the color red with the political left does not go back as far as the history of the identification of the color blue with the right, but the association has been stronger. Red was first used as a color to signify the political left by revolutionaries during the French Revolution in the late 18th century according to 19th century Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle.

    It was later used by revolutionaries in the wave of revolutions that swept Europe in 1848. The most known association was with the Soviet Communists during Russian Revolution in 1917. In the civil war that followed the revolution, the forces supporting the Soviet regime were known as the Reds, and the counter-revolutionaries were known as the Whites.

    Since that time, the color red has been used to signify other movements or regimes that were either left-wing or Communist, such as the Peoples’ Republic of China, which was long known in this country as Red China.

    According to the Washington Post as well as MSNBC’s web site it was the host of NBC’s, Tim Russert of “Meet the Press” fame who started using the terms “blue state” and “red state” to signify respectively states that vote Democratic and Republican. The use of these terms has taken off since that time and is now widely used to describe Democrats and Republicans. This is unfortunate because it runs so counter to the historical understanding of the political symbolism of the two colors”.
    The Daily Utah Chronicle - Republicans historically blue and democrats red


    Prior to the election of 2000, red stood for Democrats and blue for Republicans. Reagan’s ‘lake’ in 1980 turned blue.

    But sensitivity to the graphic association with the communist-socialist end of the spectrum appears to have been a cause for discomfort for Democrats and their lap dogs in the main stream press, and so an exercise in prestidigitation became necessary.

    Since the reversal defies logic, the original must have been a bit too close to the truth.
     
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  2. Truthmatters
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    Truthmatters BANNED

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    Democratic, you spelled it wrong
     
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  3. alan1
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    alan1 USMB Mod Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's another trick the MSM uses to subtly try and alter people.
    Red is color that indicates anger, no (as in red lights = don't go) and other "negative" connotations.
    Blue is a color that indicates calm, reassurance and openness.
    The MSM knows that and uses it to take advantage of pushing their agenda.
     
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  4. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    OK, you got me on a technicality...the accurate name is Democratic.

    And I'll plead guilty to using the pejorative. You know where I'm coming from.

    So I gave you a rep.
     
  5. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    It had been tradition from the early days of color tv to use blue for incumbent, red for challenger party. In 2000, that meant the Red states were republican. With the rise of the internet, folks began using the red state-blue state terminology in their cat fights over the internet over the 2000 election. It has stuck since then. I think the TV stations stuck with the red for R and blue for D this time round, even though it was not according to previous tradition.

    As to why blue states are Blue.... High taxes, lousy education systems, union control over the political process... They would make anyplace feel blue.
     
  6. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    "How has it come to this? What cosmic decorator did the states' colors, reducing a continental nation's complicated political and cultural realities to a two-tone palette?

    The answers are somewhat murky -- we may have to wait for a recount to be sure -- but it appears the 2000 election, NBC's graphics department and David Letterman all played critical roles.

    Before Bush's disputed victory over Al Gore four years ago, there was no consensus on the color of liberalism or conservatism. Indeed the scheme was often reversed, reflecting traditional European associations (red being not just the color of communism but of Great Britain's Labor Party, too).

    In 1976, NBC identified states won by Gerald Ford in blue and Jimmy Carter's states in red. On election night in 1980, ABC News showed Ronald Reagan's march to the White House as a series of blue lights on a map, with Carter's states in red. Time magazine assigned red to the Democrats and blue to the Republicans in its election graphics in every election from 1988 to 2000. The Washington Post's election graphics for the 2000 election were Republican-blue, Democrat-red. "

    Elephants Are Red, Donkeys Are Blue (washingtonpost.com)

    But, this agrees with your post:
    "The use of “red” and “blue” as color codes on maps of electoral results actually dates back to at least 1908, when the Washington Post printed a special supplement in which Republican states were colored red and Democratic blue The colors were apparently arbitrarily assigned in that case, although in later years both parties strove to claim blue (as in “true blue Americans”) and avoid red, with its connotations of radicalism."
    Word-Detective.com


    The question still remains: why as the red-blue designation become permanent?
     
  7. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    Why Are Democrat States Called 'Blue'?

    Blue - as in "true blue".

    Red - like "blood".
     
  8. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Brilliant.

    Just brilliant.
     
  9. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Sometime in the last 25 years they made the change, can not remember when. Used to be democrats were proud to be red. The press changed that at the behest of the democrats, you see Red can be a color associated with bad things. So once that started happening the Democrats wanted blue and got it. BUT the press is not biased.
     
  10. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    I'd Rather be dead than red.
     

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