fisted hand holding red flag aloftIs there a reason why “red” in the US means the conservative party, and “blue” means the more socially aware party, the party more closely aligned with people who aren’t wealthy already? See, I tend to start with the assumption that the world is mostly the way it is round here (clearly foolish, but a hard one to throw) so I thought that red was the global symbol of labour, communism, socialism, social democracy, revolution. You know, Stryk kristenkorset av ditt flagg og heis det rent og r??dt!. The red menace. Mao’s little red book. Here in Norway we have reds, greens, blues but they’re all the opposite of what they might be in the States, it seems. Bakvendtland, der kan alt g?• an. I get so confused looking at that map of red and blue states and having to remind myself that Texas is not going to vote socialist. Not even for the Democrats.

8 thoughts on “why is bush red?

  1. […] d me, too

    Katja @ 15.03

    Jill has pointed out the essential weirdness of the Republicans being red and the Democrats being blue. Now I […]

  2. Ryan Freebern

    The colours used to be what you said – red for Democrats, blue for Republicans. Last election, though, they got swapped somehow. Now we’re backwards with that, like we’re backwards in so many other ways.

  3. Alexander

    More on that at Google Answers.

  4. bicyclemark

    Two things: 1 – Regardless of what google answers says, I believe it was a media trend that got hot in the 2000 election. Since then its become part of political language, like flip-flopping.

    2- Anyone notice how according to that map/data, KErry has surged ahead? Weird. Very Weird.

  5. Matt

    Bizzare. According to what I read the colors [sic] used to swap every election, but they seem to have stuck in the culture now. No more logical than the donkey/elephant iconography.

  6. Anthony

    Yes – the colors are not coordinated to political party, unlike European or Canadian parties. They were media creations. I am not 100% positive, but I seem to recall that they chose red in 2000 for Dubya cause those states were likely to be “heartland” states (i.e. middle of country) and blue for the Democrats/Gore as they were likely to be bicoastal (i.e., east and west coasts). “Red States” and “Blue States” then began a life of their own to represent the polarity that has been in place ever since.

  7. H?•kon Styri

    You’re both right and wrong. The colors assigned to the democrats and republicans wasn’t static until 2000. I guess Tom Zeller’s story in the New York Times should set the record straigt.

    We can only guess why the color system suddenly seems to be fixed. One wild guess would be that some influential Texans have brought back an old tradition:
    “Colorados y Azules was a color classification system used to designate political parties in South Texas to assist illiterate or Spanish-speaking voters to use English-language ballots from the 1870s to around 1920.”

  8. Paul JJ Payack

    Checkout the Global Language Monitor and our PQ Index to see what happened and why linguistically during the election.

    Kind regards, Paul JJ Payack

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