Red, white and blue

Can we just stop using this simplistic red state-blue state thing, or admit that all it can responsibly refer to is "states that went for Bush in 2000 (and Florida)/states that went for Gore in 2000"?

There are too many irritating things about this paradigm to name, but the one that bugs me the most is its racism: it assumes that everyone, or everyone who matters politically, is white. You're either white and middle-class and rural and Republican, or white and upper-middle class and urban and Democratic.

(The fact that this does not explain David Brooks -- the biggest purveyor of this nonsense -- himself seems to have escaped him.)

Perhaps all this interest in the political behavior of whites is because it's whites who seem to vote against their own interests -- elites for Democrats and less well-off folks for Republicans. But if you figure race into the equation you might say that whites vote for the party that does or doesn't pay attention to the votes, and the interests, of African and Latino Americans, depending on whether the whites see those interests as connected or not connected to theirs.


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