WASHINGTON – Call it the electoral map color counter-coup.
There once was a day when Democrats were red and Republicans were blue.
WND thinks that was apt, and, beginning today, it will be reflected in the 2016 electoral map at the oldest independent online news source.
That, of course, is exactly the opposite of what the rest of the media do in lockstep – from television stations to networks to the printed pages and even the bloggers.
But WND is resisting the change to what the New York Times called the “international tradition” and will have the Republican states on election night 2016 represented in blue, and the left, liberal or progressives – the Democrats – in red.
This is how WND images will appear:
WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah has written about the issue several times, including during the 2012 election.
The fact that media outlets are using blue to represent leftists, he said, “Illustrates how the Democrats have their way with the media – every time.”
A webpage for City University of New York explains that before the 2000 election, the color scheme “used to be reversed.”
The New York Times wrote a few years after that election that since 2000, there had been created a “harmonic maxim [that] Democratic states are blue, and Republican states are red.”
But, the Times reported, that “international tradition … associates red with left-leaning parties and blue with the right.”
Explained the report: “Online political discussion groups buzz with conspiracy theories about the maps, suggesting that Republican states were made red because that color typically represents the enemy on military combat maps, or because red has more negative psychological baggage (fiery, dangerous) than friendly, pacific blue.
“Others have thought it simply a naïve attempt to avoid trafficking in stereotypes (Democrats are Reds, or socialists).”
In 1980, television anchor David Brinkley said, “It’s beginning to look like a suburban swimming pool,” as blue light after blue light twinkled in recognition of a Reagan landslide.
Time magazine in 1988 used Republican blue and Democratic red, as did most others, and it “stayed with that motif even through the 2000 election,” the report said. The National Atlas of the United States then put Bush counties in blue and Gore in red.
The politically correct online Wikipedia has gone all in on the change to the Democratic-blue, Republican-red theme.
“Red states and blue states refer to those states of the United States whose residents predominantly vote for the Republican Party (red) or Democratic Party (blue) presidential candidates. Since 2000, use of the term has been expanded to differentiate between states being perceived as liberal and those perceived as conservative,” the site explains.
But even it notes that that color standard, “reverses a long-standing convention of political colors whereby red symbols … are associated with left-wing politics, and right-wing movements often choose blue.”
The site explains: “Before the 2000 presidential election, the traditional color-coding scheme was ‘Blue for Republican, Red for Democrat,’ in line with European associations (red is used for left-leaning parties). The colors red and blue also are part of the colors of the U.S. flag. Traditional political mapmakers, at least throughout the 20th century, have used blue to represent the modern-day Republicans, and the Federalists who preceded them. This may have been a holdover from the American Civil War, during which the predominantly Republican north was considered ‘blue.'”
There have been exceptions, the site notes, such as “one historical use, associated with boss rule, of blue for Democrats and red for Republicans.”
WND’s Joseph Farah wrote, outlining the problem, “Folks like me, old enough to remember when red states meant Democrat and blue states meant Republican, probably still get confused from time to time about the terminology.”
He ascribed the abrupt reversal, as reported by the Washington Post, to “the late Tim Russert, a respected television interviewer, but one who worked formerly for Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick, Moynihan of New York.”
“The former system made more sense and was deliberately changed by media partisans who didn’t like to suggest Democrats should be associated with the color red.”
He continued: “I’m not making this up. In fact, even the predictably leeward-tilting Wikipedia acknowledges the newly adopted U.S. hue standard stands in stark contrast to the system of political colors in most other countries that bother to hold elections.”
He explained that Reagan, especially, was highlighted by blue states, since he was emphatically anti-red.
“Democrats were at least soft on communism and socialism in the post JFK-LBJ world. Republicans tended to be anti-communist. It was all perfectly understandable, accurate and had both historical precedent to support it as well as contemporary parallels in other countries.”
In fact, in 2016, the Communist Party USA has advocated enthusiastically for Hillary Clinton.
So for 2016, as with 2008 and 2012, WND “will stand apart and refuse to use the ‘red-state-blue-state’ paradigm in news coverage because it will not be a part of the obvious manipulation behind it,” he confirmed.
“Words mean things. Symbols, too, have meaning. Why is it that I get confused about what someone means when they say, for instance, ‘California is a blue state and Texas is red.’ I get confused because it makes no sense! I don’t think I’m alone. I would propose to you that most people my age or older feel the same way. We all know California is red and Texas is blue. That makes sense.”