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Why Are States So Red and Blue? -

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Regardless of who wins the presidential election, we already know now how most of the electoral map will be colored, which will be close to the way it has been colored for decades. Broadly speaking, the Southern and Western desert and mountain states will vote for the candidate who endorses an aggressive military, a role for religion in public life, laissez-faire economic policies, private ownership of guns and relaxed conditions for using them, less regulation and taxation, and a valorization of the traditional family. Northeastern and most coastal states will vote for the candidate who is more closely aligned with international cooperation and engagement, secularism and science, gun control, individual freedom in culture and sexuality, and a greater role for the government in protecting the environment and ensuring economic equality.


Going by this guy's thesis... Florida is not a farming-friendly region. Aside from citrus plantations, most agriculture is (and has historically been) ranching, and until the advent of air conditioning, very much a frontier area. Get more than a couple miles from the beach and it is most definitely the DEEP south!

Agreed that Florida is actually big enough to be two states, and it's split just about down the middle. Same with Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

But even in a deep blue state like California the split is 55/45 -- every state in the country has a lot of red and a lot of blue in it. State lines are less meaningful than county lines.

Pennsylvania, as one man infamous put it, is Philly on one side, Pittsburgh on the other, and Alabama in the middle.

Except that Lynryd Skynyrd never wrote a song called "Sweet Home Pennsylvania"...

I grew up in Pennsyltucky. I like it just fine; but yes, we don't have country roads, and we don't have sweet homes...but we had Allen Iverson.

So there's the Answer.

And Lynyrd Skynyrd isn't actually from Alabama... ;-)

Argh! Steven Pinker (a psychologist/linguist) should know better than to gloss over George Lakoff's "strict father" analysis in two sentences! If you're not already familiar with George Lakoff's (a linguist) work, well ... I'm not going to do it justice in a comment banged out on an iPad, but at least check out his Wkikpedia entry. I think it's one of the strongest analyses I know of for the red state/blue state social & cultural divide.

Pinker argued that Lakoff's propositions are unsupported and his prescriptions a recipe for electoral failure. He wrote that Lakoff was condescending and deplored Lakoff's "shameless caricaturing of beliefs" and his "faith in the power of euphemism". Pinker portrayed Lakoff's arguments as "cognitive relativism, in which mathematics, science, and philosophy are beauty contests between rival frames rather than attempts to characterize the nature of reality". Lakoff wrote a rebuttal to the review [11] stating that his position on many matters is the exact reverse of what Pinker attributes to him. Lakoff explicitly rejected, for example, the cognitive relativism and faith in euphemism described above, arguing in favor of a deeper understanding of rationality that discards the modal logic conceptualization of rational thought in favor of the better supported frame interpretation.[11]

Yeah, so that whole 2 sentences thing... :D

Florida sucks. I'm so happy I got away from there and I never even want to visit again.

Florida has it's own Fark tag for a reason ;-)

...and Rhode Island is insignificant, even though we're the national home of corruption ("mobstas and lobstas.") But even if we were hard-core like the President's Chicago's former slogan, "vote once, vote often," our two votes (or more) per capita still wouldn't add up to a half-pulse professor emeritus at the Electoral College.

Dawn, at least you have two senate seats.

Same as California even though we have 35 times as many people as you! :)

Yeah, but when you count up the amount each person in the district needs to spend to buy them, ours are too expensive. At least you can afford a fraction of a good, quality senator. Which is really important for business these days.

perhaps we should split California up?

Hmm...into what parts--agricultural/urban, East/West (like, the part that's going to fall into the ocean vs. the rest), liberal/really liberal? I think the politicians already tried to do it by language and that didn't work...

You could make Stanford it's own little island, but then how would anyone steal the axe? No, I think California is destined to be stuck together, just like Rhode Island is destined to be the state every geographically challenged individual thinks is part of New York, (no, that's "Long Island,") or the state everyone uses as a measure. ("The Colorado fire was the size of Rhode Island.")

Measuring things in Rhode Islands always mystifies me, because everyone tries so hard to avoid it that I wonder if people really understand the reference...but hey, we were talking about what to do with California.

I wonder... how many Libraries of Congress in a Rhode Island?

Since West Virginia in 1863, no state has been successfully created from parts of already existing states.

It's really hard to get the votes to do so.

How big is a Library of Congress?

Rhode Island is slightly over 1 million people.

Amazing that I've had the chance to make fun of Rhode Island in writing twice in one day. I'd say that's a good day. I don't know how big Library of Congress is--only ever dealt w the National Archives, and even there, I sent money and they sent me stacks of files with most of the stuff I needed blacked out.

I know that Rhode Island is 1M. But are you counting all the people who can drive, or who can pronounce words that end in the letter "r"? Cause then the # declines by quite a bit.

If you only count the people who can drive, every state is much smaller. :)

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