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Why are republicans red?


Ben No.3

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It actually used to be the other way around in the '80's. Don't read anything into it. There is no hidden messages there. Red, White, Blue, not much in the way of choices.

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"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

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There is more to that story than I knew

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

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It's not red because the love of blood for the blood god? For shame :(

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Traditionally in Europe, right is blue and left is red. Red has been the color of socialism long before the russian revolution and since most big left-wing parties in western Europe take roots in some kind of labor movement the color stuck.

 

In France, the conservative right is born from Orleanism, a constitutional monarchist movement, and blue was the color of the Kingdom of France. Plus, blue and red have a nice contrast and imitates the French flag. In the U.K, I've read somewhere than they used to be blue-white-red like the Union Jack but since the Labour took red, they picked blue to differentiate themselves. 

 

I guess this became kind of a standard somehow because when Spain started its democratic transition in the 80's, the new-found parties used the same color scheme. Germany is a big exception since the christian-conservatives use black ; but despite the big influence of Germany in the European institutions, the left and right use the usual red and blue in the European Parliament, plus yellow for the liberal centrists.

 

So why is it the other way around in the U.S ? The one big similarity between Europe and the U.S is how they like to use the countries' colors, namely blue, white and red. But unlike its European peers, the Democratic Party does not come from any socialist or unionist movement of any sort. In its first decades, it wasn't even a progressist party at all. 

 

I dug a bit into this and was suprised to find out that neither the democratic nor the republic party actually used blue and red until very recently. During election night 2000, TV broadcasts used "red states" and "blue states" for infographics showing which states have been won by either Bush or Al Gore.

 

So republicans became red because journalists randomly picked a color from the American flag. And I'm officially disappointed.

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Formerly, it was the tradition of the media to alternate red and blue between the political parties, usually along the lines of incumbent being blue, opposition red. This changed in 1980, when in the wake of the Reagan landslide, the news declared, "A red wave engulfed the country." Red became identified with Reagan, and hence the GOP by extension. The "Red states" moniker thus includes allusion to the areas of the country formerly Democrat strongholds that the Reagan Revolution turned more or less permanently GOP. Blue States originally referred to those that maintained allegiance to their traditional coalition. But neither has ties to the traditional Euro meaning, rather the accident of history that was the 1980 demolition of Carter. 

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