Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Red or Blue - Who are you?

A lot of people seem to be defining themselves as red or blue these days. If you live in a red state, you might just be red because it is self preservation. People like to hide in groups and not stand out, especially politically. You may need to pretend to be red in a red state because you might need it for business networking purposes. It's the survival of the fittest syndrome. You have to be red to win almost any state office in South Dakota.

There are, of course, people who have been red or blue all their lives and they will never change their party affiliation. But with being red, it's like an inheritance thing, handed down from one generation to the next. It's almost heretical to think or feel you might be something other than red in South Dakota.

There is an interesting article in the Washington Post about the era of single party control nationally. What is clear to me is that with single party control, comes single minded policies that don't serve the entire population of the state. There is a clear distinction between red and blue policies when it comes to economic, fiscal and social policies. But what seems to be lacking is a balance.

If you are red, you think the blues are downright evil and hell bent on destroying this country and the constitution. If you are blue, especially in South Dakota, you are struggling for your last breath, turning bluer by the minute and dying a slow painful death.

I hate being defined by the color red or blue. I think of myself as an American first. I can see the merits in the policies of the red and the blue although I have to admit as I have become older, I have turned more blue than red. I didn't inherit the red gene from my Dad who wore the color red his entire life. I like to read both sides of the red and blue commentary - I like to watch the red and blue commentary on TV. I strive to be a color palette that is balanced but it is becoming harder and harder when I face intolerance and single mindedness that drowns out the hue of the political spectrum.

What happened to our politicians who define themselves as red or blue first and Senator or Representative or Governor second? This notion that you must say no to a blue President on everything when you are red has created an ugliness that is disturbing and which has shut down government, turned family, friends and acquaintances against each other and turned social media into lies and half truths that nobody seems able to discern as fact or fiction.

If you are blue in South Dakota, you will be blue alone, never able to get a seat at the table. If you are red in South Dakota, you never have to justify anything because being red means saying no and not even having to put an effort into it. Just being red makes it so right.

Purple is a nice color. Let's make purple together. There is room at table for everyone. It would be nice to see purple in Congress and at the State level. I can at least dream in purple about what might be instead of what can't get done being red or blue.


  1. "The Color Purple", good movie, good concept for SD. Might work East River SD, but West River SD it would be about as popular as prairie dogs.

  2. Good thoughts, Jennifer. Step 1: talk to each other. Red doesn't stay red and blue doesn't stay blue if the colors are in contact.

  3. PrairieLady - GayleJanuary 2, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Nice to see you back Jen! I always looked at a mix of red and blue in government because I thought it was a good system of checks and balances, but guess that is being naïve on my part.