Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Roses Are Republican, Violets Are Democrat

I remember when that whole Red Versus Blue state stuff started thirteen years ago. It was a convenient way for television news to depict voting trends along cleverly color-coded lines: Red meant Republican, Blue meant Democrat. Back at the turn of the century, Colorado was holding at a pretty strong shade of vermillion. I tried to comfort myself with the notion that I lived in one of those coastal blue zones, where liberals like myself felt free to let our freak flag fly. A well-tempered donkey on a field of blue.
Having grown up in the liberal bastion of Boulder, Colorado, it was always confusing to me how the rest of the state could be so very conservative. Time and perspective have given me a clearer view of the place where I was born. Looking at the map with a county-by-county view, it became easy to see the pockets of resistance that were represented by places like my hometown and a hippie enclave like Aspen. That's probably why Barack Obama and his team decided to drop their convention right into the heart of that previously blood-red stronghold. Mile High Stadium was, for the Democrats, a little like New York in that moment: If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And sure enough, when election night 2008 was over, the graphics department had to paint over that rectangle in the middle. Colorado had gone blue-y.
That's been the trend in the politics over there for the past five years or so. Legalizing marijuana and passing gun control legislation that would certainly make many of those disgruntled, red to the core folks grumble and moan. Well, now they can do more than that: they can secede. Even though the U.S. Constitution says, “No new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress,”there are still those who would like to see a more right-thinking state of "Northern Colorado." Conveniently, it is the upper right hand corner of the rectangle that wants to bolt, which would leave all the lefties to continue their blue-tinged pursuits.
Of course, there are those who would like to buck this bi-colored trend. In 2013, color shouldn't matter, right? Or maybe it's more important than I fully understand.

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