US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

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US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby apricity » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:52 am UTC

I think this is the best-fitting subforum for this:
http://democraticactionteam.org/redstatesocialism/

Basically, blue states overwhelmingly tend to give more in taxes than they receive back from the federal government. Red states take more than they give. If socialism is so bad to these red staters, shouldn't they only take as much as they give in taxes, and not accept this blatant redistribution of wealth?
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:03 am UTC

It's a very fair point, but there are plenty of others, too--like this one where someone points out that, hey, under this definition, Reagan was a socialist too--or pointing out that McCain's talked about wealth distribution being a GOOD thing in the past--or even pointing out that there's nothing wrong with a little socialism (seriously, Sweden? Sweden is your nightmare scenario of rampant and godless socialism gone too far? What the fuck, McCain campaign?).

In the end, none of these are going to work because I'm pretty sure that the bulk of people this argument is aimed at were convinced all ready; "he's a socialist!" is probably just going to be the cover story to justify their far murkier reasoning.

Edit: Just editing this post to add: No, really, what the fuck?! SWEDEN!? That's the horror story? That's the goddamn Sodom and Gomorrah we have to avoid at all costs? Couldn't you have at least pointed at, God, I don't know, North Korea? I know they're supposed to be communists (I'm not even sure they're that much anymore), but it's not like it would have been a harder case to sell. I mean, Jesus Christ, I feel like a thirteen year old is running this campaign.

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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby roc314 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:30 am UTC

Alaska is number 3, hehehe. Vote Sarah Palin, not a socialist since 2004!
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Xeio » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:34 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I feel like a thirteen year old is running this campaign.
Oh no, he knows the secret, he must be... terminated. The Colbert Report did a pretty funny skit on this today though (about the campaign being a big joke McCain is pranking us with).

Also, socialism is just another buzz word, just like any other the McCain campaign has used lately. I don't think anyone wants a truly socialist society, but a purely anti-socialist society is probably pretty far from what people actually want too (goodbye social security and such?).

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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby roc314 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:43 am UTC

Xeio wrote: The Colbert Report did a pretty funny skit on this today though (about the campaign being a big joke McCain is pranking us with).
Yeah, but Colbert also endorsed Obama, so I'm not sure he's fair and balanced enough.
I don't think anyone wants a truly socialist society, but a purely anti-socialist society is probably pretty far from what people actually want too (goodbye social security and such?).
I wouldn't say that no one wants a socialist society, but I do agree that going to any extreme is probably much worse for the country is much worse than picking some position in the middle.

EDIT: Especially considering since nothing either candidate has proposed is close to true socialism.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Xeio » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:58 am UTC

roc314 wrote:
Xeio wrote: The Colbert Report did a pretty funny skit on this today though (about the campaign being a big joke McCain is pranking us with).
Yeah, but Colbert also endorsed Obama, so I'm not sure he's fair and balanced enough.
Did you watch that entire skit where he endorsed Obama? Because at the end he said he was voting for McCain, "Because you can endorse something without doing anything to support it". <_<

(I'm not actually sure what he intends to do though. I can't believe he is actually as 'silly' in real life as he is on TV, so that could be a big toss up.)
roc314 wrote:
I don't think anyone wants a truly socialist society, but a purely anti-socialist society is probably pretty far from what people actually want too (goodbye social security and such?).
I wouldn't say that no one wants a socialist society, but I do agree that going to any extreme is probably much worse for the country is much worse than picking some position in the middle.

EDIT: Especially considering since nothing either candidate has proposed is close to true socialism.
Ok, yea no-one is probably inaccurate, but most people don't want it (people are greedy), so there would be a lot of opposition to a truly socialist system. Also, I think it's funny that the ACTUAL socialist candidate was on The Colbert Report as well. :mrgreen:

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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby roc314 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:08 am UTC

Xeio wrote:
roc314 wrote:
Xeio wrote: The Colbert Report did a pretty funny skit on this today though (about the campaign being a big joke McCain is pranking us with).
Yeah, but Colbert also endorsed Obama, so I'm not sure he's fair and balanced enough.
Did you watch that entire skit where he endorsed Obama? Because at the end he said he was voting for McCain, "Because you can endorse something without doing anything to support it". <_<
But he did call for McCain to endorse Obama...
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Belial » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:55 am UTC

Xeio wrote:(I'm not actually sure what he intends to do though. I can't believe he is actually as 'silly' in real life as he is on TV


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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Jack Saladin » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:18 am UTC

OK, the definition of 'socialist' is not 'redistributes wealth'. The Democrats are not socialists. The Republicans are not socialists. Everybody stop using that word.

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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Mavketl » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:39 am UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:OK, the definition of 'socialist' is not 'redistributes wealth'. The Democrats are not socialists. The Republicans are not socialists. Everybody stop using that word.

Seriously. Listen to Saladin. I run into this all the fucking time, and it's driving me mad. MAD.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby LeopoldBloom » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:06 am UTC

Mavketl wrote:
Jack Saladin wrote:OK, the definition of 'socialist' is not 'redistributes wealth'. The Democrats and not socialists. The Republicans are not socialists. Everybody stop using that word.

Seriously. Listen to Saladin. I run into this all the fucking time, and it's driving me mad. MAD.


Thirded, americans are really bad at this, largely, I think, because the entire U.S mindset is set so far right (and yes, Obama is very rightwing, enough so to be seen as extreme in most countries whereas McCain and Palin [shudder] are off the radar altogether) that any vaguely moderate tendancies are immediately labbelled as socialist and therefore evil.

Now-Big question to solve my confusion-the title says "US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?", my initial reaction to this was -AND?. Thinking of red states as in the former USSR and other communist nations. Reading the posts though it seems this is clearly not the case (and assuming it doesnt refer to the former british empire [the other dominant 'Red state']) what is a "red state in terms of US politics? (I really need to stop triple clausing and over bracketing sentances[I'm doing scholarship english too{nested brackets are FUN!!}])

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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Mavketl » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:10 am UTC

LeopoldBloom wrote:What is a "red state" in terms of US politics?

A state with a majority of republican* voters.

*My own question: should one write Republican and Democrat, or republican and democrat? I've seen it with capitals a lot, but it makes no sense to me. Enlighten me please.
Last edited by Mavketl on Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:11 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Jack Saladin » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:11 am UTC

In this thread people aren't even just calling "moderate" policies socialism, they seem to think that "taking more tax than you give back" is socialism. What was described in the first post is the opposite of socialism. Socialism does not mean "steal everyone's money and then spend it on luxury cars". That is, depending on the technicalities of who's doing it, free market capitalism or state capitalism. Socialism does not even begin to enter into this discussion.

My own question: should one write Republican and Democrat, or republican and democrat? I've seen it with capitals a lot, but it makes no sense to me. Enlighten me please.

Capitals, obviously. I'm referring to the American Republican Party. Small "r" republican is an entirely different word. I am a republican - I strongly believe Aotearoa should break away from the monarchy and become a republic. I'm certainly not a Republican.

Same goes for Democrat. A small "d" democrat is a proponent of democracy, not a member of the American Democratic Party.

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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby existential_elevator » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:17 am UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:In this thread people aren't even just calling "moderate" policies socialism, they seem to think that "taking more tax than you give back" is socialism. What was described in the first post is the opposite of socialism. Socialism does not mean "steal everyone's money and then spend it on luxury cars". That is, depending on the technicalities of who's doing it, free market capitalism or state capitalism. Socialism does not even begin to enter into this discussion.


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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Jack Saladin » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:18 am UTC

It is my sad belief that America will never get over McCarthyism.

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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Hawknc » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:23 am UTC

Except these days, "reds under the bed" just refers to Republicans trying to legislate what you can and cannot do in the privacy of your own bedroom.

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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby LeopoldBloom » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:25 am UTC

Saladin- totally off topic- but is your signature from Smith's Dream? or am I beind delusional again?

"A state with a majority of republican* voters." But red is the marxist colour, Isnt It? Head Hurts.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Jack Saladin » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:26 am UTC

Delusional. It's from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

"A state with a majority of republican* voters." But red is the marxist colour, Isnt It? Head Hurts.

Communist/socialist colour, more accurately, and that's exactly why the colours are reversed in America. The Democrats could never risk looking like commies, while the Republican's don't have to worry about that.

I've made this exact post before somewhere.

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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby JimBot! » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:02 am UTC

You know what's possibly quite amusing?

My name is McCarthy and I was a member of the Socialist Workers Party, way back. Got some funny looks at the first few meetings, I can tell you.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby EsotericWombat » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:26 pm UTC

Fuck off, Saladin. You're missing the point.

No one is actually claiming that states taking more federal tax dollars than they give out is actual socialism. Just that it conforms to the "redistribution of wealth=socialism" definition espoused by the Republican Party late in the game. Red staters are calling us socialists, while their states are supported by our tax dollars. What is being said is that if redistribution of wealth is socialism and socialism is evil, can we have our money back?
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby 22/7 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:54 pm UTC

Deep breaths, EW. Surely you understand how someone could get frustrated by the constant and incorrect use of a term like socialism?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Indon » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:23 pm UTC

The stats strike me as an unrelated phenomenon anyway.

Since states would be expected to get distributions of federal funding based on their population, it makes sense that wealthier states spend more and poorer states get more, comparatively.

All the chart's saying is that republican states tend to have lower taxable incomes than democratic ones.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Garm » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:28 pm UTC

The claim of socialism come from this idea that Obama is floating regarding Payroll Tax Credits. I keep arguing with my conservative friends about this. They seem to have this idea that Obama is going to take tax revenue and give it to lower income folk in the form of these credits. That's not how I read the policy but I can't really explain it to them. Can anyone weigh in on this issue? I'm really thinking that you won't be able to get more money out of the system than you pay in and all the stupid socialism talk is just the latest republican bugaboo. Can't seem to find the solid information that I need.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Indon » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:48 pm UTC

Garm wrote:They seem to have this idea that Obama is going to take tax revenue and give it to lower income folk in the form of these credits.


Welfare isn't socialism, either. You could even privatize/contract welfare management - there's no way it'd be a good idea, but still.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby segmentation fault » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:54 pm UTC

Obama isnt going to do anything different with your taxes. the only difference is where he gets the taxes from. how this is even called redistribution is beyond me. nevermind socialism.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Indon » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:25 pm UTC

segmentation fault wrote:Obama isnt going to do anything different with your taxes. the only difference is where he gets the taxes from. how this is even called redistribution is beyond me. nevermind socialism.


Taxing the rich is wealth redistribution, because the rich Republican Party want you to think that the poor benefit more from federal taxes than they do.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Vaniver » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:26 pm UTC

I find it amusing that the actual socialism going on (that is to say, government control of capital) hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread. If Bush was actually opposed to socialism, he would have vetoed the bail-out bill.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Garm » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:28 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:I find it amusing that the actual socialism going on (that is to say, government control of capital) hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread. If Bush was actually opposed to socialism, he would have vetoed the bail-out bill.


This is oh so true. This is a point of hypocrisy that always galls me. It bugs me that people complain so mightily about populist welfare while corporate "welfare" balloons out of control.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby EsotericWombat » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:11 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Deep breaths, EW. Surely you understand how someone could get frustrated by the constant and incorrect use of a term like socialism?


Sure I understand it. What I don't understand is the need to be a total dick to those of us invested in the US elections overcoming the ability to recognize a rather obvious proof by contradiction.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby roc314 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:04 pm UTC

Indon wrote:The stats strike me as an unrelated phenomenon anyway.

Since states would be expected to get distributions of federal funding based on their population, it makes sense that wealthier states spend more and poorer states get more, comparatively.

All the chart's saying is that republican states tend to have lower taxable incomes than democratic ones.

To be fair, many of the red states are also in the Mid-West, which is big on farming. Farming receives a lot of subsidies, so that probably tilts the statistic even more.
Vaniver wrote:I find it amusing that the actual socialism going on (that is to say, government control of capital) hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread. If Bush was actually opposed to socialism, he would have vetoed the bail-out bill.
That's really even true socialism either. It's a bastardization of capitalism and socialism where the government controls the money and gives it to the wealthy. Just the first sentence on the Wikipedia page contradicts this as socialism: "Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society". Missing the second half, eh?
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Ixtellor » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:36 pm UTC

Both McCain and Obama favor a progressive tax system. The entire socialist argument is totally invalid.

No democrat even has the guts to recommend much less legislate any socialist platform.

Obama's healthcare plan is socialist lite at Best.


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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Darkscull » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:57 pm UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:
22/7 wrote:Deep breaths, EW. Surely you understand how someone could get frustrated by the constant and incorrect use of a term like socialism?


Sure I understand it. What I don't understand is the need to be a total dick to those of us invested in the US elections overcoming the ability to recognize a rather obvious proof by contradiction.


A total dick?

methinks someone's taking things a bit personally.

I think there is a very big need to put your foot down concerning the misuse of terms like this.

I mean, sure, the points (and I use the term loosely) the republicans make where they misuse the term still need to be answered, but by not pointing out the misuse of the term at the same time you're just propagating the misconceptions around socialism and other things they make up stuff about.

It is quite possible to do both you know, and laziness does come with a price in these cases, eventually anyway, when a 5 year old child can get their parents arrested for calling them socialists :razz:
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby EsotericWombat » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:27 pm UTC

Take a look at the sticky he put in this forum in regards to the presidential election. He's being a dick.

And what I'm saying is that you'd have to be a fucking idiot to actually take this argument as anything other than a means of neutralizing the other. It's not misuse. It's highlighting misuse by bending the argument back onto the people making it. You'll find plenty of posts in other threads (probably by the same people that Saladin is chastising) highlighting the misuse of the term. This is just a different (and probably more effective) tack when it comes to talking to people who actually buy the "socialist" frame and can't be convinced otherwise. I have an uncle who I was able to get to shut up about the socialist label using this argument, after a lengthy explanation of what socialism actually means failed. It's a valuable tool when discussing it with the sort of people who are either undecided or leaning McCain.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby 22/7 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

And if we take a step back away from the US for a second and realize that 1)the rest of the world has to watch/hear about/be affected by the political shit that we do on a regular basis, and if we take another second to realize that 2)we're way out right of basically the rest of the world and that this claim is being made in a derogatory way and that it basically claims to link one candidate or the other to practices that are, to a greater or lesser extent not irregularly practiced throughout the rest of the world, and then realize that 3)the rest of the world is waiting with baited breath to see who we elect to be our next president, pretty much whether they like it or not, you could see where something like this could be a "last straw" for a non-American. I have to admit, I'm pretty goddamn tired of listening to the election nonsense myself, and I'm a voting-aged American, so it's relevant shit to me. I can't imagine how bad that would be if I had to listen to it as much as I do and it was happening in a country that is literally on the other side of the world. I'm not saying he's not being a dick, he probably is, he usually is. But take a half step back and take a look at this whole thing from the point of view of someone living outside the US.

Now remember that they go through basically this exact same thing every four years, and each time, all the things that I talked about earlier get worse. Just put that in the background.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby EsotericWombat » Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:02 pm UTC

Then let me be more specific. You'd have to be a fucking idiot to take it as anything else if you happen to be someone who frequents the News and Articles forum here.

And I really take exception to the notion that someone outside the country is more bothered by this shit than I am.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby frezik » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:18 pm UTC

roc314 wrote:
Indon wrote:The stats strike me as an unrelated phenomenon anyway.

Since states would be expected to get distributions of federal funding based on their population, it makes sense that wealthier states spend more and poorer states get more, comparatively.

All the chart's saying is that republican states tend to have lower taxable incomes than democratic ones.

To be fair, many of the red states are also in the Mid-West, which is big on farming. Farming receives a lot of subsidies, so that probably tilts the statistic even more.


Also, for reasons going back to the reconstruction after the US Civil War, many of the most important military bases are in the South (B2 bombers are stationed in Missiouri, for instance). Some of the other non-southern states listed as Red on the op's link (like New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah) also hold key military installations.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby qinwamascot » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:30 pm UTC

roc314 wrote:Alaska is number 3, hehehe. Vote Sarah Palin, not a socialist since 2004!


Olbermann makes a good case that Palin is a socialist (by her own definition). :mrgreen:
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby apricity » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:24 am UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:No one is actually claiming that states taking more federal tax dollars than they give out is actual socialism. Just that it conforms to the "redistribution of wealth=socialism" definition espoused by the Republican Party late in the game. Red staters are calling us socialists, while their states are supported by our tax dollars. What is being said is that if redistribution of wealth is socialism and socialism is evil, can we have our money back?

Sorry, I should have made more clear in my original post that ^this is exactly what I meant. I thought it was interesting that in the definition of socialism that members of the Republican party have recently used, the red states are more socialist than the blue states. That's all.

And mod voice: Please don't resort to name-calling due to a difference in interpretation. If you've got a personal problem, deal with it over PM and don't use it to make a point. Thanks.
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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby Seraph » Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:46 pm UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:Delusional. It's from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

"A state with a majority of republican* voters." But red is the marxist colour, Isnt It? Head Hurts.

Communist/socialist colour, more accurately, and that's exactly why the colours are reversed in America. The Democrats could never risk looking like commies, while the Republican's don't have to worry about that.

I've made this exact post before somewhere.

I really hope this is suposed to be a joke. The current color scheme was chosen by journalists, and not by anyone really associated withe the parties. It was first mentioned by Tim Russert in 2000 and then fixed in place by the discussion of the aftermath of the 2000 elecction. For many of the previous elections the color schemes used were reversed. NBC, the first network to do a colored electoral map, used blue=republican, and red=democrat. When other networks started doing the same thing (it so popular when NBC did it that everyone tried to copy it) many of them would flip the colors. Heck durring the 80's and 90's ABC couldn't seem to make up their mind, using yellow/blue the first time, then switching to red/blue but sometimes between electrions they would switch which color refered to which party.

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Re: US: Are red states the true proponents of socialism?

Postby mosc » Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:14 pm UTC

qinwamascot wrote:
roc314 wrote:Alaska is number 3, hehehe. Vote Sarah Palin, not a socialist since 2004!


Olbermann makes a good case that Palin is a socialist (by her own definition). :mrgreen:

What an ass. He counters political exaggeration with even FURTHER exaggeration.
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