Republicans need to start objecting to being called 'red'
Terms used in politics today have an interesting provenance. The terms "left-wing" and "right-wing" date from the French Revolution. In the early days of that conflict, the opposing parties met in the National Assembly and debated. The French radicals wanted to destroy the entire fabric of society. The other major faction wanted to keep what was more traditional and to maybe curtail the king. The debates were so heated that they could no longer stand to be near each other in the same room. The radicals began sitting in the left wing of the assembly and the more conservative group in the right wing. Of note is that those in the right wing were not extremists, but those in the left wing were. In other words, the right wing was not the extreme opposite of the left.
The communist revolution in Russia adopted the red flag for its movement. Lenin loved that it symbolized the shedding of blood for their so-called Marxist Utopia. Variations on the red flag were universally adopted for these extremists. We have terms like Red China, Red Square, the Red Scare, and the phrase "better dead than red." Americans, through most of the twentieth century, used the word "red" for people with communist leanings. Children born of communist parents were called red diaper babies.
The Democrat Party has been morphing into the Socialist Party, and it is now accelerating that change. But an annoying twist in terminology started in the year 2000. The presidential election that year was contentious, as we all remember. On election night, the New York Times and USA Today began using color codes for states that were electoral victories for Democrats and Republicans. They chose blue for the Democrat wins and red for the Republican wins. They claimed that is because "Republican" and "red" both begin with R. I do not believe that for one minute. I suspect they wanted to deflect the red label from the Democrats (that they deserve) to help disguise their burgeoning radical agenda.
I can hardly believe that the Republicans did not contest being labeled red. And remember that the color blue often connotes fidelity to a cause, as in a true blue patriot.
It is time to discard the terms of "left-wing" and "right-wing" because they imply that both are extreme. What we have now is a radical agenda and a conservative agenda, just like the French Revolution. And Republicans should refuse the label of "red state." It should go to the party that believes in the Red State.
Roger Taylor is a physician in private practice and a self-proclaimed patriot.
Image via Max Pixel.
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