posted by Chris Bray @ 7:39 PM
Chris; I wasn't surprised to see Malkin post this, but I thought you would see through it better. There are lots of little things on it to quibble with (Maine, where Kerry won every congressional district, only shows Red and Grey?!!), but the bottom line is that it equates a rural county in Wyoming that might be home to a few thousand people with a county that happens to also be a major city with millions of people. Land doesn't deserve or get representation, people do! The purpose of misleading pictures like this is to try to reflect a close election as a landslide. Please don't cooperate with the propogandists.Mojo
I'm pretty confident that Malkin posted it for a different reason. It struck me in a visceral, immediate way: whole lot of red. It's incredibly stark -- rural and much of suburban America on one side, urban and some of suburban America on the other. The country is a lot more divided than the electoral college count suggests. We've evolved two radically different cultures that have stopped talking to one another altogether. I'm sure not celebrating that.
I don't agree with your view of what Malkin was trying to show (her title was "Red and Blue America" with "and Blue" struck out). But I certainly accept that your intent was different and completely unrelated to her post. Sorry for the misunderstanding.This issue relates to a pet peeve of mine. I'm one of those radicals who favors direct election of the President. With the system we have now, any conservative in a strongly Blue state or any liberal in a strongly Red state is completely marginalized. On the other hand, the small number of additional people in one or the other parties in a closely divided state are essentially represented by the entire state's electors. I understand the historical reasons for the electoral college system, but I don't think it's effective any more. Most of our interests aren't State-level interests today. Our country is far more "one nation" now than the relatively loose republic of more or less independent States that was originally envisioned. (And that happened because it worked much better for everyone.) I was hoping for a Bush victory in the popular vote and a Kerry victory in the electoral college so that both parties would be motivated to push for a constitutional amendment to change our system. Some doubt that smaller states would ratify such an amendment, but I think they would see that it was actually to their benefit. Presidential campaigns could hardly pay less attention to states like Hawaii, Montana, Alaska, etc. than they do today and, in direct voting in a close election where even the votes of a couple of small states could tip the balance, politicians could no longer ignore the interests of their residents. (I also favor a runoff in cases where no candidate gains a majority so that people would feel more free to vote for the candidate they really like rather than the one they think most likely to get elected, but that's a topic for a different day.)Mojo
Sorry, I was unclear. What I meant to say is that I'm pretty sure Malkin was posting it for a different reason than the reason I posted it. My ability to communicate in writing depends pretty directly on the amount of coffee I've put into my body.
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A blog written by increasingly few graduate students in the UCLA history program.
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