Red State, Blue State, One Sustainable Bluefish

Since the presidential election of 2000, Republican and Democratic states have been represented on TV and in the press by red (Republican) and blue (Democratic).

Though the Federal Election Commission’s 2004 election report used the same coding, it hasn't always been that way.

Actually, prior to that, the opposite colors were usually used. Ronald Reagan’s blue states were called a “lake” in 1980.

What caused this switch?

The answer doesn't seem to be clear. A piece in The Washington Post once gave part of the reason as a decision made in the NBC graphics department and also to a joke by David Letterman. Letterman make a joke during that long 2000 recount period that they might “make George W. Bush President of the red states and Al Gore head of the blue ones.”

Anyway, the shift occurred and “red” and “blue” state thinking seems to be part of our election lexicon now.

Which also leads me to think about Dr. Seuss. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish is a 1960 children's book by Dr. Seuss. It's a simple rhyming book for learner readers about a boy and a girl and their amazing creature friends and pets.

I came across it again recently when I was researching a piece for my Endangered New Jersey blog about sustainable fishing practices.

Following in this fishy stream (of consciousness) I stumbled upon the Smithsonian Institution's Sustainable Seafood website. This site complements One Fish, Two Fish, Crawfish, Bluefish - The Smithsonian Sustainable Seafood Cookbook. (See, there is a Seuss connection.) It's an interesting site about the seafood you might enjoy at dinner.

We generally think of seafood as a healthy choice, but not all fish and shellfish that are available in today's markets and restaurants are good choices from an environmental perspective.

1 comment:

  1. One curiosity of associating red with the political right and blue with the left is that it bucks historical precedent. Red has long been the color of revolution, Socialism, and Communism (red Russia, red China, reds under the bed), yet red is also regal and was the uniform of British soldiers in the Revolutionary War (the Continental army sported
    blue). In heraldry, red signifies magnanimity and fortitude; in
    folklore, red is linked to magic. Blue is associated with the
    aristocracy (blue blood), the sea, the sky, and constancy (true blue).
    Yet it is also the color of depression, and was worn by the lower classes: servants, paupers, charity-school boys, and licensed beggars.
    In military planning, allied troops are blue and enemy troops are red - thus "friendly fire" is known as "blue on blue."