Monday, May 5, 2008

What do "Blue" and "Red" mean? (Part II)

In the previous post, I noted that there had been a complete shift in the "Democratic" and "Republican" designations of the parties, which was shortly followed by the change in colors. What do the colors really mean?

While I cannot prove this, and it may be unintentional, even subliminal, the colors have a meaning that follows certain values, it appears. I risk giving everything away at the beginning of this posting, but in a nutshell, the two competing values in our nation are neither "Republican" versus "Democratic," nor "liberal" versus "conservative." The colors represent "consumer" versus "producer." The old-time "red" Democrats were farmers and factory workers, teachers and police officers. They worked to build houses and buy land, and their main desire was to do this without debt. They fed the nation, built roads and communication networks, and eventually worked to launch a human being into space.

Consumers bought up corporations in order to take their resources. They looked for ways to eat more, buy more, and spend more. Entertainment is the main venue of consumers. Once, this was the venue of the blue Republican mind set, and they relied on the red Democratic producers to feed them, clothe them, and entertain them.

While it would be easy to say that the color shift represents a similar shift in party values, that would also be over-simplification. When I look at the last two GW Bush election maps, especially the one in 2000, colored by county or precinct, I don't see Democrats vs Republicans. Mr. Bush was fortunate enough to have the support of producers in the last two elections, but I don't think the Republicans who follow him should count on that same loyalty. Not after the heavy consumer-oriented spending and legislation of 8 years of "compassionate conservativism."

What is the difference between a consumer and a producer? The best way I can describe it is to show what consumers believe. If I do that, you can figure out what the producer ideology is; simply, it's the opposite:

  • Consumers think that water comes from a faucet, that eggs come twelve to a carton, and that meat is some mostly-red inanimate object that comes on a styrofoam plate, neatly wrapped in plastic.
  • Consumers think that food comes from a grocery store, and that highways and utilities are an inalienable right that "someone else" needs to take care of for us.
  • Consumers think that gasoline grows under service stations, for free, and that those who sell it decide how many dollars per gallon they want to take from us for it.
  • Consumers do not like the dirty, nasty things that some people tell them are necessary to produce their food and fuel. They hate those who kill animals so we can eat, who plow up forests so we can grow food, and who drill wells in ice so we can drive cars.
  • Consumers think that the government is a limitless source of money and resources, and has the constitutional obligation to feed us, clothe us, pay for our medical care, protect us from our own stupidity and carelessness, change our diapers when we're young, and pay for our nursing homes when we're old.
  • Consumers think that we're too stupid to save money or build for our retirement, and they're willing to let the government force us into that responsibility, so they can pay us a nickel on the dollar for our investment.
  • Consumers believe that money is best earned fast and spent faster. They think that the best way to wealth is to inherit it, win it in the lotto, or sue someone for it. They believe that all the woes of the world can be solved by "insurance" and "someone else's money."
  • Consumers feel they are the victims of fate, and that the lucky ones have an obligation to take care of everyone else.
  • Consumers feel that the highest good in life is to entertain themselves, and they spend most of their financial resources on increasing and improving that entertainment. They spend only a fraction of what they make on education, protection, and prevention, but after all, that's the "government's" job, and "it's" got plenty of money.
  • Consumers are willing to outsource jobs, education, and production to places like China in order that they may be able to afford cheaper entertainment and luxury. They are willing to sacrifice quality, not only in manufactured goods, but also in government, family, and faith, in order to continue to enjoy themselves and get what they want at the cheapest price possible, down the path of least resistance.
  • Consumers feel that the world revolves around them, and are not really concerned with others who might suffer if things go the way consumers want them to go in the Pollyanna world they live in.
If you look closely at the red/blue maps, you will see that the bluest concentrations of consumers live in the overcrowded metropolitan areas where people have never seen a live cow; where the stars are not visible at night, and where there is no productive soil. They live with brick, concrete, steel, and glass, and cannot be blamed for the shortsightedness that causes them to vote for other consumers.

One look at a consumer/producer map will make you erroneously conclude that there are far more producers than consumers, but that is not the case. The consumers must live close to each other and their sources of entertainment.

In our nation, we are currently divided at about 50/50%, and that is why nearly every election, court case, and legislative decision is so hotly contested and violently addressed. Where do I stand with this? If our trend continues, there will soon be less producers than consumers. When that happens, more elections and court cases will be decided by consumers. Consumers can only consume if there is someone producing. While American consumers have been the most efficient and prolific in history, there will be a breaking point. When there is, there will be violence, because consumers also believe that drastic measures are necessary to address perceived violations of rights.

Consumers just don't understand. Years ago, in the famous "Rodney King" riots, stores and markets, public services and offices, all the property of "producers," were destroyed. One of the saddest pictures of all was a line of consumers, the next weekday morning, lining up at the smoking ashes of what was formerly a post office, ready to pick up their government aid, because that was where they always got it.

There are producers and consumers in both major political parties, and they also exist among both liberals and conservatives; they know no racial nor economic boundaries. But if we are to flourish as a nation or a cultural group, we must do what we can to promote the producers, to make ways for their tribe to increase. When the "blue" begins to take over the heartlands, when it inundates the sparsely-populated counties and cities, we will all be in trouble.

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