Politics & Policy

A tragic miscoloring, &c.

I know that the issue of color-coding the states is over and done with in America: The left-leaning states are the “blue” states, and the right-leaning ones are the “red” states. But it still irks me. I mean, how in the heck did the lefties end up blue while the righties ended up red? For ages and ages, the color of conservatism has been blue; and for ages and ages, the color of — well, I don’t want to sound McCarthyite. But you know what I’m talking about.

I was reminded of all this — a re-irking took place — when I was perusing the British press. In The Spectator, Toby Young talked about coming out Conservative: “By remaining closeted for so long I have been tacitly accepting that society is right to disapprove of people like me. After all, if I didn’t think that being blue was something to be ashamed of, why keep quiet about it?” And in Standpoint, Douglas Murray quoted the phrase “blue-on-blue fire,” meaning intra-Conservative sniping.

#ad#But conservatives here in America are stuck being known as red. The other week, I was interviewing the former governor of Maryland, Bob Ehrlich, who referred to his state as “the bluest of the blue.” It just seems so wrong. You know that wonderful Gershwin song “Blue, Blue, Blue”?

‐I quote from an Associated Press report:

The youngest climber to reach the peak of Mount Everest hugged his tearful companions and told them he loved them. Then 13-year-old Jordan Romero took the satellite phone and called his mom.

“He says, ‘Mom, I’m calling you from the top of the world,’” a giddy Leigh Anne Drake told The Associated Press from California, where she had been watching her son’s progress minute by minute on a GPS tracker online.

“There were lots of tears and ‘I love you! I love you!’” Drake said. “I just told him to get his butt back home.”

I’m touched and all, but I don’t think I really understand today’s phones. This kid can call his mom from the top of Mount Everest? And I can barely hear my mom when I’m in Central Park and she’s in Michigan? Criminy.

‐End with a little reader mail? Okay. Here’s one:

Dear Mr Nordlinger,

I saw the hissing you’ve described a few times for the first time as I was watching C-SPAN recently.  Man, was it was disturbing. There was something really evil about it, I felt. Anyway, where does the phenomenon originate?

Dunno — Eden?

And I loved a sentence in this letter — you’ll see:

One of my favorite profs studied at UConn under Herbert Marcuse. Even stormed the Dean’s office. He has mellowed nicely since, and is a great historiographer. (You should have seen his face at the end of our French Revolution seminar, when every single student saw the revolution negatively! One said so eloquently, “After taking this course, I want to drive to Hilton Head and kiss the Atlantic for keeping that crap away from us.”)

Adore it. Thank you, dear readers!




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