The Corner

True Blue (True Red?)

I spend the first item of today’s Impromptus whining about red and blue. Why do the right-leaning states have to be “red” while the left-leaning states are “blue”? That’s bassackwards. Blue has always been the color of conservatism, while red . . . you know. (As I say in my column, I hate to get too McCarthyite.) (I said too McCarthyite.) In that item, I cite some examples from the British press: A Tory is a “blue.”

The item, in any case, has attracted a fair amount of mail: most of it from people who, like me, are ticked that America — who did this, anyway? — got the colors wrong. Thought I’d share with you one letter. It’s from an American student at Oxford, who says,

“During my first year here, I still hadn’t picked up on the difference [between the recent American way of colors and the British way]. So when David Cameron visited the Union, I went down hours early with my conservative (and Conservative — not always the same thing, alas) friends, took a front-row seat, and, of course, to show my support . . . wore a solid red tie. Small wonder that during the Q&A, Cameron continued to stare at me and then call on someone else, undoubtedly thinking I was the most hard-core of Labour supporters!”

Our student has a coda: “Of course, I was going to ask him why he had used ‘change’ more times in his speech than Barack Obama did on the campaign trail (I am not exaggerating much), and why the only foreign country he cited [as an example to be followed, I assume] was Sweden, so perhaps it was all for the best, from his point of view.”

While we’re doing mail, one more note, on a different subject? Also in Impromptus, I spend some time on President Obama’s interesting statement “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” A reader writes, “In case you’re wondering, I can offer you a go-anywhere definition of ‘too much money’: A person is making too much money if he’s making significantly more than I am. It’s a sliding scale.”


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