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Purple Nation

Ladies and gentlemen, can we please put the fucking ridiculous red-state-versus-blue-state bullshit to rest now? No group can be characterized by the sort of sweeping terms used in politics lately, least of all a completely arbitrary group based on geography (as California progressives have learned to their dismay with the passing of Prop 8). Tuesday’s election was significant for lots of reasons, but one of my biggest reliefs was to see President-elect Obama winning states that have traditionally been thought of as Republican strongholds. What better evidence do we need that people don’t slot neatly into political categories?

The traditional electoral results maps look like this (or, at least, are likely to once NC and MO are finally called):


But when you look at it county-by-county, using a continuum of red to blue to reflect the proportions of votes for each candidate, it’s a very different picture:


Purple is good. It means we have people of differing political opinions living right next door to each other. When President-elect Obama takes office in January, he should have a mural of this exact map hung in the Oval Office — a constant reminder that he’s not working for one group or another, but for everyone.

By the way, if you’re interested, those maps came from here.