Purple states evidence of people voting for the candidate, not party

I have a fondness for the color purple. Years ago, my young daughter pressed for purple to be the predominant color for her bedroom. Nowadays, Sunday afternoons in the fall find my favorite football team, the Baltimore Ravens, sporting the color purple while competing on the green gridiron.

More seriously, the novel “The Color Purple,” along with the later movie, sent powerful (sometimes controversial) messages relating to racism. More recently, the color purple has prompted political overtones.

In politics, we’re familiar with traditional red states along with true blue states, but in recent years even with an increasing amount of polarization, some states have been identified with the color purple and have become important battleground or swing states at election time.

Membership in the Swing State Club is fluid and currently includes states like Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with perhaps red Georgia and blue Minnesota knocking at the purple door.

Becoming purple may be a healthy sign if voters are opting for the best candidates as opposed to strict party allegiance. Indeed, I find it refreshing that traditional blue states like Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont currently have Republican governors, while established red states like Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana have Democrat governors. In my mind, people voting for the candidate rather than their party is a good thing.

Recognizing that politicians need to uphold the positions they hold dear, I believe we would do well to have more moderate leaders on both sides of the aisle. We need more senators like Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Susan Collins of Maine, who are willing to compromise, voting their conscience instead of the strict party line.

It’s said that a true patriot bleeds red, white and blue, which suggests that the color shed would be closer to purple.

John P. Jones


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