Take a moment, perhaps as you’re watching election returns, to tell me what you think of our country right now. Think about this question:
What color is America today?
The latest pre-election polls show Obama winning today. A Pew survey has McCain closing the gap to 5 percentage points, but predicts an Obama win. Five points seems like a slim margin, but it’s still wider than we have seen since the 1996 Clinton-Dole contest. (Listen to an NPR program about the Pew survey here.)
So, what color will American reveal itself to be today? Will we see a repeat of the red versus blue state maps we saw in 2000 and 2004? Will the map be considerably bluer?
Of course, the red/blue maps are oversimplifications to the point of becoming fiction. America is a mix of red and blue. A purple map is more accurate. Americans don’t differ much in hue, as I learned when I researched “America’s Crisis of Values: Perception and Reality.”
I’m sure we’ll see vivid blue and red maps tomorrow and in the days to follow—they’re too visually appealing for the media to avoid.
But today I’m thinking of another politics of colors—the politics of black, brown, and white. Race has always been one of the deep divisions in America. If Obama becomes our 44th president today, it will be a transcendent event, a shining moment, a true watershed in American history. That’s true no matter who you vote for today—or even if you don’t vote.
From where you sit, what color is America today? What do your neighbors say? Those you work with?
Please, tell us what you think! Click on the “Comment” link above, or if you prefer to drop us a quick Email,
you can do that as well.