Red & Blue, and Purple. Why primary colors are inadequate to describe us.

Posted on November 8, 2012


Obama’s acceptance speech ended with…

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

“United States.” The great oxymoron of the American Experiment. Why? Red and blue are technological classifications and constructs that veil reality. For we are not red or blue people. We are, I propose, purple people.

On virtually every issue, even the most ardent conservative has a shade of blue and even the most libertarian-leaning liberal has a drop of red. It is those that deny this truth that we call “fundamentalist.” Worse, we call them “terrorists.” Thus, primary color designations betray the complex nature of our existence, the dualistic and mysterious pathways of our thinking, the tormented and agonizing measures of our emotions, and the tension that exists within us all that is our humanity. To cease being complex is to cease being human. To designate one color the victor is to not just destroy a piece of our own heart, it is to cease being real. In harmony with the famous quote by Alexander Solzhenitsyn,

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?


Posted in: politics