RUSH: This is Carl in Rome, Georgia. Carl, thank you very much for waiting, and welcome to the program.
CALLER: Thank you, sir, for letting me speak with you.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: My question is, “I got to thinking the other day where the term ‘red state/blue state’ was derived from. The reason I said that is ’cause I got to thinking about it, and ‘red’ denotes anger and frustration, and ‘blue,’ you’re kind of made to think about intelligence, calmness, and it’s more desirable.” I wondered who came up with this.
RUSH: Well, it’s interesting. When this all first began, this red state/blue state thing, I always assumed that Democrat states were the red states, because communist countries are red. Like the Red Chinese, for example, the ChiComs. The Soviet Union flag is the bright red, and in the fifties and sixties, the communists were always referred to as “the Reds,” be it the Red Chinese or the ChiComs or what have you.
I always wondered how it got turned around, too. I never really knew ’cause it used to be the opposite. The Drive-Bys used to use the colors backwards. The red states were always Democrats; blues were always Republicans. I don’t really remember how it got switched around.
CALLER: It’s interesting. It just kind of seems to me like it’s charged that way.
RUSH: (interruption) Oh. Oh. I have just been told, Carl, that one of our quick-thinking staff members actually went to Wikipedia here while I was chatting with you, and Wikipedia says that Tim Russert is the reason, on Meet the Press. Russert used to have these little charts and graphs and this little white board that he would use to illustrate things, and he was the one who made Republican states red, and it just blew up from there, and it got picked up from there. That’s what Wikipedia says. For lack of anything else, that’s what we’ll go with.