Color me purple

To the Editor:

Right around the turn of the millennium, the Bush administration began to color code our nation so that the befuddled president could better understand his constituency. They gave us red and blue states.

While this concept had existed before, it was in the “with me or against me” times of the coalition of the willing that they really began to paint our country with broad brushstrokes. If we are indeed “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” you have to give them credit for having the nerve to divide us up like that.

Unfortunately, the color-coding stuck. Even reputable news sources still refer to the red and blue states.

The results of this division have been a deterioration of polite discourse between the red and blue, engendering mistrust and eroding communities where it was once okay to fraternize across color-coded property lines. Without the checks and balances of polite discourse and mutual respect, we get the likes of Donald Trump.

In the wake of Prince’s untimely demise this week, I humbly submit that it is time we shed our red and blue ascots and reunify our nation. “Indivisible,” uniting red and blue, we could be resplendent in purple, the color of royalty.

We could once again be a large and diverse nation of people whose primary concern is the well being of our parents, kids, and neighbors, both across the street and across state lines.

Fellow Americans, it’s time to show our leaders that we are smarter and more honorable than they think we are; that we can’t be callously divided into warring camps so that we will think and vote strictly along partisan lines. If you think you will miss your red or blue brands, ask yourself if you miss orange alerts.

Trump has taken advantage of our divided nation’s fear of ourselves to further polarize Americans, while our vapid appetite for “reality” TV has allowed him to take the conversation to shocking low levels, both intellectually and morally. Sociopathic is not too strong a word to use to describe his candidacy.

Now that he will likely garner, if not win the Republican presidential nomination, Trump will begin to soften his rhetoric in an 11th hour attempt to appeal to decent, intelligent Americans. Don’t be fooled; he’s already told us who he is and what he believes in.

Don’t be painted with his broad brush; let’s unite under a purple flag and tell the world (and ourselves) that he is not us. If you won’t do it for Prince, then at least think of what kind of world we are going to leave for Rolling Stone Keith Richards.

Bowen Swersey

Southwest Harbor


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