A More Visually Accurate Picture of the “Red-Blue” Polarization in the U.S.

Updated

Editors Note January 10, 2022: Given the heightened discussions even in the mainstream bourgeois press around a coming civil war, and what the current polarization is in this country, we thought it helpful to republish this letter from a reader from March 15, 2021 that aims to portray a more accurate geographic picture of the mainstream "red-blue" polarization. The standard visuals present a highly skewed picture that promotes a sense of fascist-encirclement and majority in contrast to what is more scientifically correct.

While a more accurate picture has strategic implications for revolution in the US, as does all scientifically correct understandings of social reality, the reader highlights the critical and decisive point from Bob Avakian (BA) on the need for a radically different alignment and repolarization for revolution, a point further underscored by BA in the new talk SOMETHING TERRIBLE, OR SOMETHING TRULY EMANCIPATING: Profound Crisis, Deepening Divisions, The Looming Possibility Of Civil War—And The Revolution That Is Urgently Needed, A Necessary Foundation, A Basic Roadmap For This Revolution. As Bob Avakian parenthetically comments in this talk:

The “Red States/Blue States” picture, which is constantly presented in the mainstream media, is very misleading in terms of the geographic and political divisions in the country. It does not present an accurate picture of population concentration—of which sections of the people are actually concentrated where, and in what numbers, within the existing states. Of particular importance, it downplays the concentration of people in this country as a whole in urban areas, including the suburbs around the inner city cores, and the concentration of masses of oppressed people especially in those inner city cores. It downplays the strong opposition to the fascists that exists among large numbers of people in the urban areas. This mainstream presentation of things is meant to reinforce the sense that the only possibility is the continuation of this system of capitalism-imperialism, and the only choice is between the two parties representing the ruling class of this system: the “red” Republican Party or the “blue” Democratic Party. And, by the way, with the color red historically associated with communism, the “appropriation” of this color in association with the fascist Republican Party is an abomination!

Letter from a reader:

Even though Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential elections, and secured seven million votes more than Donald Trump, mainstream media continues to show a “Red-Blue” map of the U.S. by county that is highly distorted. It shows a sea of Red for the Republican-fascists, with small oases of Blue, especially in the urban and suburban areas.

Lara Trump used a similar map in 2019 to demonstrate support for Trump, with the challenge, “Impeach This!” A Belgian designer, Karim Douïeb, took up the challenge to creatively refute and depict a much more visually accurate picture of the relative support for Republican-fascists and the Democrats—by population. He created a similar map after the 2020 presidential election. As seen below, it portrays a whole different picture than the ones that the media inundates people with, stemming from the fact that large areas of the country don’t have much of a population. I thought it important to share with revcom.us readers, as it is more visually accurate, and helps break the false impression of fascist encirclement and domination that the more mainstream maps may convey. This has potential strategic implications for revolution in this country.

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At the same time, what is more decisive and scientifically underlying is what Bob Avakian states in his New Year’s Statement: A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity:

Even as it is critically important that the voting in this election has resulted in a decisive defeat for the Trump/Pence regime and its attempts to more fully consolidate fascist rule, this must not be allowed to obscure this crucial truth: The polarization, between Democrats and Republicans, as expressed through the electoral process in this country, involves contention over how to uphold and pursue the interests of the capitalist-imperialist system and rule by the capitalist class. It does not represent the fundamental divisions in society and the world, nor the fundamental interests of the masses of people, in this country and in the world as a whole. Nor can the profound problems confronting humanity be solved—in fact, they can only get worse—within the confines of this murderously oppressive and exploitative system and the chaos and destruction it will continue to unleash on a massive scale, so long as it continues to dominate the world.

This is fact-based, scientifically-established truth. Ignoring, denying, or trying to pursue individual escape from this reality will only make things worse and hasten disaster.

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