It was on election night November 2nd, 1976, when President Ford was being challenged by Jimmy Carter that NBC television showed us our first blue/red electoral map. The blue was Republican and showed the 27 states won by Ford, while red was Democrat. It was only in the 2000 Bush-Gore election that the colors were switched. Since then red shows states and counties voting Republican while blue stands for Democrats.
This was a cunning reversal of the usual convention of red symbols standing for left-leaning revolutionary movements while conservative parties in almost every country used blue. After all, the color red was emblematic of communism and still reminds us of the Soviets. You might remember the Cold War cry of the American left, “Better red than dead!”
Why do I call it cunning for the news outlets to switch colors, assigning blue to liberalism and red to conservatism? Because blue is by far the primary color that most people prefer.
Anytime we find such strong and consistent associations like blue for stability and red for revolution, we can expect to find a Biblical precedent. Sure enough, red is the color of Jacob’s eternal antagonist, Esau.
And the first one emerged red; he was completely like a coat of hair, and they named him Esau. – (Genesis 25:25)
And Esau said to Jacob, “Pour me some of this red, red [stew], for I am faint”; he was therefore named eDoM. (Red). – (Genesis 25:30)
In the Lord’s language, where vowels are not only secondary but they are also changeable, EDoM, the name of a nation, is the same as ADoM, the color red. Blood itself, our most basic association with red, in Hebrew is composed of those root letters, D-M.
Blue, on the other hand, is the color of heaven that we see reflected in water and used in the spiritual context of prayer and service to God.
Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them that they shall make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and they shall affix a thread of blue on the fringe of each corner. – (Numbers 15:38)
By the nature of human experience, we subconsciously associate red with blood and passion while we tend to associate blue with heaven and God’s rules of social order.
For instance, some cities have a ‘red-light’ district. And though red on a traffic light means stop, a University of Rochester study established that when it comes to women’s clothing, the color red sends an entirely different signal.
And should you run into trouble in Amsterdam’s ‘red light’ district, you might seek out a police station to restore order. You’d locate the ‘politie’ by means of the conspicuous blue light outside the police building. Additionally, the dictionary suggests that a blue nose is someone who wishes to impose his moral views on others.
Once again the Bible and ancient Jewish wisdom reveal how the world REALLY works. Not surprisingly, there is much more to be learned. The same word that means red and blood is also used in ancient Jewish wisdom to mean money. I have taught that idea and its crucial implications in a previous Thought Tool which is among those collated in Thought Tools Volume 1. Check it out here and perhaps give yourself or others (maybe Dad or the graduate in your family?) many hours of mind-stimulating growth and delight with a single Thought Tool volume or enjoy saving some money by acquiring the three volume set.