ERIC Number: EJ777446
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Electoral College Exacerbates the Red-Blue Divide and Disenfranchises Ethnic Minorities
Webster, Gregory D.
American Psychologist, v62 n7 p701-703 Oct 2007
Comments on the article by Seyle and Newman "A house divided? The psychology of red and blue America,". Seyle and Newman argued that perceiving the American political landscape in terms of red and blue (to describe conservative and liberal perspectives, respectively) might unnecessarily pigeonhole people's dynamic social identities into one of two oversimplified categories. Their assessment of the negative psychological consequences of the red-versus-blue perspective is excellent, and their suggestion to abandon the terms red and blue in favor of their "purple America" model is laudable; however, they did not go far enough in implicating the winner-take-all policy adopted by most states in allocating their electoral college votes, which may be more directly responsible for perpetuating the red-versus-blue dichotomy than the two-tone maps frequently used by the media. Seyle and Newman's suggestion to drop the red-blue metaphor is timely and noble; however, a more surefire way to hasten its demise would be to abandon the winner- take-all aspect of the Electoral College.
Descriptors: Voting, Elections, Political Issues, Civil Rights, Minority Groups, Political Attitudes, Self Concept, Political Campaigns, Presidents, Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
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