Monday, August 3, 2020

COVID-19 Is Erasing Distinctions Between ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ States

Political maps of the United States routinely distinguish between “blue” and “red” states, with the descriptors providing a short-hand way to differentiate between “liberal” or Democrat-leaning states (blue) and those that are more “conservative” or Republican-leaning (red). While these color-coded distinctions never provided anything approaching a scientific formulation of politics within states, they have remained in common usage for more than two decades.

The manner in which states currently are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, illustrates clearly that when it comes to dealing with “emergencies,” red states are equally as eager to push aside privacy, property and other rights fundamental to individual liberty as are their blue counterparts.  And it is not only the more “moderate” or liberal-leaning Republican governors, such as Maryland’s Larry Hogan, who figure in such analysis.  

That Californian Gavin Newsom jumped on the statewide “lockdown” bandwagon early in the coronavirus crisis surprised no one; he is the uber-liberal governor of an ultra-liberal state.  Similarly, it came as no great surprise that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy pushed the envelope of emergency executive power when he closed all gun stores in the Commonwealth (a move he has since been forced to reverse).

However, it was not blue states that started the cascade of states canceling by executive orders long-scheduled primary elections due to fears that voters would be susceptible to catching the virus while standing in line to vote.  That questionable process was led by red states, including Ohio, Georgia and Louisiana.  

It was North Carolina, a formerly red state trending to “purple,” that was early to close off its beautiful and popular Outer Banks areas to non-residents; enforced by police roadblocks.  In Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis came under withering fire when he failed to close the Sunshine State’s many beaches to college students on Spring Break, when the virus first took hold.  After being burned by such criticism, Florida made a 180-degree turn and has become among the most draconian in taking steps to try and prevent travelers from virus “hot spots” (like New York and Louisiana) from crossing into its territory.

Other “Deep South” red states have succumbed as readily as have northeastern blue states to the lure of executive control over their citizens and their citizens’ personal information.  For example, two states that share little in common other than allegiance to the American flag – red state Alabama and deepest-blue Massachusetts – decided that the medical privacy of their citizens had to fall in the face of the COVID-19 threat.  

According to a recent story in Vice News, both of these states are disclosing to law enforcement and other first responders information that individuals may have been infected with the coronavirus.  Bureaucrats in both states have staunchly defended invasion of this most personal medical information, by claiming it is “necessary” to protect first responders who might be called on to interact with such individuals.  Those officials note, for example, that the information is not to be “retained” and is to include only addresses but not the name of who might live at the address. Such distinctions, of course, are meaningless as a practical matter, considering the ease with which databases containing personal information routinely are shared among government and corporate entities.  In fact, according to Vice, Alabama’s program expressly allows release of a suspected COVID-19 infected person’s information to be made available to anyone who might be at “risk” from such person.

“Emergency” decrees by municipal officials summarily ordering the closure of entire categories of businesses have become the norm everywhere; whether in deep-blue counties in traditionally deep-blue states like California and Washington, in states recently-turned blue like Virginia, or in Republican-controlled red counties like my home county of Cobb in the Republican red suburbs of Atlanta.

Elected and appointed local government officials in these counties, following the examples set by their governors, not only seem eager to use their “executive” power to declare “emergencies,” but are quick to supplement and expand such decrees as soon as panicked citizens cry that “not enough” is being done to shelter them from harm. 

When it comes to meeting an “emergency” with government mandates, it seems “we are all blue” in 21st Century America.

Explore our interactive COVID-19 map below to learn about the latest updates from every state!

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

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Bob Barr
Bob Barr
Bob Barr (@BobBarr) represented Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He won the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination in 2008 and currently serves as president and CEO of the Law Enforcement Education Foundation.

34 COMMENTS

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Dan Winright
Dan Winright
4 months ago

Red for AMERICA, blue for communist.

Viet Vet
Viet Vet
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Winright

Yeah, USA Today was the first one to create that RED/Blue map and you know it wasn’t lost on them that the democommunists align with the world’s communists. They made sure the democommunists weren’t represented by the color red.

Judy Crane
Judy Crane
4 months ago
Reply to  Viet Vet

Agree totally but also question how they can determine every state that way to begin with, Michigan went red for Trump and not due to incredible stupidity are turning blue again.

A. D Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Viet Vet

I have no problem with blockading yankees from coming down here to escape the mess they have created. I just don’t like all these Democrat county judges, mayors and/or RINOs telling businesses they have to close. They have NO RIGHT. For sure, corona is NOT as deadly as flu or drunk drivers. So how do they get away with such dictatorial orders when they have NO AUTHORITY and have passed no laws.

A. D Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Viet Vet

Actually for a long time, Democrats WERE RED. That is why we have the term “blue dog Democrat” He was a Democrat who voted like a Republican. So some time back, one of the NEWS JOURNALISTS decided that he did not like the Democrats being RED. Too close to RED COMMUNISTS. So he arbitrarily changed it.

Bill
Bill
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Winright

i believe most Americans of any state or state color would understand and agree to “loosing” of privacy concerns if used properly, on a temporary basis, and necessary for the greater good of the majority. Most “true” Americans work together putting aside their political differences and petty gripes for the good of all. In this pandemic we see those in the media and other whiners who are unwilling to be a part of the community coming together to win this war against the ‘invisible enemy’. That should not come as a surprise based on their past actions and comments.

Marie
Marie
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Spot on!

texasladybren
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Winright

AMERICANS WE HAVE TO TAKE BACK OUR AMERICA FROM THE EVIL CRIMINAL ACTS OF DEMOCRATS………………………..TO SOLVE AMERICAS PROBLEMS MAKE THIS CHOICE WE THE PEOPLE’ HAVE THE POWER OF OUR VOICES AND OUR VOTES, TO VOTE OUT THE ENTIRE LYING,CORRUPT, TREASONOUS DEMOCRAT PARTY COME NOV 2020, VOTE TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN AND TO END ALL CORRUPTIONS IN WASHINGTON GOVERNMENT
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

Vladilyich
Vladilyich
3 months ago
Reply to  Dan Winright

As I’ve said since the ’50s: “Better dead than Red.”

Adjunct George
Adjunct George
3 months ago
Reply to  Dan Winright

Red for Communists, not Blue. The left took over the media and immediately libeled our Civil War Republican soldiers by calling us “red.” I did not spend 20 years in the USAF because “I was better red than dead.” Red is the color of all the leftist parties in the world. I refuse to call myself a red. I am a Blue Republican.

Tim
Tim
3 months ago
Reply to  Adjunct George

I am a gray Southerner. I want the republic, that Lincoln destroyed, back ! Tired of the waste & fraud, death & debt of this unGREATful SOCIETY. Socialist Amerika has spent over $22 trillion since 1965, not one savage was made equal. Now the homos want to be equal too ? Hell NO !

Liberally Disgusted
Liberally Disgusted
4 months ago

Praying we get our freedoms back without pain, but a lot of people are wondering if that will happen. Cuomo already made some comment stating we won’t go “back to normal”, that we would go to a “new normal”. It will be interesting to see what it will take.

Mike W
Mike W
4 months ago

There is also a huge difference between how people of faith are acting and how atheist are acting. The left wing loons are gloom and doomers always looking for the worst case scenario.
They jump at anything they think makes Trump looks bad but when their BS is called and the facts are shown – they just look for the next thing to accuse Trump of. One thing it seems many people are unaware of is – that – IT IS NOT the presidents job to make states ready for emergencies/disasters/pandemics etc. that IS THE GOVERNOR’S JOB! The president and federal government are there to assist in any way they can – NOT to do the Governor’s jobs for them. States with good representation will fare much better than those who don’t. Cuomo FAILED to prepare his state – deBlasio is a complete idiot and the people of NY are suffering for it. Add Schumer – Nadler and Alessandra into the mix and it’s a dumpster fire.

Jcatherine
Jcatherine
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike W

Well put…hope for the best and get rid of the dimwit-led House, and keep the Senate. If those are lost, it won’t matter if DJT is re-elected. All one has to do is look at the damage inflicted over the past 31/2 years. This could be the year of the congressional battle.

James Earp
James Earp
4 months ago

What a joke map saying democrates put politics aside during a crisis when their investigating Trump for Coronavirus resposes to impeach him again and during the crisis.Democrates are a worse crisis than any diseases.

Don
Don
4 months ago
Reply to  James Earp

Exactly…….they care little about the people and will use anything for their power mongering politics.

Tim
Tim
3 months ago
Reply to  Don

socialism has killed more people than any disease has

JohnL
JohnL
4 months ago

So, Bob, what are Red States supposed to do……”party like it’s 1999”???

Ray
Ray
4 months ago
Reply to  JohnL

Really makes me angry when an outfit like AAN makes it a political pandemic rather than a health issue. How sad we can’t get good information and good reporting from our press. It leaves me with the frightening conclusion that the press is the enemy not the patriot.

Don
Don
4 months ago
Reply to  JohnL

Good question……awaiting stupid answer.

Ann
Ann
4 months ago

Nancy, Bill Deblasio other Dems were telling people not to worry, Nancy even invited people to China town, New York Governor told people to go out to eat party etc. President Trump shut down flights from China, and was called a racist, now these idiot Dems are saying he didn’t take it seriously. They really are unbelievable!!

Gerald Ladd
4 months ago

NC where I live now has a DemonRAT governor. An asshole from the ground up!

Steven Crosby
Steven Crosby
4 months ago

Sorriest excuse for honest human beings in history. Worst pieces of crap ever. Any true American should see thru these liberal assholes for what they truly are that’s un American

Don
Don
4 months ago
Reply to  Steven Crosby

And do…..the problem is the indoctrinated minions who cannot think for themselves….or the parasites who don’t care as long as the freebies keep rolling.

karyn
karyn
4 months ago

We cannot run a country on a model whether it be business or healthcare. That is what we are currently doing. I believe that in the end we will have lost our wealth, our independence and our individual freedom. Thus we have lost our country. It took courage to put a man on the moon not a business model. Had we left it to the model people we would have never gone.

MB
MB
4 months ago

Main thing is that our own people are hurting us like saying we need to pay for the Palestine people’s needs–WHY?
Personally it may reveal that Senator McCarthy was correct in the 1950’s but no one gave a hoot
Now with the COVID-19, Ugly socialism/communism preferences, deceptive Corporations like 3M, Scott, on, on, and spies,etc.: really need to leave our soil because they are only tearing the fabric of our great nation
Now is the time to really start deportation of all those who prefer other countries political agenda to understand what it means to really be free
OR if that can be done then let’s start the reeducation camps like they did with the American Japanese during WWII–bind it all–preferred
second thought -if they were deported to other countries -the tide may come back at the USA to bite
One needs to united here in the USA to overcome the attacks against us
A divided house cannot support this USA

Bill
Bill
4 months ago

Red state. Blue state. In a time of medical crisis, who gives a damn? It has become crystal clear to me that the average American is one hell of a lot smarter than that herd of politicians in Washington give us credit for. I think most of us are aware that we are much better off following sensible precautions (washing hands often; using hand sanitizer; keeping a safe distance from others, etc.) than standing on our rights. We could buck the system and become infected with the virus or spread the virus to others. People need to be aware we are in a war – not one fought with guns and ammo – but a war never-the-less. And, in time of war we have to give a little. Being required to stay at home, etc. is much better than becoming a victim to the disease.

CaptTurbo
CaptTurbo
3 months ago

The problem is that red state voters are screwing up by voting for fake Conservatives. Central Planning will not work out well.

jj cannon
jj cannon
3 months ago
Reply to  CaptTurbo

All I can say is beware of demorats and Obama! Do not vote for any demorat!
Trust in what I say…Vote for Trump‼️🇺🇸

dltaylor
dltaylor
3 months ago

If the democrats were in control the UN blue hats would now be patrolling our streets and enforcing their agenda so thank God Trump is in charge instead of the dems,Blue used to be my favorite color but not no more.

IMHO62
IMHO62
3 months ago

Red states are as eager to comply as blue states!? I believe that is called peer pressure. The left has been howling since late February about governments not doing enough. I would imagine that red state governors were concerned that leftist media would be more critical of them if they didn’t act.

B. Matthews
B. Matthews
3 months ago

This is absurd. This virus expands at an exponential rate. It’s not about losing liberty and governmental control, it’s about not exposing your entire family, neighborhood, community, city, state, country to a life-threatening illness. People can’t think more than two weeks ahead?! It’s not about stripping your rights away, it’s about ensuring your right to frigging *breathe*, and the rights of those around you to do the same.

Also, there IS a giant difference between many Red and Blue states right now. It’s been widely tracked that typically “Red” states were the last to come online with social distancing, and those states have lagged drastically in their understanding of what’s happening. Georgia’s governor said TWO DAYS AGO he just learned that the virus is transmitted person to person; Florida’s governor JUST shut the beaches down. What’s the commonality? The willingness to watch and believe Fox and the President, as they both assured people it was “a hoax,” and then it was “under control,” and then “like a miracle it would disappear.” People who listened to actual f*ing scientists and other countries who’ve gone through this, people like Gavin Newsom of California, have managed to protect much of the citizenry, even though dimwits from other states, crowing about “nuthin’s gonna keep me cooped up!” and “this is America, I can do what I want!” are still spreading the disease and making things worse.

The President said losing 100,000 to 240,000 American lives is a GOOD OUTCOME. He will have done a “great job.” Yeah, quarter-million Americans dead is a great job. When he could have slowed this much earlier, but instead was lying to the public. South Korea had their first case *the exact same day as us*, and they’re almost back to normal life. The virus has been contained. Not here, not in Red states.

charles Ransom Williams

The truth of the matter is this. Here in California our vote will not matter if we the people allow any one to vote without checking their ID. Gov. Newsom and all the other Communists want anyone to vote regardless where they came from. It does not matter if they are illegal or not. They passed the law in Calif. where Harvesting Votes is ok for them to collect the Vote by Mail Ballots and destroy our votes and count only the votes that elects the ones they want to win. We need to make everyone show their ID to be able to vote.In California they do not allow you to show your ID.

Bill Chandler
3 months ago

who was the democrat that wrote this piece, which i cannot tell you what all was said because it must of been someone from CNN or MSNBC and i couldn’t read it all, it was so much trash in it. You communists have a good day

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