I’ve always liked maps. As a teenager I navigated a racing sailboat between a dangerous shoal and a hidden reef, forty miles offshore, hitting a narrow gap on a dark, windy night using only bearings taken on a single lighthouse and rapid-fire plotting on a government chart. (This was before the days of cheap GPS, you young whippersnappers.) Anyway, like I said, I like maps.
And there have certainly been a bunch of them floating around in the wake of the election. Here are some of the more memorable ones I’ve seen lately.
From Yahoo! comes this one, which I watched fill in on Tuesday night:
All that red is certainly impressive. But even more impressive is this one, from USA Today, breaking us down into red and blue counties:
Now, while those maps tell a compelling story of the electoral landscape, the fact is that there are red Americans in blue states (and counties) and blue Americans in red states (and counties). Accordingly, BoingBoing gave us this version, showing us in our truer shades of purple:
And we can do the same thing on the county level, courtesy of Robert J. Vanderbei of Princeton:
He also gives us this one, where he’s added some relief based on population density:
Meanwhile, the folks at esri.com have scaled up the Z-axis, and done away with that wishy-washy purple, to produce this version. It’s certainly impressive-looking, though admittedly, given that the winner-take-all thing doesn’t operate on the county level, the solid blue of the urban skycrapers is a bit misleading.
(Update: Actually, I’m pretty sure now that the blue/red columns in the image below are showing vote differentials for the winners. So they’re not misleading at all. See this scanned version from some magazine or other, which breaks the red and blue parts of this graph out into separate maps: where.jpg.
So, basically, city-folk voted for Kerry, suburban and rural folk voted for Bush. And overall, there were 3% more voters in the hinterlands than in the metropolis.)
All those interesting data have inspired some more-fanciful geographies, too. Mena of Six Apart (the people who brought you lies.com’s former weblog software), posted this interesting item under the title Canada 2.0:
And then there’s this one that has been making the rounds. It’s actually the map that inspired this post, since I figured people were never going to stop emailing it to me until I posted it:
Which brings me to this historical offering, one that this election has put a great many of us in mind of:
If I can turn away from all these maps for a moment, there was also an interesting chart floating around, based on an item that originally ran in The Economist after the 2000 election. It claims to show a striking correlation between average IQ and which way a state voted (but note that the underlying IQ numbers are almost certainly bogus — sauce for the gander, I guess, given the way the Bush team used outright lies as their weapon of choice in destroying Kerry). Anyway, see IQ and politics to indulge your extra-snarky side.
But I know you all come here for the articles, not the pictures. So let’s conclude with a pair of fun articles. First, from red-stater Mike Thompson at Human Events Online: Declaration of expulsion.
The truth is, America is not just broken–it is becoming irreparable. If you believe that recent years of uncivil behavior are burdensome, imagine the likelihood of a future in which all bizarre acts are the norm, and a government-booted foot stands permanently on your face.
That is why the unthinkable must become thinkable. If the so-called “Red States” (those that voted for George W. Bush) cannot be respected or at least tolerated by the “Blue States” (those that voted for Al Gore and John Kerry), then the most disparate of them must live apart–not by secession of the former (a majority), but by expulsion of the latter. Here is how to do it.
By all means, read the whole thing. It’s rich. And then read this suitable rejoinder from blue-stater Adam Felber of Fanatical Apathy: Concession speech.
More than 40% of you Bush voters still believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. I’m impressed by that, truly I am. Your sons and daughters who might die in this war know it’s not true, the people in the urban centers where al Qaeda wants to attack know it’s not true, but those of you who are at practically no risk believe this easy lie because you can. As part of my concession speech, let me say that I really envy that luxury. I concede that.
Healing? We, the people at risk from terrorists, the people who subsidize you, the people who speak in glowing and respectful terms about the heartland of America while that heartland insults and excoriates us… we wanted some healing. We spoke loud and clear. And you refused to give it to us, largely because of your high moral values. You knew better: America doesn’t need its allies, doesn’t need to share the burden, doesn’t need to unite the world, doesn’t need to provide for its future. Hell no. Not when it’s got a human shield of pointy-headed, atheistic, unconfrontational breadwinners who are willing to pay the bills and play nice in the vain hope of winning a vote that we can never have. Because we’re “morally inferior,” I suppose, we are supposed to respect your values while you insult ours. And the big joke here is that for 20 years, we’ve done just that.
Sigh. We’ve got a long ways to go. And this election was, at least in some respects, a giant step backward. But maybe it was a step that needed to be taken, if only so people like me would have their eyes well and truly opened about what’s going on out there in Heartlandia.