Purple is the most powerful visible wavelength. It is a color associated with wisdom, dignity, creativity and independence. It is the color our nation has chosen to indicate bravery.
I have seen too many gloating posts, proclaiming that the voters have spoken, that we have a consensus, that we have a clear winner. Besides being insensitive and unsportsmanlike, these claims are simply not true.
Those of you who are proclaiming that your candidate won and you are in the majority, take another look. Putting aside that the losing party in this election won the popular vote, the votes were largely split across almost every state. In only 16 states did one candidate get 60% or more of the vote. In many states, it was close to a tie. In one state, only 2732 votes separated the candidates. That is less than half the population of my very small town. Looking at maps at the county level, the voting result in many cases was even closer. Shading one county or state red or blue based on a simple majority can discount up to half of the population.
I understand the concept of the Electoral College and why it was put in place. It makes sense to not give all the power to one or a couple states. But in a way, isn’t that exactly what the system has done? Much of our country believed that their vote didn’t count. I heard many people in non-swing states say that no matter how they voted, the outcome was already known, their state’s candidate was decided even without a vote.
The Electoral College does not accurately reflect the will of the people. We all saw the map, which made it look like the country had overwhelmingly voted for one person. This is not the first time the popular vote has not matched the electoral vote and even when it has, this visual has been skewed, making it appear that everyone in a state agrees on a single candidate. Perhaps this has contributed to some of the unrest that has festered silently for years and is now spilling out and dividing our nation. I question the wisdom in giving all the electoral votes in a state to one candidate. If these votes were divided between candidates in all states, how close would it be? Who would win? When you look at the popular vote, even within states, the results were extremely close.
I am not arguing the results of this election. I believe in our democracy and accept that we won’t always agree. We have rules and procedures in place and need to work within the framework we have. But I believe that is is time for this to change. I also believe that when change is necessary, it needs to come about through the proper channels and unfortunately this is usually a slow and sometimes painful process.
If nothing else, we are now certain that our country is broken. Without a doubt, there are many changes ahead. If we are going to remain United States, we have to work together. Our government relies on compromise in order for our system to work. We need to look past the labels to ensure that the changes are good not for just the red side or the blue side, but for everyone.
Personally, I think purple is a fine color.