Blue vs. Red but what about the Purple people in the center. Where do they stand with the upcoming election?
Blue and Red states dominate U.S. political maps. Traditionally it is one color or the other determining who gets elected and who gets voted out. Red leans right, or more conservative and Blue leans left, or more liberal. Recently the rise of Purple, people considered moderates, has added a centered twist to a changing political environment.
The power of the traditional, two-party system in America cannot be denied. Succeeding Presidents frequently alternate between Red and Blue parties, one following the other in an almost natural act of balancing the system and keeping citizens tempered. As frustrations with the two-party system increase in the U.S. the rise of a Purple center has garnered increased attention. Where, however, do the Purple people stand with the upcoming election?
The New York Times Introduces the Purple Party
In 2006 the New York Times ran an article introducing the Purple Party to America and the world. At that time, it stated 33 to 39 percent of American voters were neither affiliated as Republicans nor Democrats. That being true, the concept of a third political party having any real power or momentum was still forming and largely dismissed.
These people in the middle with moderate values felt unrepresented by a two-party system. They felt the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans had not been greater than it was since the days of Andrew Jackson. Jump to 14 years later and the divide they despised in 2006 has grown even wider and more treacherous to cross.
Staying Centered in Between the Two Sides
The polarization of the United States political system occurred both naturally and by design. Natural order continues to expand the divide while many in power to the left and right seek to utilize it to their advantage. The divisiveness of a two-party system is not a surprise, however, and was in fact predicted before its inception.
George Washington, the 1st President of the United States, warned outright during his famous 1796 farewell speech of what he believed to be the "baneful effects of the spirit of party generally." Later John Adams followed suit by stating his belief the division of America into two political parties would come to be the "great political evil."
Staying centered between the two sides in an extremely divisive period of modern history is a challenge. It is a challenge because both sides expect partisanship and loyalty. When those expectations are not met, the Purple moderates in the middle are open to attack from multiple directions. This is the case-in-point reason why moderates choose to be moderates and not align with Blue or Red ideologies. One major characteristic of Purple in politics is to refrain from being pulled too far to one side. Another is to maintain the right to do so without experiencing an infringement of rights. The Purple moderates, when staying centered and true to their values, view themselves not as a rebellion inside the two parties, but a means to escape them.
Impact of Purple on the 2020 Election
As of June 4, 2020, Gallup stated 40% of polled, American citizens consider themselves Independent voters. One way to look at that is nearly half the country considers itself to be in the middle. Another (and possibly more accurate) way to look at that is most of those voters still lean left or right when it comes down to actually casting votes. This means the 2020 election could still go either way, and it is quite possible the Purple people in the middle will be a deciding factor pursuant to the end result.
Another interesting perspective is gained by following the Gallup polling since the November 2016 election when Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States. Then, as now, 40% of American voters considered themselves as being Independent affiliates. That number dropped as low as 36% halfway through Trump's term. This occurred during highly polarized midterms fueled by threats of impeachment and multiple reports of international collusion and abuses of power. These issues were (and still are) profound and saw more Americans choosing sides.
Jump to March 2020 - when the Trump administration was spinning how well they were handling the COVID-19 pandemic and how the "radical left" was creating conspiracies to attack Trump - and the Independent affiliation as polled by Gallup was again down to 36%. In the present, after 120,000 American deaths from COVID-19, a crashing economy, and racial tensions, the Independent affiliation is back to 40%.
The impact of Purple on the 2020 election cannot yet be fully quantified or defined. What does seem evident is that the more the government in the U.S. appears to fail its citizens, the more people previously polarized swing to the middle. It could also mean more people previously unaffiliated (or even registered) are activating their rights to vote. This is an interesting trend to watch as the election approaches because it appears the Purple moderates are poised to influence the direction of U.S. politics perhaps more than both Blue or Red voters.
What is the Purple Ideology?
The Purple ideology is founded on what it sees as logical moderation. It is opposed to fear-mongering and cancel-culture propaganda. It will not instantly demonize a lack of political correctness but will take into consideration the impact of its actions on its country and fellow citizens. There is room to lean left or right on certain issues, but no patience for being forced to choose one or the other. The Purple ideology seeks what it sees as logical solutions for the improvement of America, its education system, its infrastructure, economy and citizens.