The editor’s opinion from Marketplace, Northeast Wisconsin’s business magazine. (Obligatory disclaimer: Most hyperlinks go to outside sites, and we’re not responsible for their content. And like fresh watermelon, peaches, pineapple, grapefruit, tomatoes and sweet corn, hyperlinks can go bad after a while.)

August 6, 2008

Analysis of the Day

The Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro, on the group that is likely to decide this election — Purple America, which is not merely swing voters or even swing states:

The real Purple America is not a place but an idea, a confluence of values from Red America and tastes from Blue America. It combines a strong belief in personal responsibility, ordered liberty, and civil society with a passion for independent film, Belgian ale and salsa dancing. It also could spring for a good ball game (though preferably on grass and without the designated hitter).

Purple Americans are, to offer a gross oversimplification, a sober blend of Ricky Bobby and Jean Girard (the reference to Will Ferrell's farcical Talladega Nights is fitting here; this demographic skews young and irreverent.) They are an imagined community of conservative cosmopolitans, libertarians, classical liberals, hipublicans, South Park conservatives, Crunchy Cons and, especially, those who defy established labels — and thus are distrusted by both coastal elites and heartland populists. ...

Purple America demands independent creativity grounded in a solid moral core, as well as an inevitably thick skin. ... Purple America enjoys fireworks and barbecue on the Fourth of July and will relish the playing of the Star Spangled Banner at the Beijing Olympics in August. It welcomes diversity, but not the false diversity that sees a black lawyer's kid from the suburbs as more worthy than the son of an Appalachian coal miner or Vietnamese fisherman.

Sounds like Marketplace readers, doesn't it?

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