Here’s a map that should be more viewed in America, but a map which has been much overlooked in the post-election euphoria, or post-election gloom. It’s the map of electoral college results, still showing Republicans in a Soviet/Maoist red, and Democrats in blue:
Note especially the blue dot in Nebraska, around Omaha. Nebraska splits its electoral college votes, giving each congressional district’s vote to the elector for the candidate who actually won in that district. Obama won Omaha’s district; Nebraska is officially a red and blue state. Maine also allows a split in electors, but this year did not see a split among the electorate.
America is not so red as some claim, even in the electoral college. More states are surrounded by blue states than surrounded by red states.
Perhaps it’s time to find other ways to color these maps, so that we cannot so easily speak of a red state/blue state split that does not reflect politics, economics, or much of anything else in America.
Dallas students are out on inauguration day. We can hope our government and history students will glue themselves to the television to watch the ceremony, but we know better than to expect it.
Will you discuss the inauguration in your classes, whatever the subject? Here are some sources you could use:
- Bill of Rights Institute lesson plans on the inauguration (free if you download ‘em quick, by the end of January 14)
- Inaugural addresses, from the American Presidency Project; Kennedy, FDR’s first, George W. Bush’s first, Lincoln’s first, Reagan’s first, Washington’s first. This is a good site for student projects on history, or government.
- The only oath of office prescribed in the Constitution is that for the president (see Article II)
- Videos on 25 previous inaugurations (not all featuring the president speaking, of course), from HotChalk