Red versus Blue: Why Cities Vote Democratic

Red versus Blue: Why Cities Vote Democratic

Why big cities tend to vote blue rather than red.
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Have you ever wondered why, while watching the presidential race, big cities turn blue while rural areas of the nation tend to turn red? The answer is rooted in history.

Big cities in the United States are a forceful engine for the economy, generating nearly 85 percent of the economic output (Richard Florida; 2013). A large portion of the population in the United States lives in these urban areas; nearly 62.7 percent of the population as of 2015, while cities make up roughly only 3.5 percent of land mass. So what makes these areas vote democratic?

Well, the dense population of these cities helps quite a bit. The GOP strategy of attempting to gain the vote of rural states is unfortunately outdated, and doesn't exactly work in today's America. New York City alone is home to nearly 8.406 million people, according to the last census. That's roughly the same number of people that live in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and the western half of Minnesota combined (Ben Platt). So, if you figure that a Democratic nominee can secure the votes of New York City alone, they're already neck and neck. If cities are a big part of economic growth in the United States, then you're looking at a cluster of people that contribute to that growth.

Education and the socioeconomic class also has a lot to do with the partisan vote in urban areas. If you think about the breakdown of why people vote republican versus democrat, this isn't necessarily difficult to understand. The creative class of workers, people in the arts, sciences, culture and entertainment, historically vote democratic while the working class Americans tend to vote republican.

Now, let's talk about diversity. Speaking historically and geographically, people from all over the world have immigrated to America's coastal cities. States such as New York and Philadelphia, which are home to places like Chinatown and Little Italy that were founded by migrant classes. There really isn't a concrete answer as to why migrant groups tend to stay together in large urban areas, but if you figure there's a family of twelve coming from Italy to New York City in the early 1900s, there's a good chance they'll stick together. Other large urban areas, such as the L.A and some cities in Texas, are geographically located in a way that migrants from Mexico and South America make their way there. So, a large portion of the answer to this question could be contributed to the racial and social diversity, and liberal ideology of cities.

Politics is a complex issue, so there is no single answer to this question. The divide between cities and rural areas is economic and geographical, rooted in socioeconomic divides of class. But, here was a little dig at it.

If you're looking for some more information, this is a really great article from the Atlantic.

Cover Image Credit: Google

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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