Steven Pinker’sWhy are States so Red and Blue
Steven Pinker in the article, Why are States so Red and Blue?provides explanations for the North vs. South political standoffexperienced in American politics. Pinker start by arguing that whilethe winner of a presidential election is not usually known until theelection’s results are announced, the kind of person each of theopposing side is looking forward to has always been known since timememorial. The North supports a person who promises to tighten thegrip on the areas of personal security and an active military,religion, and safeguard the traditional family but relaxed on issuesto do with the taxation and government regulations. On the otherhand, the South supports a person who emphasis on issues to do withgun control, individual’s freedom, good international relations,and environmental and economic sustainability.
Pinker’s main argument is that the division between the North andthe South resulted not out of a differing perception on human nature,but on the best way to contain it. This takes the rest of Pinker’sarticle which he dedicates to giving a historical explanation of whythe elected president has to follow the set precedent on what isimportant for the nation. First, Pinker’s explains how geographyplays a critical role in deciding what values the people who inhabitthe region supports. According to Pinker, the North was predominatelyhome to English farmers while the South was home to Scot-Irishherders. It is the nature of the economic activities of these regionsthat laid the foundation for the inhabitants’ values and beliefs onthe role government. For instance, herders thinks that it easy tolose their wealth and thus emphasizes the government’s role inprotecting the country through increasing taxes on the military andsafeguarding the people’s right to own guns for self-defense whilethe farmers who are certain that their farms are not at risk do notsee the need for neither the government nor individuals’ violence.Secondly, Pinker argues that the herding culture inherited by theSouthern and Western’s inhabitants is as a result of their fear oflawlessness and their skepticism on individual autonomy. This isbecause they first encountered anarchy upon settling and had toresult to defending themselves. However, the women who settled in theWest instead of taking arms against each other turned to the Churchas a means of restoring morality. Picker concludes by arguing thatthe violence which is the order of the day in America is because ofthe first government’s failure to take up the monopoly power ofviolence as it did not disarm the citizens even though they were notready enough to be responsible with guns.
The audiences of Pinker’s article are the American voters. First,he is talking about the presidential elections and undoubtedly, itis the ordinary citizens who vote for delegates whom they think bestrepresent the values and beliefs of their region to represent them.Besides, he addresses the individuals and not representatives whichis evident in the mentioning of “farmers”, “Southerners”,“Westerners”, “people”, among other terms that point to histarget audience being individuals. The main theme of Pinker’sarticle is the voting process and how the Americans vote along theNorth and the South lines. First, he seeks to inform those who do notunderstand the genesis of the Left wing and the Right wing. Additionally, he seeks to show that while they have differentapproaches, they share a similar goal and hence, there is no needfor animosity. The main argument in Pinker’s article is that thedifference between the North and the South is not on their viewtowards the human nature, but on the different ways they seek toapproach it. For instance, he says beneath the differences in opinionbetween the right-wing and the left-wing there is a coherent mindset. Pinker seeks to analyze the economic, cultural and political historyof the left-wing and right-wing in the American Politics. He succeedsin executing this purpose by citing scholars in the area of theeconomy, culture and politics. For instance, he cites the economistThomas Sowell, Linguist George Lakoff, and Historian DavidCourtwright to back up his opinions. However as an audience, while Iagree with him that there is no much difference between the South andthe North on the need to contain human nature, I am not convinced byhis North-farmers and South-herders assertion as the basis of thedivergent opinions on the country’s social organization. I thinkthat there is no difference between herders and farmers as the twoare farmers and thus, they should have the same view on the role ofthe government. Besides, the argument that herders think that theirlivelihood which is on animals may be easily taken from them in thecase of a relaxed government that does not ensure an active militaryand personal’s security through gun ownership does not hold water.This is because farmers also harvest their produce and store themhence, they need firm governments to protect them similar to theherders.
Pinker, Steven. “Why are States so Red and Blue.” 2012. Web.