The purple sunset on the red desert

The purple sunset on the red desert

I live in the American Southwest – specifically, Arizona. Our sunsets are legend, with fiery glowing streaks slicing through the red, orange, and yellow sky on the horizon, finally settling into a deep purple as the sun drifts out of sight. I watched one of those sunsets a few days ago. It was a perfect metaphor for what is happening to my beloved desert state.

Arizona has always been a politically solid red state, consistently counted on to be a GOP stronghold despite some fairly embarrassing local elections here (think Janet Napolitano) and Democratic-Lite mushes like John McCain that never seem to be voted out of office. Ignoring acts of insanity like these, why is Arizona now being described as a possible swing state, or an almost-purple state?

I agree that the usual suspects are valid excuses for some of this problem. Illegal immigration, liberal migration from other parts of the country, and the solid number of always-uninformed electorate are all players in the game. However, those players have been here a long time. There has to be more to this story.

Recently, much hullabaloo was made over the fact that The Arizona Republic newspaper endorsed Hillary Clinton. Eyes grew wide, jaws dropped, and coffee mugs simultaneously crashed to the floor all over the country, because for the first time in over 100 years, a “Republican” paper endorsed a Democrat!

Allow me to bring some sanity to this shocker. This is hardly a shocker. The Arizona Republic has not been anywhere near a conservative-leaning publication for as long as I can honestly remember. I’m not really sure why anyone cares who a newspaper endorses anymore, but I can tell you that it does not mean that the Democrats are running the state now. How brave of the Arizona Republic to endorse a candidate most people despise, only because the other candidate is equally as despicable.

Allow me to offer up my humble thoughts on my humble state’s wobble into purple town.

Beginning in March 2014, the number of registered Independents in Arizona exceeded numbers registered with any other recognized party in the state. It remains so. A study published in November 2015 by Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy unveiled that 73.3 percent of those majority Independents were moderates. This is important. For a Constitutional conservative, a state loaded with Independent moderates is truly a face palm moment. Independent moderates tend to stand on shaky ground when it comes to major issues like immigration, debt, military, and social policy.

I have three adjectives for moderates: Pliable, Unstable, and Purposeless. They also historically tend to have a low turn out at the polls in major elections, perhaps because they are pliable, unstable, and purposeless. This is a group that has no discernible platform of agreement, other than disgust with the two-party system. I too share that disgust, but I also need to have a goal and specific major issues I am fighting for.

I did a little digging and found that across the country registered Independents are growing as a voting bloc. In fact, it is the fastest growing group of people who register to vote. This makes perfect sense. Both major political parties have proven themselves to be beyond redemption, and many of their long-time supporters have simply had enough. Many new voters don’t know which party to pledge support for, so they choose Independent. I too flipped to Independent many years ago, so this is not a finger-pointing session. I get the reasons.

Here in Arizona, the majority of that group are also moderates, which are just Democrats in waiting. Give them a leftist emotional issue to fight for, and they will. There is no such thing as a Constitutional conservative moderate. A moderate, by definition, is someone who is mediocre, medium, calm, and not excessive or intense. In other words, avoids conflict and does not have strong views one way or another. These are people waiting for a reason to vote for somebody. They aren’t stupid, and they aren’t the enemy, and they are absolutely salvageable.

The average American citizen who does not spend hours each week wading into the swamp of politics is utterly confounded. Who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys, and why? Imagine trying to actually learn anything from the half-truths, filtered facts, and outright lies that your average person hears or sees.

The American media is a disgrace, truly now the equivalent of a state-run propaganda machine. Even so-called political websites have chosen sides so fervently that the truth seldom gets printed, because no one cares to figure out what the truth is anymore. I don’t even want to discuss the failure of many in conservative talk radio.

In 2016, the Republicans and Democrats are basically holding hands and skipping over the torn remnants of the Constitution, both heading in the same direction while at the same time screaming that they aren’t. Imagine trying to decide who to vote for looking at that spectacle.

Honestly, I am tired of the entire concept of blue states and red states, because that describes Democrat or Republican, and both need to be kicked to the curb of history. Arizona, along with other states, is turning purple because it reflects the loss of attachment to blue or red. We aren’t suddenly loaded with Democrats. We are loaded with people belonging nowhere.

When the brilliant standards of the Constitution are not front and center, people will drift left. They have no foundation that moors them to the truth. Instead, the party and candidate that has the slickest circus act wins the vote.

Many of us believe that it is time to walk away from blue and red, and move into a new colorless political era for America. The Constitution has no color reflecting what party it should belong to. All parties should be claiming the Constitution, and right now none of them are.

The rise in Independents isn’t about left or right. It’s about confusion and anger. The answer is the Constitution brought to life again. It’s on life support, folks.

Image Credit: Jansen Gunderson


I grew up in a politically dysfunctional household with a staunch liberal mother and a mushy in-the-middle pop. I am naturally a conservative. I came out of the womb as one, and took great delight in annoying my parents by voting for Ronald Reagan, and doing horrible things like giving my mother a copy of Rush Limbaugh’s first book for Christmas one year. I am a classically trained pianist, and a reader of anything obscure and lost to history. I volunteer with animals (I call them fuzzybutts) rescued from “death row” at the pound. I was raised a Christian, and I still have a lot of questions and some doubts, but my faith remains. God talks to me all the time; I just often neglect to listen. Oh, I’m also an ex-felon. Imagine that.

    1. Thanks, Duckie. Yes, it could go for every state, which is what makes it all so frightening. Just a huge sea of people wandering around looking for a direction, and usually, they turn left. I think that is just human nature. It takes work and love of country to remain conservative and based on the Constitution. Any fool can be a liberal.

  1. Progressives like Girivilia, Gordon, and even so called Republicans like Flake are not only fakey, but have helped to advance the state from red to center with large populations that leans left.
    The state has moved to the center not just because of the political games you note but the younger voting bloc that was first energized with Obama imo.
    This country has been skipping over the Constitution for decades now.

    As a felon, do you vote, LOL

    1. Hi, and thanks for reading my post and responding to it. Yes, all of those things you mentioned are a part of the problem, not just here but across the country. A lot of things are at play here. I just see a whole bunch of people who have nothing to believe in, and as I wrote, those people will go left. As for voting? No, actually I am not allowed to vote as an ex-felon in my state. That is not an automatic thing once you are released from incarceration here. In my case, I have to fulfill all of the mandates of the judgment from the court, and I have not completed that yet. I do not vote here.

    2. No, actually I do not vote. I am unable to do so. In Arizona, there are specific things that have to be met before that right is restored. In my case, that right has not yet been restored. I wish I could vote, and one day, I will be able to again. It’s just part of the price that must be paid, and I must pay it.

  2. Wow wow wow wow wow! Oh, and did I mention…wow! Dang, Constance, you really hit it out of the park with this one.
    For someone who is considering a future move to Arizona, this was information very much needed. I also have left the GOP. but instead of registering as an Independent, as I have done in the past, I took it even further and registered as “Other”. They have that option here in the PRK. Then I filled in the blank line with………..Constitutional Freedom Party.
    Your comment on the newspaper is spot-on. I can’t remember the last time I bought one, being as they all seem left-leaning to me, and a total waste of my money. Same goes for the MSM. And your thoughts concerning Independents makes it clear that it will take people like you and me to educate them on the facts of real life in the political spectrum. Maybe by doing this we can make them purposeful again? One can only hope so.
    Finally, your views on colors is the same as I see it. The focus should be on the Constitution, first and foremost. I so despise the two-party system of government, and wish to see it end up on the ash heap of history!

    I can’t wait for your next article. 🙂

    1. Well, thank you! I’m sure my views can be argued by others, and that’s ok. I just call it as I see it. So much has been happening for decades to degrade our country politically and morally. As for moving to AZ, please come! We need all the help we can get here, and I know it has to be better than where you are. It’s a shame what has happened to CA. To think that was once a conservative state, and not really so long ago.

  3. Loved reading your article and you have a Beautiful State, AZ!!… “A Colorless America” is what we need!! Praying that we do return back to a Constitution it’s the only way we can survive as a Nation!!

    1. Thanks for reading! I do love my state, and watching it transform as it has is painful. This is going on across the country. We have left behind those things that made us so special from the very beginning. When people have no foundation and no actual leadership based on morality and the Constitution, they drift left. It’s much harder to be conservative than it is to be liberal. Liberal is easy – requires very little sacrifice.

    1. Thank you! I’ve often wondered how many people who scream about this candidate or that have actually ever even read the Constitution AND have understood it. I don’t even want to contemplate the answer.

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