WITCHITA, Kan. — Ever since President Obama won re-election last week, conservatives have been worrying that changing demographics will continue to turn even dependable “red” states to “blue” ones. But Republican stronghold Kansas is making sure that won’t happen with an unconventional measure – it’s painting the whole state red.
“We are never going blue,” vowed a high-ranking Kansas official who asked to remain anonymous. Wielding a paint brush while painting a cornfield crimson, the official added, “You’ve heard the expression ‘painting the town red?’ Well, we’re painting the entire state red!”
Thousands of volunteers have been branching out to the four corners of Kansas with paint, brushes, crayons, red dye and smocks, in order to give the streets, wheat fields, buildings and highways a scarlet hue.
Kansas is one of a number of states in Middle America that has consistently voted Republican in national and state elections. Democrats have long been puzzled why the state seems to vote against its own interests, so much so that it became the subject of a popular book, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” by Thomas Frank.
“We had to take a stand,” said Kansas resident Jenny Fenbrook, while coloring individual strands of grass. “After Obama won, a lot of us were ‘seeing red’ so we just decided we’d better keep on seeing it, and here we are.”
Some social scientists have speculated that painting the entire state red will cause even greater anxiety among the state’s inhabitants.
“Red is not a soothing color,” said noted colorologist Carl Wynkoff. “It raises blood-pressure and increases anxiety.”
But that is exactly the point, Fenbrook says. “It keeps us nice and edgy, which puts us in the proper mental state to vote Republican.”
The color change has even resulted in a new slogan on the state’s license plates. It reads: “Kansas: it’s to dye for.”