1104 Red State / Blue State

Shiloh and Adria talk about living in a red state and a blue state.


Adria: So Shiloh, we're talking about politics right now and there's something in the US called red and blue states, could you explain a little bit what they are?

Shiloh: Yeah Adria, a red state in the United States is a state which is dominated by Republicans. There are two large political parties. There's the Democrats and the Republicans and the Democrats are blue and the Republicans are red. Also there are animals which identify what party you're from. The Democrats are donkeys and Republicans are elephants and I don't know the history behind that. It's kind of weird but it's kind of funny as well, but I'm from a red state which is an elephant state.

Adria: Yeah, I'm also from largely a red state but we have blue enclaves inside that state.

Shiloh: So what do you think, right now we have two major political parties in the United States, the Democrats and the Republicans, and they're always fighting against each other and the bureaucracy and the politics always seem to be between parties instead of between issues. Do you think that this is a big problem? Do you think it's getting any better? What do you think about that?

Adria: I definitely think that there's quite a gridlock in the US political system because of the two party, the very strong line two party system, and in the Senate especially there's not enough you know between party negotiations going on. Everybody stays with their party instead of doing what's best for your state or for your people. So, for instance, with healthcare, Senator McConnell is Kentucky's representative but you know what's best for Kentucky might actually be nationalized healthcare because of how many poor people we have and pregnant thirteen year olds but I think that he just sticks with the Republican ideals without actually trying to see is this better for my people or not.

Shiloh: I see. What do you think about talk radio shows and television, it seems like talk radio shows, political radio shows, are always bashing the opposition instead of talking about what is important. Do you think that this, I think that this contributes to inter party feuds and I don't think it helps anything because what you wind up listening to is just argument against a party instead of argument against a position.

Adria: I agree with that so I try to follow news that's a little more between the lines maybe. I listen to something called National Public Radio or NPR.

Shiloh: I love NPR.

Adria: It's a little liberal leaning definitely, but I mean I recognize the liberal leaning and I also get outside news sources from like BBC. That way they're not caught up in that whole two party system, they're looking at it from a different perspective. So what about you? What do you watch or listen to?

Shiloh: I watch the BBC a lot because they focus more on international politics, although I think the BBC focuses a little too much on African politics and not everywhere else in the rest of the world.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


I'm also from largely a red state but we have blue enclaves inside that state.

An enclave is a small group of people who are in some way different from the people living around them. Notice the following:

  1. There's a small enclave of Vietnamese immigrants living in the city.
  2. The city's divided into several small cultural enclaves.


I definitely think that there's quite a gridlock in the US political system

In politics, gridlock is a term used to describe a situation where disagreement makes progress slow and difficult.. Notice the following:

  1. There's so much gridlock that nothing gets done.
  2. Gridlock's been a a problem since the last election.

sticks with

He just sticks with the Republican ideals.

To stick with something means we continue with it even if it is difficult. Notice the following:

  1. Let's stick with the original plan.
  2. He wants to stick with the same supplier.


Political radio shows are always bashing the opposition.

When we bash something, that means we speak in a strongly negative way about it. Notice the following:

  1. He's always bashing the conservatives.
  2. Bashing the opposition is normal in politics.

wind up

What you wind up listening to is just argument against a party.

We use the term 'wind up' to talk about the result of an action. Notice the following:

  1. Many people wind up losing their money.
  2. We got lost and wound up where we started.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
  1. Many people losing their jobs because of the recession.
  2. There's usually an of minorities even within a large city.
  3. The political often prevents things from getting done.
  4. He was determined to his original proposal.
  5. Did you really mean to him before his friends?