Have you wondered how the red and blue states came to be? And why those colors? I wondered too, and discovered that we owe the current U.S. political color palette to Tim Russert. And I learned a lot more about the use of colors in politics, going way back in history.

The whole story can be found in my essay called “Red, White, Blue and You — or The Color of Politics,” which I presented before the Literary Club of Chicago on election eve 2012. And yes, Cleaopatra had a hand in the story, too. And so did the obsolete and dangerous Electoral College system of electing our Presidents. And why is purple in our nation’s future?

Read about all this and more in my essay at http://www.chilit.org, then search for the title “Red, White, Blue and You” under “Ebeling.”