Blue vs. Red is not Democrat vs. Republican
Based on the data in the previous post, it is beyond clear that the Blue States are far more successful than the Red States by any conceivable metric. Following are two themes that Blue Staters should execute on:
#1 - "Wealth and Progress" Message
The message of both Republicans and Democrats from the Blue States should be "Wealth and Progress." The Blue States have come up with a magic formula for making money and living a healthier life. The Red States have not. The message to the "Purple" swing states is very simple: would you rather be more like California or more like Alabama?
Progressive social issues should always be framed in the context of the "Wealth and Progress" message. Universal health care for children? Attracts the types of workers that Blue States need to make money. Gay rights? Attracts the types of workers that Blue States need to make money. Environmental protection? Attracts the type of modern industries that make money.
Blue State Republicans and Blue State Democrats with national visibility seem to desire validation from Red Staters. There is nothing sillier than Rudy Gulliani or Hilary Clinton at a NASCAR race. Blue Staters should not try to be Red Staters. Stick to the "Wealth and Progress" message and let everyone follow the money.
#2 - Reduce Federal Taxes
The Red Staters are continually advocating smaller government and cuts in Federal taxes. The Blue States should agree! The Blue States pay far more than their share of Federal taxes and are subsidizing the Red States. A 1% reduction in Federal taxes and a 1% increase in Califonia State taxes would actually give California twice as much money since California pays $2 in Federal taxes for every $1 it receives.
The Blue States are constantly compromising social and policies they would like in order to accommodate the Red States, and the Red States feel as if the Blue States are pushing liberal policies on them. If everyone agreed to lower the Federal tax rate, states could individually chose whether or not to raise taxes to maintain social services. The United States has become sophisticated enough that a return to a decentralized federalism would be successful. Each state would control its own destiny, and more importantly, states would learn very quickly from each other about what works and what doesn't work.
In the European Union, there is no question that England, France, and Germany subsidize Spain, Portugal, and Greece, and that those poorer countries need to get their fiscal and social policies in order. The Blue States are the wealth generation machine of the United States. Rather than continually accommodating the Red States, Blue Staters should always promote that their way of governing generates wealth and be very clear that they are subsidizing the Red States.