Outside the Spectrum: The Colors Get Political

Outside the Spectrum explores MtG Color Philosophy apart from the established lore. The colors of Magic don’t stop when the game ends; they’re based on real-life conflicts in human thought and behavior, boiled down into five easy-to-understand archetypes. These can be applied to a huge variety of characters and concepts, both real and fictional, and this column aims to explore those classifications.

Political issues are complicated enough in real life, but how would the colors of Magic feel about some of the more hot-button issues facing us today? Come with me as I explore three political debate topics and how each of the colors might approach them. You may learn something new about yourself, depending on who you agree with!

Issue #1: Same-Sex Marriage

Should homosexual citizens should be allowed to marry each other?


White says: The needs of the few have never outweighed the needs of the many, and this is no exception. I’m not against gay people, but for the vast majority, marriage is going to be between a man and a woman. I’m all for bringing about peace and ending conflicts, but the fact that this is such a highly-debated issue means that passing a new law probably wouldn’t stop the arguments either way. Our current laws are pretty clear on what marriage is and who can and can’t marry each other, and ensuring that everyone sticks to them is the easiest way to maintain order.

blueBlue says: This whole “love and emotion” thing is kind of out of my wheelhouse, but I know enough about taxonomy to agree with White to an extent. “Marriage” has an established definition after years and years of precedent, and I think that if a new union was to be formed, it would need to be given a new classification. Of course, if we came up with a new term for same-sex marriage, we might have to come up with entirely new terms for all sorts of relationships, regardless of the genders that make them up. Personally, there’s nothing I’d love more than fifty only-slightly-different terms to classify how two people relate to each other.

blackBlack saysI’m going to marry who I want to marry, for whatever reasons I choose, and how you deal with it is not really my problem. If you have these powers of marriage, you better believe I’m going to have them too, and I will change the definition to suit my needs. Plus, don’t you know how extravagant gay people are? I could make a killing planning gay weddings (and divorces!).


Red says: I love love, and I love having the freedom to do what I want! This puts me in a bit of a weird situation on this issue. I believe you can get married to who-or-what-ever you want, of course, and no laws should stop you from true love. But I personally don’t believe in being tied down or restricted to only one lover. In a nutshell, I won’t stop you from doing whatever you want, and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise, but I don’t think marriage is for me.

greenGreen says: Marriage is a man-made construct that goes against the basic human need to breed as much as humanly possible, so I’m against all marriage, not just gay marriage. You can love whoever you want, of course; if you’re gay, you were obviously born that way and no one should force you to be something you’re not. But you’re also human, and your instincts are telling you to be with as many lovers as possible, as often as possible. Marriage isn’t really conducive to that.

Issue #2: Gun Control

How much access should the common citizen have to deadly firearms?

whiteWhite says: My stance on this one is pretty cut-and-dried, in that I support the complete banning of firearms in the hands of citizens. I protect my citizens, and the individual’s right to own a gun does not overshadow the group’s right to not get shot. Besides, keeping deadly force solely in the hands of authority figures will cut down on crime and make it easier to enforce laws.

blueBlue says: Again, out of my comfort zone here. Guns are primarily used for hunting and fighting, neither of which I’m particularly interested in. I like the concept of guns; they’re a true feat of engineering and human ingenuity. As is the case for most topics, I support rigorous education on gun operation and safety for anyone who wants it. I’m also all for a registry of gun owners because I love documenting things, and extended background checks because nothing revs my engine like research and planning ahead. Basically, I think education, not prohibition, is the right move here.

blackBlack says: Guns are good for showing others who’s boss, and killing, both of which I am a huge fan of. Guns are a wonderful tool for gaining an edge on someone, and when you need to achieve your goals by any means necessary, a gun is all but indispensable. The only person I can really trust is myself, so I’m not going to betray my own trust by willingly giving up a tool that can give me an advantage when protecting myself or procuring things I need.

redRed says: You know I love my freedom, so of course I believe that anyone at all should own as many or as few guns as they want, because why not? You know I’m not hugely worried about consequences or personal safety, and if I’m in a sticky situation, I’d love to be able to just end it right there by pulling out my shooter. And guns are fun! It’s fun to go target shooting and hunting, and guns also make a really loud BANG that I find quite satisfying. Haven’t you ever just fired a gun wildly into the sky? Great times.

greenGreen says: While I’m obviously not against hunting in any context, I don’t think guns are the best way to go about it. Leave it to the inventions of man to completely obliterate any fairness hunting might have had, or any semblance of “survival of the fittest”. Got a gun? Congratulations, you’re the fittest. That doesn’t sit right with me, because any yahoo can grab a gun. Outlaw guns, bring back archery and fisticuffs. You want that freshly-slain deer for dinner, or that loud-mouth at the bar to stop bothering everyone? You’re gonna have to earn it the natural way.

Issue #3: Abortion Rights

Should citizens be permitted to terminate births prematurely?

whiteWhite says: In my society, the strong protects the weak, and abortion seems counter to that concept. I’m pretty clear-cut on being against murdering, and I happen to believe that ending even a premature human life counts. I’d hold fast to this even in situations where the mother’s life is threatened or the pregnancy was the product of rape. In the former case, since the individual is not as important as the collective, the newborn child is more valuable to the future of society than the mother, who has already performed her duty of providing new life. In the latter, I’d compare it to a public building being destroyed by a terrorist attack; it’s absolutely tragic, but damned if there isn’t a new plot of land for us to build on now.

blueBlue says: If we have access to this technology, there’s really no reason why we shouldn’t use it. We as humans get to choose our own destinies, and that means we get to decide what to do with our own bodies and why. Additionally, I’m a big fan of planning ahead; I’m not going to let some petty human body function interrupt my research if I have the means of removing it from the equation. Besides, the applications of stem cell research are far-reaching, and I’ve never let a little thing like morality stop me from furthering the pursuit of human knowledge.

blackBlack says: I’m with Blue on this one. My life is my own, my body is my own, and I will simply not permit anyone to make rules or laws that govern that. If I want to abort my unborn fetus, at any time, for any reason, that is purely my business. Access to abortions gives us a greater level of control over one of the most basic human functions of pregnancy and childbirth, and I think it’s important for me to be able to have access to that power if I ever decide I need it.

redRed says: Hey, we’ve all acted on impulse and made decisions we’re not proud of, right? I’m not one for forethought, but I am one for escaping consequences, and access to abortion technology is a good tool for doing so. I can’t lie though; the whole thing would probably make me really, really uncomfortable, just because of the emotion aspects involved in giving up a life that I’ve created. At the end of the day though, I agree with my buddy Black; being able to access this technology, should I need it, is a freedom I am not willing to give up.

greenGreen says: Birth is natural, life is natural, abortion is not. I don’t think that we as humans should play with the very foundations of life itself; it’s too much responsibility, and we’re not in any position to handle it. We were put on this earth to breed and give birth and carry on our lineage through the years, and granting access to abortions throws a monkey wrench in that whole process. Plus, this may surprise you, but I think life is sacred. Go figure, right?

The colors’ viewpoints are as varied as you would expect, with their reasoning and justifications spanning the spectrum of human opinion. Were you surprised to find yourself agreeing, or disagreeing, with any particular color on an issue of import? Let me know in the comments, and also mention if you think any of the colors would have leaned a different way on these issues, or if there’s another issue that you’d like to see the colors discuss. You can also contact me on Twitter at @setheweinstein if you’d like a more personal discussion.

(Mana symbols ©1993-2013 Wizards of the Coast, LLC)

5 Responses to “Outside the Spectrum: The Colors Get Political”
  1. cookiegambit says:

    Just discovered this blog, and it’s focus on the Color Pie… Absolutely fascinating.

    After reading this, I wondered what ‘deck’ I would build, politically-speaking?
    #1: White/Blue
    #2: Blue, splash of Black/Red
    #3: Green/White

    Obviously they didn’t cover every conceivable opinion, but you pretty much got the gamut here, so again, interesting read. : )

  2. Sliver says:

    Regarding the opinion of Green about abortion, I think it is more ambivalent; being the color of nature, it is more concerned about the whole of the ecosystem, knowing that parts growing in excess can disrupt the balance of nature (such as too many unchecked herbivores leading to pastures turning into wastelands, as it almost happens to Yellowstone after the disappearance of the wolves in the 20s before their reintroduction in the 90s), and may cite behaviors of certain animals (such as the eagles feeding the fittest offspring while leaving the weak ones to starve, the intrauterine cannibalism of the sand tiger shark, or the aforementioned wolves adjusting their birthrate to the presence of prey) as examples of beings controlling their own populations.

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