I have been reading in your paper and on the net all this talk about a “mandate” for the Democratic Party. I find that notion an absurdity, as well as a great example of hype. Considering that the political left has long been a critic of the Electoral College, let’s look at the popular vote, which the left has always considered as the true yardstick.
Barack Obama won the election by less than 4 percent of the vote. That is hardly a mandate.
In 1964, Lyndon Johnson won over Barry Goldwater by 22.6 percentage points. That is a mandate.
In 1972, Richard Nixon won over George McGovern by 23.1 percentage points. That is a mandate.
In 1984, Ronald Reagan won over Walter Mondale by 18.2 percentage points. That is a mandate.
You could even stretch the concept with the 1996 Bill Clinton over Bob Dole by 8.5 percent, but that’s pushing it.
But less than 4 percentage points and it’s a mandate? How absurd!
Let’s talk football to make it easier to understand: The results of the Obama-Romney game were 21-20 with Obama winning. That is what 4 percent looks like. That is not a mandate, that is squeaking out a win. Barely.
Care to look at it differently? Say there are 41 people on a bus and they want to go to New Orleans and Pensacola, Fla., but they don’t have the money to do both, so they vote. The vote is 20 want New Orleans, 20 want Pensacola. One person tips the scale.
That is not a mandate, and those who believe it is need to get over themselves and face reality. We are a divided nation and the difference between left and right is marginal at best.
The left demand that Republicans compromise in ways that will hurt them with their constituency, but refuse to do anything that will hurt themselves with their own constituency. In a 21-20 victory, I think the left needs to realize that in a game this close, both sides should be proud of their accomplishments and both sides need to sacrifice.