The Mandate

by Dave Schuler on November 16, 2012

About 51% of the voters that voted cast their votes for President Obama. Of eligible voters about 60% voted. That means that just over 30% of eligible voters voted in support of President Obama. Just slightly fewer voted for the other guy.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Verdon November 16, 2012 at 11:38 am

You don’t understand! He got lots of electoral college votes, therefore a mandate!!

Obama is awesome. Why he is nearly perfect. Ask Michael.

jan November 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I have never understood the lack of motivation for people not to vote. I suppose if that right were taken away from them, maybe it would all of a sudden become something they wanted to do! The paradox of human nature…..

Steve Verdon November 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Voting has alot to be desired jan.

1. Your vote almost surely never decisive.

2. If it is decisive, God help us all.

3. Even if your preferred candidate is elected you often have lots of buyers remorse.

4. Most voters hold silly biases such as anti-market biases.

5. Your vote never really counts (I hear this all the time, I’ll say I’ll vote for the libertarian candidate and the response is, why waste your vote…well okay, but then isn’t voting for any candidate a waste?)

6. People say, well you want change and you can’t get it by not voting, to which I say see number 5. Either you waste your vote voting for the same two corrupt parties, or waste it voting third candidate.

7. I have serious issues allocating resources via voting, it sucks…often worse than the market. But we are doing it more and more.

8. Our political system is seriously disfunctional, trying to work inside a disfunctional framework is even more stupid than pissing in the wind.

Steve Verdon November 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm

2. If it is decisive, God help us all.

BTW, not insulting you jan, the “you” is anybody. My point is recall in 2000 how things went when the issue was a few hundred votes? Think what it would be like if the outcome really did hinge on just 1 vote.

…although in my more misanthropic moments, I sometimes think watching what would happen in that case would be interesting.

Jimbino November 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I have, since so long ago, been resolved to live with the least bad of two awful choices in presidents, both incompetent in math and science, both ignorant of foreign languages, both married and religious and breeders with cats and dogs to boot.

These are types I would hardly deign to share a beer with at the local pub.

Andy November 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Steve V.,

While I agree with a lot of your comments about voting, I fail to see an alternative system which would be superior.

jan November 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Steve

BTW, not insulting you jan, the “you” is anybody.

Thanks, I didn’t take it as such….

Regarding the importance of voting (to me): I become more a part of the process when I vote, as well as it creates an incentive to explore the options available on the ballot — basically keeping me informed and engaged as to what is going on in this country.

These days, my vote is usually not one of the ‘winning’ ones. However, IMO, having a choice is important to exercise, even if a person may be outnumbered by those of a different ideology. Whether or not it makes a difference in the overall outcome, at least I am participating and being proactive with what I believe in. That’s just who I am…..

Steve Verdon November 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

jan,

I become more a part of the process when I vote, as well as it creates an incentive to explore the options available on the ballot — basically keeping me informed and engaged as to what is going on in this country.

That is fine, but as Jimbino noted, it is picking the least bad of an awful selection. South Park parodied this perfectly in their episode where they were voting for a new school mascot, a giant douche or a turd sandwich. The ultimate point is that the choice is almost always that way as giant douches and turds are the only people who can rise to the top since they are the only ones who can act in such an abysmal manner.

So why should I worry about which giant douche or turd sandwich gets elected? No matter what the outcome is extremely unlikely to be an improvement in much of anything.

These days, my vote is usually not one of the ‘winning’ ones. However, IMO, having a choice is important to exercise, even if a person may be outnumbered by those of a different ideology.

It is a meaningless choice though.

Whether or not it makes a difference in the overall outcome, at least I am participating and being proactive with what I believe in.

No insult intended, but no, you’re not. You go out vote for Candidate A and Candidate happens to win. Candidate A is then free to vote however he or she likes, your preferences be damned. This is what I meant by buyers remorse. And obviously if Candidate A loses, then you aren’t being proactive at all cause it is most likely the case that Candidate B is even less likely to vote the way you want.

Look at our current situation. I once noted that President Obama has, if anything, doubled down on the Bush agenda.

1. Extended the Bush tax cuts.
2. Surged in Afghanistan.
3. Guantanamo is still open.
4. Continued with the stimulus and added to it.
5. Continued with the bailout of GM and Chrysler.
6. Warrantless wiretapping has increased tremendously.
7. Drug policy, same as Bush.

This last election saw yet another re-affirmation of Bush policies. Romney was basically, “Yeah me too!! Oh and I’d cut the deficit by trimming fat from 10% of the budget!!!!”

So, I just can’t be arsed to vote. The system is broken. And as a friend once quipped, no amount of polishing a turd will make it look nice.

Jimbino,

These are types I would hardly deign to share a beer with at the local pub.

I wouldn’t have a beer with them, not because they are ignorant, religious, breeders, or have pets…I’d refuse to drink with them because they are politicians and therefore corrupt.

TastyBits November 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm

@Steve Verdon

… a giant douche or a turd sandwich …

Many times the choice is between a turd sandwich on white or wheat bread.

… Candidate A is then free to vote however he or she likes, your preferences be damned. …

As original envisioned by the founders, this is an intentional feature. The US Constitution was brilliantly designed.

TastyBits November 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm

@jan

I agree with most of @Steve Verdon’s comments. I vote for “none of the above”. It is a choice, but it is rarely deemed to be a valid choice. When I see one party trying to get out the other party’s voters in the battleground states, I will believe the nonsense about everybody voting.

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