CDZ The Psychology of "Mandates"

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Mac1958, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. Mac1958
    Offline

    Mac1958 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    44,800
    Thanks Received:
    9,031
    Trophy Points:
    2,060
    Location:
    Independent Ave.
    Ratings:
    +36,081
    Among the many similar behaviors the two major parties share is this predictable chant of "MANDATE!" whenever they win an election. The point appears to be, "we won, so we have a mandate to shove every last bit of our agenda right down your throat whether you like it or not. Because we won".

    Okay. And we all know how that ends up. They end up on the wrong end of a wave election and we go in the opposite direction for a while. Back and forth, back and forth, we just never learn.

    In 2016, Donald Trump received 62,979,636 votes, or 46.1% of the votes. Now, I'm not complaining about that, nor is this a conversation about the Constitution or electoral votes. But I do wonder how he and his supporters interpret 46.1% of the popular vote as a mandate to pull the country in their direction.

    Here is my guess, please let me know if I'm wrong: You know what's best for the country, and once you've had a chance to put your agenda in place, the majority of the country will open its eyes and see that you were right all along.

    Is that fair? Thoughts? (And by the way, this applies to both parties)
    .
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  2. Freewill
    Offline

    Freewill Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    31,159
    Thanks Received:
    5,037
    Trophy Points:
    1,130
    Ratings:
    +16,623
    Actually, I don't see a lot of talk about mandates with Trumps election. What I do see is that elections have consequences.

    TheIf I were to see a mandate in the Trump election it would be giving the establishment the middle finger big time.

    Unfortunately I believe our government has grown in a fashion that makes whatever they do unworkable. For example, look at the COTUS, simple, and a few pages. Now look at ACA and the reams of paper to explain what could be simple. Then throw in the SCOTUS making law. Or the president, any president, making law through executive orders. The system is almost unworkable, in my opinion. And the only recourse the voters have is to keep voting the ins out and that just ain't gonna do anything.
     
  3. Fishlore
    Offline

    Fishlore Silver Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    938
    Thanks Received:
    170
    Trophy Points:
    90
    Location:
    New Hampshire USA
    Ratings:
    +446
    "Mandate" is a latinate word meaning "command," a mandate is something the citizens command the government to do. We do have some cases of legal mandate in the form of a popular referendum which requires the passage of a specific act if enough signatures are obtained. Congressional and presidential elections are not, technically, mandates. The candidates are elected and are bound only to follow constitutional procedure in performance of the duties of office. Of course, candidates normally seek election by promising to do something specific if victorious, and voters often chose them because they want to see those promises carried out. But they are promises without consequences. The candidate is free to change his mind or break his promise. Elections do not produce mandates. Politicians uses the term as a propaganda tool.
     
  4. martybegan
    Offline

    martybegan Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Messages:
    39,932
    Thanks Received:
    5,529
    Trophy Points:
    1,140
    Ratings:
    +19,922
    it's just another selling point in both directions, i.e. (we have a mandate! vs. they lack a mandate!)

    Mandates are meaningless, the only things that matters are votes in the house of 50%+1, votes in the senate of 50 or 60 depending on the bill, which president's hand the pen is in, and can you convince 5 of 9 unelected lawyers that your program is constitutional.
     
  5. Xelor
    Offline

    Xelor Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2017
    Messages:
    10,934
    Thanks Received:
    1,607
    Trophy Points:
    290
    Location:
    D.C.
    Ratings:
    +5,766
    They are utter simpletons who see the matter binarily, much as they see sporting contests. "A" lost and "B" won is all the consideration they care to give. That degree of simplification is fine for a sporting contest because the only people for whom a win or loss truly matters are the contestants. When it comes to winning an election, however, regardless of what individual/party wins, the winning individual is supposed to effect public policy so that the overwhelming majority of the polity are the winners for having chosen whomever won the election.

    But as to the more simplistic point of whether some 46% constitutes an unequivocal popularly accorded imprimatur, well, no, it doesn't. Neither, for that matter, does some 53% majority. In modern times and by my reckoning, Reagan (1984), Nixon (1972), Johnson (1964), and Eisenhower (both times) won big enough to construe their wins as popular mandates. The rest of the post-1936 elections were not, not that I think the 1930s and before, in this context, can be rightly called "modern times."

    I have edited the personal pronouns in statement above as shown below because it's what I think you were intending, OP-er.

    Assuming my interpretation of what you wrote is accurate, yes, that does appear to be the nature and extent of hubris elected office holders exhibit.

    For some few matters, I don't have a problem with their thus exhibiting it. For the rest, those for which there is a preponderance of empirical evidence and expert opinion indicating course of action "X" is the most likely to yield the maximum measure of beneficial results, yet policymakers implement/enact policy other than "X" or some procrustean bastardization of "X." I find that unacceptable for the solution/policy approaches to handling such matters vary by the political persuasion of the individuals holding elected office.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  6. blackhawk
    Offline

    blackhawk Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Messages:
    21,950
    Thanks Received:
    4,204
    Trophy Points:
    280
    Location:
    Deep in the heart of Texas.
    Ratings:
    +14,231
    As you said both parties have gotten this mindset that because they win in a Presidential election year they think they have a mandate to do whatever they want yet when they lose big in midterm elections they never see that as a mandate against them. It's not the right of the party in power to do as they please nor is it the job of the party out of power to do nothing but obstruct the two parties are not going to agree on everything but it's still there job to try and work together and try and find common ground for the benefit of the nation and people when possible something both seem to have forgotten.
     
  7. Mac1958
    Offline

    Mac1958 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    44,800
    Thanks Received:
    9,031
    Trophy Points:
    2,060
    Location:
    Independent Ave.
    Ratings:
    +36,081
    Yeah, they've definitely forgotten it. And it's only getting worse. When they inevitably get voted out for going too far, the last place they look is the mirror. Democrats will say they lost because Americans are stupid and racist; Republicans will say they lost because of the media or because of a RINO candidate.

    This is one of the symptoms of being afflicted with a partisan ideology: Intellectual blindness. They can't see the obvious. They WON'T see it, because the ends of the spectrum have become terribly narcissistic and have convinced themselves that only they have all the answers.
    .
     
  8. Mac1958
    Offline

    Mac1958 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    44,800
    Thanks Received:
    9,031
    Trophy Points:
    2,060
    Location:
    Independent Ave.
    Ratings:
    +36,081
    I don't believe partisan behavior is a function of intelligence, or lack thereof. I literally look at it as an affliction that can infect even perfectly intelligent people. This affliction literally distorts both perceptions (what comes in and the nature of that prism) and thought processes (how it is then analyzed and how conclusions are formed). That's why the afflicted are so passionate - they truly believe what they are saying. In their own way, they are being honest and truthful.

    So sometimes I struggle when trying to communicate with them - surely they realize what they are saying isn't true, or is only partially true, surely they know they're being intellectually dishonest - or do they really believe this stuff? And most importantly, does their affliction cause them to block out all contrary evidence and data like that, and only see one pure end of an argument? That's why I'll sometimes tell them, "I absolutely believe that you absolutely believe that."

    And literally, I believe that those of us who are not ideological like that are not smarter than them by any measure. We have simply been fortunate enough to avoid the affliction. So far, we'll see, who knows.
    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  9. Toronado3800
    Offline

    Toronado3800 VIP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Thanks Received:
    357
    Trophy Points:
    85
    Ratings:
    +651
    If you win with 88% of the popular vote then you probably have a mandate and the Bill of Rights is going to have a difficult time standing up to you lol and the 12% better try to get out while they can.

    If you win with 46%, 48%, heck, 58%, you probably don't have a mandate in the sense I think they are using it.
     
  10. yiostheoy
    Offline

    yiostheoy Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    20,054
    Thanks Received:
    1,858
    Trophy Points:
    290
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Ratings:
    +9,739
    I hear Speaker Ryan using the term "mandate" a lot.

    My thoughts are that this is all political bullsh!t.

    But with Ryan being a consummate politician he is good at it.

    Ryan probably plans to run for POTUS in 2024. So he is getting a lot of face time now. Pence will probably run against him in the primaries.
     

Share This Page