Republicans Didn’t Win a Mandate

Last night, Paul Ryan, jubilant with the prospect that his long dream of dismantling the state may be finally at hand, called the election ‘a repudiation of the status quo of failed liberal progressive policies.’ This morning, going further, he insisted Trump ‘just earned a mandate.’ The rule of law entitles Ryan and his party to exercise the power they have won. But Ryan is seeking something more — the deference of a party that is seen as embodying the will of the people. He is not entitled to that. … Trump’s election cannot be called a decision by the voters to repudiate the liberal status quo because, for one thing, it was not a decision by the voters at all. The voters supported Clinton over Trump. The decision was made by the Electoral College, which as a matter of opinion can be called archaic, and as a matter of objective fact can be called anti-democratic. Again, the rules are the rules. But it remains the case that Ryan and his party have power not because of the will of the voters but despite it.

Jonathan Chait

Connect:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *