Mr. Obama received 63mn votes, which would have been roughly similar for whatever candidate might have won. Is this a mandate?
US President is "the most important job in the world," said a Bloomberg article announcing the election result. The office surely does impact the entire world.
One problem with that is that it defies the job description utterly. I mean the original job description in the Constitution, the document that legally created the office of President. As the Founders roll over in their graves, the decisions of US Presidents impact the entire world, particularly those portions of it that, at any given time in recent history, no matter which party is in power, find US-launched or sponsored violent destruction raining down.
But how about the significance of those voting numbers? As I have been suggesting above, it all depends on your perspective. For example, the voting-age citizen population of the US is about 200mn. Therefore, about 68.5% of this group did not vote for the next US President; just 31.5% did. Indeed, only 20.6% of the entire population of the United States (305.5mn) voted for Mr. Obama. Thus, 79.4% of the US population did not, either by choice or by exclusion. Is the next President according to such a process their President? What power should he have over them, to make decisions on their behalf, to spend their resources and even lives?
And looking further afield, the global population is 6,734.9mn. This means that a scant 0.94% of people voted for the next occupant of this office.
Though I find political voting highly problematic ethically, I did vote yesterday too, in a way. The campaigning by many, many great candidates had been intense. But in the end, on economic voting day, the day of decision, the result was unanimous, as usual. What I voted for, incidentally, was a Brother HL-5280DW monochrome printer for my office.
One vote in favor; none against. 100%. As it should be.