Mandate? We don’t got no stinking mandate

Off stage rigging in a theatre. I think it's an opera house.

First things first, Donald Trump won the 2016 election. He won according to the rules that were set out at the beginning of the election cycle. Even if he didn’t like them himself at times, he won according to them.

Now some people are saying–not everyone, but some–that this election is a mandate for one of the parties. That the victory by Trump combined with Republicans maintaining control of both the House and Senate means the people have given the party a mandate.

To be honest, I don’t think that word works in this context.

Let’s start with the dictionary definition:

noun 1. a command or authorization to act in a particular way on a public issue given by the electorate to its representative.
example: The president had a clear mandate to end the war.

Okay, if we can agree on that as a starting point, I have three reasons why there is no mandate.

First, and this is very important, Clinton won the popular vote.

Let me repeat that. Clinton, the loser–not Trump, the winner–actually had the most votes cast. Like, as of right now, 200,000 more.

Two-hundred thousand

That’s maybe 1% more votes than the winner got. Trump wins because of the Electoral College, and I am too tired to go into that. So you can look it up if you want.

Second, Trump did not receive the MAJORITY of the votes. He’s currently hanging around 47% of the votes. That means that less than half of the people who voted, voted for him. There were third party candidates that fouled that up for him, but it’s hard to claim a mandate when you didn’t get most of the people to vote for you.

Third, I don’t even get how people can say that Republican majorities in both parts of Congress equals a mandate. We have this thing called a representative democracy and that means that the 500,000 people in Wyoming have the same number of Senators as the 39,000,000 in California. See, that’s not equivalent.

And then, not everyone votes for all the candidates. So you can have a state or a district that has mandated their jurisdiction, but that’s it. It doesn’t cross over to the neighboring district like a bad smell. Now if all the districts elected candidates from one party, I would have a hard time saying that wasn’t a mandate. But that didn’t happen. Anyway, if a gerrymandered district votes the way it was designed, I’m just not down with that being a mandate. This point needs more work, but I’m running out of steam.

Last, there were 287,000 voters in the District of Columbia who cast zero votes for Congress because they are not in a state. Not part of anyone’s “mandate.”

Mandate in this case just sounds like disenfranchising a hunk–and a big hunk–of the electorate. The idea that Americans delivered a mandate to the Republicans is just poppycock.

That’s a funny word there, no? I always wanted to use it. I did. And now, after only sleeping two and a half hours in the past 44, I’m going to bed. I really can’t make any more sense today.

Bone-weary and Bleary

A slinky (TM)

I am tired in my whole self. My whole, entire self.

My feet are so tired. I can feel every bone and bonelette in them. The bone along the outside, those fifth metatarsals, feels almost twisted. They aren’t. My toes are tired-sore in a way that they are almost sighing. My shoes were cute and comfortable today, but the feet could only take so much. The balls of my feet are piqued and a little numb on the outside.

My shins feel tired, too. I think it was from standing, but the thin coating on the outside of the bone, is it a skinny muscle? I don’t really know anatomy. Anyway the shin wants a massage and a nap.

My knees are pulled up on the couch so my legs can rest. Where my legs connect to my torso in the back, also known as my ass, is droopy and a bit haggard. I am slouched down on the couch and I don’t care. My shoulders are pressing into the back of the seat, their sharp angles cutting the slipcover to shreds.

The space between my shoulders, at the base of my neck, feels like a crooked slinky. You know how a metal slinky gets a crimp in it and then it’s not right? It will slink back and forth okay, but won’t flip down the stairs?  That.

My earlobes are tired. Seriously. They feel like they are almost pulling away from my head. They feel heavy and my left ear has given up on the day in total exhaustion. The skin around the outside of my face is done. It’s hard to smile, to pick up those corners of my mouth and pull the skin back from my eyes as they squinch up. Squinching is a huge effort.

My head, and that which is inside of it, is like I had two Pacificos to accompany the chicken with green mole. Those beers have accelerated the turn of the tilt wand, slowly and inexorably blocking out the day. My brain is so tired that when the atrocious word, inexorably, presented itself it allowed my lazy fingers to type it. We hate that word, but I have no energy to block it today. Apologies.

I am going to drag myself to the sink, forcing one foot in front of the next and, like the slinky, using that energy to pull the lagging foot up and ahead. I need to brush my teeth, even though my ivories are sapped of energy, too. There is only one cure for this tired of the whole. You know. I have to make it so and put this tired to rest.