source: Results by county, shaded according to winning candidate's percentage of the vote. Red=Republican Blue=Democrat)
This win was a little less than his first term win of 52.9% to McCains 45.7%.
Nevertheless, since the election, the collectivist bias in the US press and in Australia, has become more and more strident in declaring that the President has a mandate for doing whatever he likes. This includes an increase in the use of executive orders to circumvent the current laws (e.g. immigration and gun control).
Western Democratic systems are suffering from a number of dangerous tendencies clearly despite being clearly articulated by analysts over centuries:
- "winner takes all". The belief that majority (even if only 51%) has the moral right to implement any policies it desires, regardless of the size and passion of the minority opposition.
In 1788, John Adams named this inherent flaw in democratic theory as "tyranny of the majority".
It is both sad and bizarre that leaders from Obama to Morsi act as if the passionate opposition of a very large minority is illegitimate and can be crushed using whatever means are available.
- failure to manage. The prime purpose of government is to manage the issues that might interfere with the freedom of individuals to pursue their interests.
Increasingly, governments are encroaching on the very space that they should be protecting. Special interest groups are continually emerging to ask for governments to erect a new safety net below their special type of risk. Government willingly accepts the additional responsibility but then insists on controlling the risk by regulating for all citizens.
In 1233, Tocqueville identified a second inherent flaw in democratic theory in terms of a never ending accretion of government rules which end by extinguishing the very freedoms that democratic governments were created to protect:
"After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the government then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence: it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd. (Book Four, Chapter VI)