Although the presidency is ultimately determined by the Electoral College, the strength of the victor’s mandate is determined by the popular vote. And the mandate matters—a lot.
If Barack Obama wins the election and wins the popular vote by a substantial margin, then he will have a strong mandate to continue increasing spending, expanding regulations, crippling the U.S. military, apologizing to our enemies, ignoring the Constitution, and undermining the institutions on which liberty depends. If he wins the election but wins the popular vote by only a scant margin or loses it, then he will have a relatively weak mandate to continue his course of destruction.
Likewise, if Mitt Romney wins the election and wins the popular vote by a sizable margin, then he will have a strong mandate to uphold his most significant campaign promises. If he wins the election but wins the popular vote only by a small margin or loses it, then he will have a relatively weak mandate to uphold his major promises.
What are Romney’s most significant campaign promises?
Being a conservative, Romney has, of course, promised to pursue several agendas that would be horrifically wrong (because rights-violating). Fortunately, however, most of those pertain to issues on which he can’t have any substantial effect. What matters in regard to Romney’s (hopeful) presidency are the major areas in which he can have an effect. These include health care, the economy, regulations, jobs, energy, spending, taxes, the military, and foreign policy. And, regarding these, Romney has made the following major promises (the quotes are verbatim):
- “I will act to repeal ObamaCare.”
- “I will get the government out of the way and unleash the power of American enterprise and innovation.”
- “I will put an end to the job-killing regulations imposed by the Obama administration.”
- “I will insist that Washington learns to respect the Constitution, including the 10th Amendment.”
- “I will take full advantage of our energy resources, and I will approve the Keystone pipeline from Canada.”
- “I will open production of energy across the country.”
- “I will dramatically reduce the size of the federal workforce.”
- “I will not just slow the growth of government, I will cut it. I will not just freeze government’s share of the total economy, I will reduce it.”
- “I will balance the budget.”
- “I will finally abolish the death tax.”
- “I will lower the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.”
- “I will make business taxes competitive with other nations, eliminate burdensome regulations and bureaucracy, and support America’s workers instead of its union bosses.”
- “I will reverse President Obama’s massive defense cuts.”
- “I will revers[e] Obama-era cuts to national missile defense.”
- “I will assur[e] that America remains the greatest military power on the face of the earth.”
- “I will insist on a military so powerful that no one would ever think of challenging it.”
- “I will modernize our Navy and Air Force, add active duty soldiers, restore a robust missile defense system, and give our veterans the world-class care they deserve.”
- “I will begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination.”
- “I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever, apologize for America . . . the greatest nation in the history of the Earth.”
Given what we’ve suffered under Obama and G. W. Bush, Romney’s foregoing promises are welcome. Lovers of liberty would do well to ensure not only that Romney wins, but that he wins the popular vote by a large margin and thus gains a strong mandate to carry out these policies.
The bottom line? Whether you live in a swing state or not: Vote. Vote for Romney. And then, should he win, hold his feet to the fire.
- Romney-Ryan 2012—Ayn Rand Forever
- Further Thoughts on Why Objectivists Should Actively Campaign for Romney-Ryan
- Principle vs. Pragmatism in Supporting Romney-Ryan
- Ayn Rand: America’s Comeback Philosopher
Creative Commons Image: Austen Hufford