Some prominent individuals are so busy swimming in Lake We Kicked Your Liberal Asses Because President Bush Is More Popular Than Even Ronald Reagan™ that they can’t be bothered to stop long enough to think. Here’s a perfect example from Peggy Noonan’s column in Opinion Journal:
… The president received more than 59 million votes, breaking Ronald Reagan’s old record of 54.5 million. …
It will be hard for the mainstream media to continue, in the face of these facts, the mantra that we are a deeply and completely divided country. But they’ll try!
I’ve heard that nonsense more than once since Tuesday, but that doesn’t make it any smarter. Yes, Bush received 58,978,616 votes. Good for him. (Not really, but I’m making a point here.) However, the argument doesn’t hold up under even minimal scrutiny. Here are the real numbers explained so well that I’m not going to bother pretending that I can do better. Consider:
Can both sides quit with this “more voters supported our guy than ever before” crap? The US population is 295 million. In 1992, it was 254 million. During Reagan’s landslide reelection, it was 235 million. 124 million when FDR was first elected. So if both sides could drop the meaningless fact that each candidate got more votes than any Republican/Democratic candidate in history, I’d appreciate it.
And while you’re at it– the same applies to opening weekends at the box office. More people, more screens, more expensive tickets. Hell, Gigli could probably be considered a bigger movie than Jaws if you count this way.
Just for the sake of logic, I’m going to assume that there are more eligible voters now than in 1984. Hey, imagine that… more voters equals a higher vote total for the winner. When Reagan won by 16,878,000 votes (out of 92,652,842), that’s a mandate. Bush winning by 3,594,114 votes (out of 115,427,728) is a victory, but not a mandate to
run trample over the opposition.
Lest we forget, Kerry received 55,384,497 votes. Even though I attended public schools and a state university, I’m pretty sure that Kerry’s total beat Reagan’s record of 54,455,000, as well. So everybody should lose the hyperbole and just shut up.