So… What If Your Only Options In A General Election Were Santorum, Perry, Palin, and Bachmann?

Who is the least of all evils and why?

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Daniel Rudolph

    I’d say Palin. Unlike the others, she isn’t ideological and ultimately will do whatever she thinks will make people like her the most.

  • Randomfactor

    I’d look at it differently: which has the least chance of winning. That would be Palin or Bachmann, I’d flip a coin and say Bachmann. Since she’s never been half-governor of a state with about the same population as the county I live in, and you can’t see Russia from her kitchen.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Camels With Hammers

      But I’m asking about a general election where these are your only options. One of them is winning, who could you most bear to vote for.

  • Rambling T. Wreck

    So, you’re asking me whether I’d prefer to be hanged, shot, gassed or beheaded?

  • Parse

    Jokingly, I’d say Palin, because she’d quit halfway through her term, if past behavior is any indication of future performance.
    Seriously, I’d say Bachmann, because her goals are so far removed from reality, that there’s the greatest chance of Republicans disagreeing with her.

  • http://outofthegdwaye.wordpress.com/ George W.

    Immediately we can eliminate Santorum and Bachmann. Their rhetoric implies that they value theocracy over populism.
    Out of Perry and Palin, I guess my gut says Palin. Perry seems a bit more calculating and capable of re-election.
    Palin hasn’t, to this point, blatantly harnessed religion for political points. She has a track record of moderating conservative policy in office.
    I don’t hate Palin, I just think she is poorly suited for the role of president. They all are.

  • http://community.mises.org/arationalism/ Kevin Currie-Knight

    I would not vote if those were my choices. I am not sure that voting does very much anyway. No one vote has but an infinitesimal chance of effecting anything, and those of us who take politics very seriously will have our votes cancelled out by those who vote without knowing very much about the technicalities of political issues.

    So, unless I can vote for someone who I think represents my will pretty well, I am not going to bother. It wouldn’t be worth my time.

  • EnoNomi

    Go with the power of the pendulum and pick the worst, then the election after that would get us back to what we want (i.e. Bush got us Obama). I’d pick Bachmann as being the most loony-tunes.

  • cholten99

    Huh? Write in “Non of the above” obviously. Non-voting means nothing but a significant percentage of spoiled ballots at least makes the news enough to show that voters are seriously disconnected to the candidates.

    Hang on – if those were the only people on the ballot that means there’s no democrats in which case I suspect there’s been a Tea Party revolution. Time to buy tinned goods and a gun…

  • Jonathan Williams

    I’d say Palin. This Atlantic article sheds some light on what could’ve been.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/06/the-tragedy-of-sarah-palin/8492/

  • unbound

    That might be the first case where I wouldn’t vote at all.

    Santorum and Bachmann are xtian extremists aiming for a theocracy.

    Perry is a simple corporatist that will continue to drive this country towards a Mexico-like existence.

    Palin is not actual option since (like Bush) you aren’t actually voting for her. You would be voting for her handlers that you know nothing about.

    I’m with Rambling T. Wreck. Those are not actual options, and I call foul via false dilemma…at least it better be false…

  • ahcuah

    Not meaning to hijack . . . but

    Suppose you were one of the few remaining rational Republicans, and you get a chance to vote in a primary (and you really don’t want any of them to be President). Which one do you pick?

    The craziest, on the theory that the country as a whole will not vote for the craziest. But what if you are wrong, and the country will (and does) vote for them?

    Or the least crazy, on the theory that if they win the country will then be less worse off than if the craziest won. However, since they are less crazy (but still crazy), you’ve made it easier for the Republicans to win back the Presidency.

  • besomyka

    I would say that who I would vote for and who is the least of evils are two different questions.

    All four of them, have at one time or another, advocated for a position that, if enacted, would put me in jail or worse, just for being who I am. It is agianst my self-interest to vote for any of them, and if I had to, I would vote for the person least likely to 1) damage the world as a whole and 2) least likely to get any of thier abhorrent policies enacted via legislation.

    The least evil canidate is either Santorum or Palin. Perry is callous and craven, Bachman is a True Believer and dangerous globally. Santorum is more beholden to the GOP, even if he is a RR loon. Palin is just craven.

    So I’ll go with Santorum as the least evil right now.

    I’d probably vote for Palin, however, and here’s why. I don’t think she’d launch nukes, and while she’d be incredibly ineffectual in international politicing, I think she’d be equally inept at getting anything done locally. We’d be in for 4 years of mismanagement chaos, in which the second and third tier of government would be forced to take on the real problems of the day, and then we could hope that we have better canidates in 4 years.

    I have sympathy for a Bachman vote, but she’s crazy enough that a military order might be met with a division in the military itself. Can you imagine if our President ordered the nuking of cities in Iran, or wanted to invade Palistine? It would be so loony that internaltional action against us would take place, and I would hope that there would be military commanders that refuse the order. We’d have chaos, and that’d hurt everybody.

    No, we would need someone too crazy to get anything done, but not so crazy that the insanity spreads internationally.

    If we had those sorts of politicians as our only options, I’d seriusoyl be considering moving and changing my citizenship. I’d perfer to live in a country in which, if they got thier way, my simple existance isn’t illegal.

    Ugh.

  • jufulu

    Now read it using a deep voice-over as if it were a promo for a movie.

    In a world with few choices.
    What If Your Only Options In A General Election Were Santorum, Perry, Palin, and Bachmann?
    What would you do?

    I’d do what I did when I had really crappy choices and didn’t want to bit the bullet, I wrote in “None of the above.”

  • Roland

    Who’s the best qualified? Nobody. Who’s going to look out for the interests of the entire country? Nobody. Who isn’t mired in corruption? Nobody. So:

    Write in Nobody.

  • robb

    umm…move to Canada? Or maybe Europe?

  • Art

    Palin, because she lacks a coherent message and, most importantly, an established path to get to a ‘promised land’. She is a large, and loud, gun that fires blanks.

    All the other options have strong connections to coalitions that have a ‘promised land’, a desired ideal state which they want to get the US to. All of them are special forms of hell.

    Palin has the virtue of catering to all of the crazy coalitions withing the insane right. Which means that there is going to be a struggle, and some chance that none of them get what they want. There would even be some chance they might cripple each other and allow time for the US to wake from the fever dream that might have brought Palin to power.

  • noel

    Good question.
    It seems wise to consider the distinct possibility that politicians don’t really mean what they say. I would tend to favor a Republican that I suspect is a hypocrite. However, the presidency requires intelligence and decisiveness; qualities none of these candidates seem to have. So which of these candidates is the least dangerously stupid?
    Bachman is not right. Perry is craven. I’ll have to say Santorum, because I can’t stand the sound of Palin’s voice, and her presidency would be a setback for the cause of equal rights for women.

  • http://www.themindisaterriblething.com shripathikamath

    Rick Perry would be my choice of these four, as I explain on my blog.

    Not only that, I expect him to win in 2012.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    Palin, because I think she’d quit. But if we were up against some foreign crisis. Perry. As much as I have loved voting against him all these years, I have to admit that he’d probably put together a pretty good cabinet.

  • mess

    Fearing that would be the choice, I took an alternative and left the US. Currently live in Singapore.

  • Mmarta

    It is painful to even write this because they are all so bad of options, but: Perry. The other three are just loony. While I deplore his politics, Perry is an operative, and I honestly don’t believe he says everything he says (or even most of it). I’ll take someone who is sane but telling people what they want to hear over someone who genuinely believes that BS.


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