The 2012 Presidential Candidate Scorecard… for Atheists

The Secular Coalition for America has just published a report card for the 2012 presidential candidates… and while you can make a pretty strong prediction as to how this will pan out, the differences are really remarkable. (Keep in mind that the SCA does not endorse candidates.)

The grades break down like this:

An A means the candidate has been “consistently positive” on that issue.

A B means the candidate has been “neutral or occasionally positive” on that issue.

A C means the candidate has been “mixed, with positive and negative responses” on that issue.

An F means the candidate has been “consistently hostile or negative” on that issue.

When it comes to matters specific to Secular Americans, the Fs are running wild…

The full report (PDF) goes into detail about why each candidate received each grade, but here are the big takeaways:

  • If you care about our issues, Jon Huntsman is the person you want emerging from the Republican side. And even with him, it’s not apparent where he stands on issues like taxpayer funding of religion (e.g. “faith-based initiatives”) or religious refusal laws (“conscience clauses,” which would allow, say, a town clerk in New York to refuse to give a gay couple a marriage license because it went against her faith or a Christian pharmacist to refuse to dispense birth control).
  • Michele Bachmann would be a disaster. Fs down the line. Rick Perry would likely have followed suit, except there’s no word on how he’d respond to religious refusal laws. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum barely avoided the Epic Fail fate, but it’s clear neither of them have any respect for the issues that matter to a lot of us.
  • For as much enthusiasm as he’s generating in Iowa, Ron Paul isn’t very good for us. He doesn’t accept evolution, he says he would “follow [Jesus] in all I do and in every position I advocate,” and he’s received the endorsement of Christian crazyman Chuck Norris. And that’s just the beginning of his problems.
  • Mitt Romney actually receives a couple of As on the scorecard: He accepts evolution (though he believes a god began the whole process) and says he would not become a “spokesman” for his church if he were to become president. Neither one, though, makes me feel better about the words “President Romney.” (And is it really any surprise that the Flip Flop King earned that many Cs?)
  • President Obama doesn’t receive a single F, but his inability to sign an executive order preventing taxpayer funded groups from proselytizing is extremely concerning. His Christianity doesn’t bother me per se, but he better “evolve” on the gay marriage issue pretty damn soon.

So what’s the overall message from all this?

None of the candidates are great when it comes to our issues, including the current president. Who knows how much different a Second Term Obama would be from version 1.0. If you have to go with one of the candidates based solely on “secular issues” (and you’d be foolish to do that), Obama’s still better than Huntsman only because Huntsman is still a question mark in many important areas.

When it comes to Republicans, though, there are some candidates who are better than others… even if you can’t fully “support” them.

Here’s a question for debate: Would you rather see someone like Jon Huntsman emerge as the Republican presidential candidate because he’s better on our issues? Or would you rather see someone like Michele Bachmann because she’s so goddamned awful on our issues that it wouldn’t even be a question of how we should vote? Or, phrased another way, would you rather see Obama go up against intelligent-but-flawed opposition or a cartoon-y super-villain?)

Or are you just not going to vote, because the lesser of two evils is still evil?

Maybe we can take solace in the fact that there are some Republicans who aren’t completely batshit crazy in every area. None of them are ideal, though.

I still hope the eventual Republican winner loses to Obama, only because I’m naïvely hoping he’ll become a better president if he doesn’t have to campaign again. If he loses to any of the current Republicans, I fear that we would inch that much closer to a theocracy.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    They give Obama an ‘A’ on “religious discrimination and civil rights.” This may be true if you look only at civil rights cases involving religious discrimination, but Obama’s overall record on civil rights is pretty terrible when you include “Patriot Act” type stuff like indefinite detention of prisoners.

    • Drew Bentley

      But but…  those laws are for terrorists and non citizens..   ;)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

        President Obama has had his DOJ defend his right to order assassinations of American citizens without due process and has made that order.

        The upcoming NDAA allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial.

        That said, if the President knows in his heart that someone, even a citizen, is a terrorist, then why should he waste time having evidence collected and a public trial? We know that the President who is elected will always be a good man who has our best interests at heart. It’s Divine Right that puts him in power, after all.

        • Kinsella753

          Knowing in his heart is not acceptable. People “know in their heart” all the time and are consistently wrong. Evidence and trial separate those who are innocent in every way except “in our hearts” from those who are real criminals.

          Divine Right? It’s more like a well funded and well managed PR campaign and public vote that decides who gets into office.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

            Oh. Then maybe Obama should veto that thing and have trials and present evidence before assassinating people or imprisoning them for life.

            At least we have the satisfaction of knowing that the people who are assassinated and imprisoned for life without trial are assassinated and imprisoned by the less evil candidate.

            • Reginald Selkirk

              Well done.

            • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

              keep speaking truth to evil power in bitter ironic snipes at tweedle die tweedle dumb voters Kate!  good job as we only need wake up a few more million from their theocrat slumbers to fight for our godless US Constitution 843-926-1750 Larry Carter Center USN’71-’73

          • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

            Kin: look again for Kathleen’s tongue in her cheek?  And again you are falsely describing what in actuality is a fascist duopoly where the players are all unwilling or incapable of representing the multiple solutions possible in our republic… Rethuglicans & Republocrats constantly switch back & forth in a cat & mouse game when corporations have already bought & paid for most laws & all the money they can steal through Congress as Obomba has not vetoed thus consented to all the megatheft….. war profiteers & war criminals get what ever they want, polluters profits escalate instead of paying for victims injuries & clean up, banksters just print money at whim & give themselves lavish salaries & bonuses, Gingrich takes a cool 1.5 million from mortgage fraud systems, banksters manipulate hedge funds deliberately causing business failures betting they will fail & becoming more & more billionaires…. both Obomba & boy Bush keep signing more trillion dollar bail outs… only Greens, Socialists & Libertarians are hinting at jailing these mass murderers & thieving polluters like Salazar & Obomba who wrote the polluter friendly laws as Senators …. If you believe virgins have babies, gawd bless you speeches are enough out of the mouths of the chosen few…. If you believe fertilized OVA have Constitutional rights, no woman needs a life saving abortion according to incompetent DR Ron OB/GYN Paul but at least he’s against the war, right?  Governor & Congressmember Buddy Roemer is the Kucinich of the Rethuglicans telling the truth about all the bribery money flowing in by the billions by corporations to this deadly nuke charade when that same money could buy over a million wind electric generators on top of all light poles & bldgs & smoke stacks to prevent Amerika from becoming Fukishima, Chernobyl & 3 Mile Isle for slow cancer as our reward for cyber voting into computers that print out zero recountable ballots …. Seig Heil Obomber? Our first legal president since President Gore was deposed by himself when he could have followed the Constitution & presided over a roll call of the 49 legal states when the Bush Crime Family terrorized thousands of blacks away from polls to ensure boy brothers Bush needed only a few hanging chads to be called prez

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-Jones/100000175481467 Jessica Jones

          This is a joke right?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

            that NDAA allows indefinite detention of American citizens without trial and that Obama has ordered the assassination of an American citizen. That’s true.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=638289862 Kevin Jackson

              He issued a signing statement saying they will not enforce that

              • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

                Signing statements are only in effect during the duration of his Presidency. So this just makes it easier for the next President to indefinitely detain prisoners.

                And the man he ordered assassinated without trial is dead.

              • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

                what kind of dope are you smoking Kevin?  Why keep making excuses for the boy Bush in blackface of the White House ?  Obomba is a war criminal & polluter’s enabler & has stolen more trillions in 3 years that the Bush Crime Family dared steal in 8

          • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

            HOGANS HERO’S KIND OF HUMOR JESSICA if you have any Palestinian friends or give money to the Red Crescent or even Doctors Without Borders, you likely have given “aid” to terrorists & you can get locked up in Amerikan military detention camps in good old US of Amerika laughing out loud???? NOT ME, don’t blame me, I voted for Nader

      • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

        Drew you are wrong about ‘these laws.” … American citizens have been murdered by direct Obomba orders. … Posse Comitatus laws have been  defacto repealed by allowing for the first time since 1870′s troops  in our nation acting against people inside our borders …. such excuses can not justify the genocide against Native Americans or friends of Palestinians likely to be detained by any base commander

    • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

      I agree Reg, Obomba is a fascist doling out tokenism to Atheists, LGBT military rights & maintaining a secular facade while continuing the FBI faith based initiatives of boy Bush…. what is most disappointing about this “scorecard” is that it assumes the duopoly of Republocrats & Rethuglicans are the only “choices” …. this fact makes this scorecard incompetent & misleading away from our democratic republic potentials…. Greens, Libertarians, Socialists & other parties all deserve equal scorecards if this effort has any merit to Atheists …. in fairness, Constitution Party, Reform, Natural law, United Citizens, Working Families & Prohibitionist parties exist on more than one state ballots & our 50 state presidential election system is either competently surveyed or stands as a sham enabling billion dollar corporations dictating who candidates will be 843-926-1750 Political Scientist Atheist Larry Carter Center

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-Jones/100000175481467 Jessica Jones

    There is a third party candidate running for office with a fantastic human rights record. His name is Rocky Anderson, former Mayor of Salt Lake City.  Everyone should check him out. http://www.voterocky.org

    • http://madhominem.wordpress.com/ Mad Hominem

      I’m personally leaning toward Gary Johnson, who was trying for the Republican nomination but will now probably be running Libertarian. ( http://www.garyjohnson2012.com )

      Is it futile? I don’t know. I still hold to the idea that as long as we believe we can’t break the two-party system, we really can’t. Hopefully votes for third-party candidates are telling the “other two” what some of their soon-to-be clients expect of them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

        Voting third-party always beats not voting. At least it tells the party that you supposedly “have no choice to vote for” when they’ve gone too far.

        Besides, there are always downticket races and your vote carries more weight in smaller local races than nationally. Living in Illinois, I know that it makes no difference who I vote for in the Presidential election. Obama will take this state with or without me. That gives me the freedom to vote for what I want, instead of trying to figure out who’s marginally less evil in this round.

        • Anonymous

          That might work there.  It won’t in purple states.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

            In the Purple States you’ll get the same result either way, because the Democrats will feel that they have to be exactly the same as the Republicans in order to get every last vote. The Republicans will become more extreme to differentiate themselves, and then the Democrats will take their old spot (because you HAVE to support them).

            Thus we have Democrats presenting the Bob Dole health care plan, working to gut the EPA that Nixon put in place, who jail far more illegal immigrants than the Amnesty-giving Reagan did, and who appoint commission after commission to determine how to gut Social Security and Medicare.

          • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

            can not possibly work in South Carolina where cybervoting has no ballots just electrons & what magic shows up on the computer screens …. now if 50 per cent plus one voted by mail absentee, those could be recounted, so we do have a “prayer” in Palmettoland

      • https://sites.google.com/site/ferulebezelssite/ Ferule Bezel

        I’m hoping Gary Johnson doesn’t run as a Libertarian.  I think his best strategy is to spend an do just enough this cycle to keep himself in the public eye and then campaign seriously the next one where he can be the guy who shares all Ron Paul’s good ideas and none of the Jesus stuff. 

        The two party system in an inevitable consequence of having a district based/plurality winner system.  This is why I’ve maintained for years that one of the houses should be party proportional.

        • Anonymous

          Atheists are fucking *obsessed* with “the Jesus stuff”.

          I’m an atheist libertarian, not a libertarian atheist, so I don’t give two craps about Ron Paul’s religious beliefs. It doesn’t even register on the scale of what’s important. I think it’s excellent for the libertarian movement to have Ron Paul competing for the Republican nomination, and Gary Johnson running as the Libertarian candidate (and keeping the party away from one of Wayne Allen Root’s cronies).

          (I also disagree with several of the marks on the scorecard, like getting an ‘F’ for Attitude towards Nontheists. I’ve never once suspected Dr. Paul of religious intolerance.)

          • Anonymous

            Well said Madfoot.

            The essence of libertarianism is tolerance and consent. It’s about letting individuals do what they want to do, provided they don’t use force or fraud against others.

            It does mean that people will do things and say things that others don’t like. It also means is that the others can try to stop them using non-violent non-forceful methods, but can’t use proxy physical force (the government) to make people change their ways.

            There’s a difference between a government stopping people from physically harming and/or defrauding others and a government that stops people from being mean.

            As far as Obama goes, believing that Obama will change into what people thought he would be is kind of like believing a wife-beater will change his ways. It’s not likely.

            At this point, given what exists, I’d like to see Paul as the Republican presidential candidate with Gary Johnson as his VP candidate. If Paul isn’t nominated and Johnson is (by the LP), then Johnson has my vote.

      • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

        Isn’t Gary the gayfriendly billionaire from CA ?  He is getting more censorship than Buddy Roemer…. running the country is like running for prez, gotta prove you can run a big campaign before you can be considered seriously able to fill 50 thousand slots in Executive & Congressional staffer jobs …. either we are ready to rule or the military will round up enough of us to scare or dope the rest of us

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

      I’m going with Jill Stein. 

      Either that or Cthulhu – because if you are going to vote for an evil, why waste your time on the lesser one?

      • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

        only if the election were held today would I vote for DR Jill…. who knows what may happen between tomorrow & November?

    • benjdm

      I like his positions…interesting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Glamonarca Guillaume Lamonarca

      By looking at his website, I really like this Rocky Anderson. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

      Rock is 3 years too late running to have any chance at winning, he is idiotically trying to start his own party when he should have opposed Obomber in Iowa
      Caucus with ten thousand volunteers & a million dollars in the Democrat Party process …. he has known how bad things are since leaving office in 2008 … what few supporters I’ve read for the Honorable SLC UT Mayor are very angry folks already blaming the left for the fascist right raping Amerika right now

  • http://profiles.google.com/conticreative Marco Conti

    While I am not going to be dancing in the streets if Obama wins a second term, the alternative would be the end of America as we know it. 
    I believe Obama 2.0 will actually be a much better and more effective president if nothing else because at this point the Republicans will be beaten and they will no longer have to follow a policy where defeating him at all costs trumps common sense policies.
    In this term I believe that if Obama stole legislation from the GOP headquarters and present it as its own, they would still have rejected it on principle.  

    This crop of republicans, with the possible exception of Huntsman,represent and are going to be beholden to such a reactionary slice of the voting public that only bad things can happen.  I have been seriously considering a move to Canada in case of a GOP win. My wife is Canadian and I had my fill during the Bush years.
    Obama has been of little relief, but he also inherited a mess we have not seen in this country for over 70 years.

    • http://wpgragreview.blogspot.com/ The Analyst

      This is way too reminiscent of the 2008 rationalizations for being optimistic about Obama. He really is going to be nothing better than a Republican-lite candidate, hell even Slick Willie was looking to damage (“reform” – in a rightwing direction) Social Security. The problems with the Democratic Party are structural – they’re *way too dependent* on corporate funds. The Democratic Party’s solid corporate base is Wall Street (who are quite liberal certain “moral” social issues, give there taste for the wild side after work) and Obama will continue currying favours from them whether or not he’s re-elected with a solid Republican or Democratic majority or even divided Congress next sessions. Canadian-style campaign finance reform is what America needs.

      • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

        BAND AID is not the solution to massive bleeding, only a Constitutional Amendment banning corporations as persons limiting business to only business not bribery or writing laws or stacking our courts against real people …. until millions of people become political scientists, we will be ruled by crooks, millions of people pray to the flag UNDER god instead of reading the Constitution where no single word god appears …. are Atheists willing to give up sitcoms & sports to defeat fascist corporate rule?  Are Amerikans too stupidly religious to run their own country instead of let it be run by theocrats?

    • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

      why make excuses for a Wall Street thug like Obomba?  What have people got against telling the truth about all the bills he has signed?  Tarsands pipeline is steel needed for wind electric generators, wave water tumblers, solar & hydrogen engines to replace the deadly fossil fuel systems & slow cancer nukes, Obomber is the enemy just like boy Bush in some ways worse …. duopoly is the problem & not fighting it only enables it as Republocrats & Rethuglicans combined to give you NDAA with hundreds of un-needed military bases in many rich countries, if you want to save money, close down our empire or make the corporations in those countries pay not take our Treasury
      ……grow a green economy with full employment, bonds for every American & tax the crooks who took all the gov’t money at 99.9999 per cent to get it back ….EITHER YOU WANT TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM OR YOU ARE CRYING OVER SPILLED MILK

  • Faun

    The good news about Ron Paul is that he’s extremely conscious of states’ rights issues (did I put the apostrophe in the right place there?)

    I’d rather have him as President – I don’t care what he personally believes as long as he doesn’t interfere with what  *I* believe.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/mgafm Ashley F. Miller

      If only he didn’t think states’ rights meant that it was OK for states to discriminate against minorities, ban abortion, ban gay marriage, and prevent the non-religious from participating publicly just so long as the federal government doesn’t interfere.

      • Faun

        Well, frankly, it IS okay for states to do as they see fit. 

        • Gregory Lynn

          No, it really isn’t.

        • http://twitter.com/KyleHorseman Kyle D F Horseman

          Uh, no. It’s not ok for states to do as they see fit if it means infringing on people’s civil rights, which is what’s being endorsed up there.

          • Ronski21

            States infringe on the second amendment all the time.  Is that OK?  I agree that states cannot do as they see fit.  They cannot infringe on the Bill Of Rights.  The 14th amendment clearly states that.  If we allow them to infringe on even one of those rights, they will eventually infringe on all of them.

            • Denis

              And Paul wants to repeal the 14th amendment. QED

              • Anonymous

                Do you think he’ll be successful?

          • Anonymous

            It’s not being “endorsed”. This is fear mongering. There’s no reason to believe that more respect for the 10th Amendment will turn the 50 states into 50 boiling, festering cesspools of bigotry.

        • Amelia

          No, it is NOT okay for states to decide what rights people have.  States’ rights means the ability to make their own laws and regulate their own business practice without infringing upon rights afforded to everyone.

        • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

          So it’s not OK for the federal government to interfere in our lives, but it’s perfectly OK for the state governments to do so? How the hell does that make any sense?

      • Anonymous

        Stop this fear-mongering.

    • The Captain

      Thank you for the great example of why libertarianism is such a horrible philosophy. It allows for any kind of discrimination, persecution, legal bigotry, and the exclusion of any minority form public and private life, just as long as it’s done on a local level.

      • Andrew Morgan

        There is so much confusion going on here.

        • The Captain

          On the contrary, I’ve followed and talked with libertarians for decades. It’s libertarians themselves I’ve found who have the least understand what their beliefs actually mean when in practice.

        • The Captain

          On the contrary, I’ve followed and talked with libertarians for decades. It’s libertarians themselves I’ve found who have the least understand what their beliefs actually mean when in practice.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, that isn’t correct. Small L libertarianism, at its core, is the idea that each person is the owner of himself and has the inherent right to conduct himself as he sees fit, to profit from his actions as best he can, so long as he doesn’t infringe on another person’s rights to the same things. Therefore, any action that violates another person’s right to control his own life, is a violation of libertarianism.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Okafor/1759887752 Anthony Okafor

          So, I’m assuming there are ZERO “small L” libertarians???

        • The Captain

          {Sigh} And this is exactly what I mean that libertarians do not understand the real world consequences of their own beliefs.

          “any action that violates another person’s right to control his own life, is a violation of libertarianism” That does not exclude racial discrimination. Even by your “little L” definition of libertarianism, all business owners in a town can still refuse service to any black person for instance and that wouldn’t interfere with the black peoples ability to “control their own life” in any way (they would be free to move out of town or find a different business to go to (even if one did not exist) according to libertarian ideas of “freedom”).  

          Nothing is the constitution (as libertarians see it) gives a person the right to a job, the right to a service or the right to hold government office, so baring people from those things does not interfere with their ability to control their own lives.

          The “person’s right to control his own life” in libertarian terms pretty much means people can not be snatched off the street by force and forced into slavery, and that’s about it. Interestingly though it does mean you can be forced economically into selling yourself or your kids into slavery to someone else since for libertarians that would be your own choice. 

    • Djmcculley

      By Paul being” extremely conscious of states’ rights issues” I assume you mean that he thinks it is fine for states to violate the civil rights of minorities? Paul even said the Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional and doesn’t seem to accept that the 16th Amendment applies the Bill of Rights to the states. And his newsletter, before he got really famous, was full of racist and homophobic views (although he now says he has no clue who wrote and what was written in the newsletter that he himself published under his own name). 

      • Dan

        Oops, should have been the 14th Amendment.

      • Anonymous

        “By Paul being” extremely conscious of states’ rights issues” I assume you mean that he thinks it is fine for states to violate the civil rights of minorities?”

        No, he doesn’t think that’s fine.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      The good news about Ron Paul is that he’s extremely conscious of states’ rights issues (did I put the apostrophe in the right place there?)

      Where you put the apostrophe is less important that where you think rights belong. Individuals should have rights, not states.

      • http://failingtheinsidertest.blogspot.com/ Jeffrey

        “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,
        nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States
        respectively, or to the people.” – The Constitution, giving rights to states 

        There’s certainly room for disagreement over which rights in particular states have, but when you say states don’t have rights at all, then you’re obviously wrong.

    • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

      Ron Paul is incompetent & will allow states to ban abortion, so rapist rights will rule, polluters will be de-regulated & maybe our IN god WE TRUST Federal Reserve will get audited & cleaned up just a bit under Paul?  My prayers to the tooth fairy were answered, so are yours now being answered by DR Paul

  • http://dbcooper.livejournal.com P.F. Bruns

    We need a “none of the above” option, which, if selected by a majority, throws all the candidates out and bans them from running again for at least two or three election cycles.

    • Andrew Morgan

      We should consider at least some alternate form of voting.  I’m skeptical that enough people would come to the polls and select “none of the above” to form a majority, though (at least in America).  When it comes time to pull the lever, enough people will weigh the dilemma of voting for their lesser-hated candidate or risk voting “none of the above” and having their more-hated candidate win.  You’d have to motivate the ~49% that won’t vote to turn out and pick “none of the above”, but good luck.

      There’s always the possibility of each party fielding a number of candidates, and we vote ranked list-style.  This would, at least on paper, improve the odds that a centrist candidate that would be tolerable generally but intolerable to the generally-more-radical primary crowd would have a chance.

  • Andrew Morgan

    Being an atheist Republican makes voting season a real pain.  If Romney gets the nomination I’ll vote for him without a second thought; I’ll likely not vote at all if a Bachmann-esque candidate wins (that’s highly unlikely), though that would be for a combination of “atheist” and Republican reasons.

    Personally I think the “atheist issues” tend to pale in comparison to “secular” considerations (healthcare, taxes, national policy, etc).  It’s nice to know where the candidates stand on things like “accepts evolution”, but ultimately whether or not they invade another country or reform entitlements is vastly more important.

    Inevitably every election season brings out the hyperbolic prognostications. “If a GOP candidate wins, it’s the end of America as we know it!” “If Obama wins, it’s the end of America as we know it!” Forgetting, of course, the fact that there are already laws on the books, two houses of Congress, a Supreme Court, businesses, lobbyists, etc. etc. that blunt the effect of any election makes one prone to crazy ideas.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      10 years ago, the GOP candidate won, and America as I know it ended.

      • Andrew Morgan

        And yet we’re still here, having elections, and discussing it all over again. Thanks for proving my point.

    • Salty

      with respect, I am so curious about ‘atheist Republican’.  Can you explain, please?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001071231218 Andrew Pfaff

        It’s about being responsible and conservative with your resources and taking care of yourself as opposed to letting the government do everything for you and give your money to everybody else.

        • Dan

          Yeah, except Republicans are much more likely to be against civil rights and for imposing intelligent design and Christianity on all citizens. Look at the Republican-created, big government Patriot Act, or the Republicans trying to cram an amendment in the defense authorization bill that would allow the president to decide to detain US citizens for the rest of their lives, without recourse, if he claimed they were terroritsts. Thats not small government and taking care of yourself. 

          The only Republicans who have been against torture and unnecessary foreign wars have been Paul and Huntsman. Sorry, but Democrats may be the big government party for helping the down and out, but Republicans are the big government party of starting wars and denying basic human rights to citizens (especially atheists, gays, and the poor). 

        • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

          Ah, so making sure that you get yours, and not allowing for your funds to help anybody but yourself? Doesn’t sound selfish at all.

          See, I’m proud to be an atheist liberal because I want my taxpayer dollars to help those less fortunate than myself. I want the government, which was set up by us, for us, to help its people in their time of need. It’s not about setting up a welfare nanny system; it’s about utilizing resources in a way that will benefit all of society equally.

          I’m going, of course, on the assumption that you are against systems such as welfare, based on your “[not] letting the government do everything for you” comment.

      • Andrew Morgan

        Sure (at least, I can speak to about myself).  When it comes time to vote, like anyone else I look at my policy preferences and weigh how important they are relative to one another.  If that calculus results in a Republican candidate more closely aligning with my preferences, I vote for them.

        The implied question always seems to be: “How are you not a liberal atheist like the rest of us?”  Atheism doesn’t mean much to me beyond that I don’t believe in a god.  It may for you, but it doesn’t for me, also import ideas about good governance, the relationship between the rich and the poor vis-a-vis the State, international relations, etc.

        It’s also entirely reasonable for someone to be an atheist and not subscribe to the prevailing atheist views toward the Establishment clause, for instance.  I think religion is a crock.  I’m also mindful of centuries of legal and philosophical thinking that might weigh against a knee-jerk prohibition of religion in the public square.

        In short, I’m an atheist because I don’t believe God exists.  What that has to do with my political beliefs amounts to very little.

    • Mmowens11

      I too am an atheist republican. I am with you that if Romney gets the nod, i will have no problem voting for him. Although, no matter who wins, i will still vote against Obama. This 4 year experiment has shown that we need somone in office with experience and intelligence. Getting America’s economy has got to be the priority. Not their penchant for talking to their imaginary friends.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=638289862 Kevin Jackson

        I’m sorry but there are two issues here. One is that while normal religion is nuts, Mormonism is nuts on steroids. It is just shy of Scientology. If a mind finds that acceptable, why in the world wouldn’t you have concerns for their critical thinking skills and second, the only one close to being so shameless at having no core principles is Gingrich. How could you possibly have confidence that he would be who you want and think he is with a record like mittvmitt.com? 

        Huntsman seems to be the most honest of the bunch (while still having the Underwear Ski God issues – not to mention the Mormon bigotry and hypocrisy in the Boy Scouts and Adoption) and it’s shameful Johnson has been terminated by the party while they promote truly egregious people like Cain, Bachmann, Perry and Santorum.

      • Reginald Selkirk

        Getting America’s economy has got to be the priority.

        A fine sentiment, but I disagree with you about who is more likely to further that goal.

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        If the economy should be the priority, Republicans are the wrong way to go.  Their voting record shows that given the choice between working on the economy or focusing on wedge social issues, they’ll forgo coming up with jobs bills in favor of re-banning gay marriage and re-affirming IGWT as our national motto.

  • Anonymous

    If you are a progressive, not voting is the same thing as voting for a Republican.

    • Newavocation

      Bull, it’s about time we had an “Occupy the Voters Booth” don’t vote and demand campaign spending reforms and a “none of the above” selection on the ballot. 

      • Denis

        And that’s how Bush won…

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

          Gore lost his own state. If he’d won it, he’d have won the election.

          • Amelia

            He lost it because it was a tobacco lobby state that had gone red (current Senators: Rand Paul and Lamar Alexander…) in the 8 years he was VP of the whole country.

            • Amelia

              Er, wrong.  So wrong.  Sorry – Paul is KY, Bob Corker is TN.  The point holds, though.

        • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

          Denis, your incompetent statement is how boy Bush stole the White House, it is racist or idiotic to pretend thousands of African Americans denied their votes is less important that a few hundred hanging chads …. it always makes me sick to read more lies against Nader when Gore himself had the job to follow the Constitution & call the roll of 49 legal states as the Constitution requires, Florida violated the law signed by so called Prez Hayes to prevent fraudulent voting in Florida that got him selected by a small committee of Congress … Hayes also  bribed the South to let him become Prez by ending RECONSTRUCTION & pulled out troops protecting former slaves …. the KKK exploded in membership & so did lynchings escalate …. people are so deadly stupid not to study history, thus the Posse Comitatus law was just defacto repealed this month after preventing US Troops inside America since Hayes 843-926-1750 Larry Carter Center USN’71-’73

      • Anonymous

        If you want more progessive candidates, support them in the primary elections. The Tea Party wasn’t dumb enough to vote for third party candidates or to not vote at all. Let’s not have the Progressives be dumber than them, please.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

      And that’s how we get the steady drift rightward. Because, as Rahm always said, “where else are those f-ing r*ds going to go?”

      • Anonymous

        If you think the Democratic party isn’t progressive enough, then support more progressive candidates in the primary elections. But handing the election over to the conservatives so that the Democrats will “learn their lesson” is a losing strategy.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

          I’ve done so.  And I’ve seen what happens – the DNC takes national money to force those progressives off the ticket.

          Obama, Clinton and the DNC went against local Democrats and spent millions fighting to keep corporate Democrats like Lincoln and Bennett on the ballot in 2008.

          The bigger problem is that Democrats have bought into this continuous campaign process where every single governing decision is viewed as subordinate to getting the candidate reelected. 

          There can be no protest of anything Obama does because the Republicans could be worse. And that means that no matter how corrupt or harmful an action is,  it can’t be criticized or amended. Thus we have a system where both parties race to see who can be the most corrupt and self-enriching.

  • http://sunnyskeptic.wordpress.com/ Sunny

    @ Ron Paul supporters: Yeah, but he will interfere with what other people believe.  His voting record proves that.

  • Gregory Lynn

    I would infinitely prefer someone like Huntsman to win the nomination. I just couldn’t stomach the possibility of someone like Bachman or Perry actually winning. It’s embarrassing enough that folks consider them legitimate candidates for the nomination.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe they gave Obama an ‘A’ on “Science-Based Legislation and Regulations” when his administration overruled the FDC on providing emergency birth control to minors, even though extensive testing showed it to be safer than Tylenol. 

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-defends-administrations-refusal-to-relax-plan-b-restrictions/2011/12/08/gIQAJSZbfO_story.html

    That knocks him down to a B, at best.

    • Amelia

      I agree.  Sebelius is his appointee, and she made the wrong call.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

        But just as with his opposition to gay marriage, it’s not the science and rights that matter, but the less evilness in his heart.

        • Anonymous

          I see you’ve made several snarky comments of this sort in this thread, and while I understand your point and sympathize with it, what the hell do you suggest we do exactly?  Not vote and allow a Bachmann (or whoever) into office?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Okafor/1759887752 Anthony Okafor

            They all suck! What’s the difference anymore???

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

            I suggest protesting this behavior loudly and not buying into the continuous campaign process where every Presidential error is justified from day one with “but we have to ignore his mistakes because someone else might get elected”.

            I also believe that we’re never going to get away from the dance of Republicans moving right, Democrats taking their old spot (because they’ve got the rest all locked up), Republicans distancing themselves with a new level of crazy and then Democrats taking their last one again until we are willing to suck it up for a decade and work to build third parties.

            Besides, if you aren’t in a swing state, it doesn’t matter who you vote for in a Presidential election. No matter who I vote for, Obama gets Illinois. What matters is the local elections. That’s where a single vote has the greatest potential to make a difference. It’s also where it’s easier to get in someone who hasn’t been bought off (though it’s easy enough to buy off a water commissioner on the cheap, especially when no one is paying attention because they’re caught up in the spectacle of the Presidential race). 

            (Referendums matter too. State referendums, not Democrats, are what is leading to recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people and to the slow rolling back of marijuana prohibition.)

            And Bachmann was never going to be the Republican nominee. That’s just something Democrats trot out when they extend the Bush Tax cuts, expand our military presence overseas, appoint lobbyists for oil companies to do the environmental reviews for pipelines over vital aquifiers and otherwise demonstrate that they are the same corporate whores as Republicans, but with a different social issue set to keep the tribes exited.

    • Bob

      As someone who works in a pharmacy (I’m not a pharmacist, just a technician), I don’t think that providing Plan B completely over the counter is a good idea. My reasons only partially stem from misuse of the product. We know that Plan B is a double dose of one birth control pill. We also know that children are not known for making good decisions. I can easily see these children trying to use it as non-prescription birth control. The cost may currently be prohibitive (it runs about $50 for a single pill) but the rules of supply and demand could come into play and as it becomes more accessible, the price could easily drop.

      In addition, if young ladies are using it as birth control, it would be clear that they aren’t making good decisions. If they are using it because they were harmed, then we need to be able to step in to help them through a rough time.

      I think it was a difficult decision, but in the end I think it was the right decision. Sometimes we need to look at other sciences when we make a decision. In this case, psychology.

      • Anonymous

        Psychology, Bob? What psychological basis is there for presuming that EC would ever be used on widespread basis as a primary form of birth control by 15 and 16 year olds, as opposed to condoms? Did Sibelius cite psychology as the reason for their unprecedented decision? Did Obama cite psychology in defending her actions? Even if Plan B was available for $10 (an 80% reduction) over the counter, who is going to use it regularly instead of having their partner use a condom? 

        In order for your inane argument to hold up, young women who are now apparently having sex with another form of birth control, or are not having sex at all, upon learning that Plan B is available over the counter for a lot less than $50 are going to say, “Yeah! The long wait is over! I can have all the sperm inside of I want, without repercussions!”

        This is going to be such a problem, that all 15 of 16 year-olds who want to use it after having consensual sex will should need a prescription. For the good of society, and all that. 

        Be serious, please.

      • Anonymous

        I just thought of something else. You wrote, “If they are using it because they were harmed, then we need to be able to step in and help them through a rough time.” I think you mean that it should be available over the counter for rape victims, but I’m not 100% clear how that’s supposed to work. Do they have to prove to a pharmacist that they were raped?

    • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

      Sibelius is serving at the pleasure of Obomba.  So she decided to force women under 18 to pay a doctor for a prescription & exam for a plan B any adult can take to induce menstruation…. Catholic Democrats rule Sibelius & Obomba & Clinton too…. he signed DOMA even lib Wellstone voted for that bigoted religious shit as law …. Clinton fired DR Elders for trying to prevent HPV caused cervical cancer, BECAUSE THE VATICAN DOES NOT WANT girls masturbating with clean hands?  Obomber is at best a C on real science as he continues to give mega millions to FBI faith based initiative scams INCLUDING 56 THOUSAND DOLLARS TO PRAY AWAY BEING GAY CLINIC OF Bachman in Stilwater MN

  • alphabetsoupofsomething

    What about Nader? He seems fairly decent to me. But I’m not that
    political so I don’t pay that much attention. What do more political
    atheists/secularists think of him?

    On your chart, Huntsman looked pretty decent, but then I looked him up on Wikipedia and found this: ‘As the governor of Utah, Huntsman signed numerous bills restricting abortion. Huntsman has supported civil unions for years but not same-sex marriage. As Utah’s Governor, he supported legislation that would have allowed civil unions for same-sex couples in the state.’ — Sounds kind of iffy. I hate when people don’t support abortion, but civil union is better than nothing at all (even though they should be allowed equal rights).He did say, ‘I was raised a Mormon, Mary Kaye was raised Episcopalian, our kids have gone to Catholic school, I went to a Lutheran school growing up in Los Angeles. I have an adopted daughter from India who has a very distinct Hindu tradition, one that we would celebrate during Diwali. So you kind of bind all this together.’ — Which makes me think he might be a little more open, but it might be he’s just a little more open to religious/spiritual people and other theists, not necessarily atheists.

    • alphabetsoupofsomething

      Sorry for the weird spacing; I pasted text which messed this up.

  • Alex

    Funny, I thought the same thing. Huntsman seems to be the only non-crazy GOP candidate (and I thought that wasn’t possible anymore!..), but has one chance in hell to win the nomination. Romney looks like a smart, well-educated, qualified, entitled ass. With his flip-flops (and I’m not talking about “10 years ago he was for that, and now he’s against” — he changed a few of his positions in just the last year or two, whichever way the wind blows) it’s impossible to predict what he’s about. In the end he could be kind of like Huntsman, could be kind of like Perry. He’s more into it for the money and power than anything else — of course, who isn’t, but then he shows complete disregard for people, wanting only their votes. In that regard, I hate to say it, but I like somebody like Bachmann a lot better: at least she knows what she stands for and sticks to it.

    The rest of them are vile, despicable douchebags — Bachmann, Perry, Santorum, Gingrich, even Paul, who has his fair share of crazy ass bigotry and fucked-up ideas. Let’s see where this circus brings us… I will likely not be able to vote this coming fall, but I’ll hold my fingers for y’all.

    • Dan

      If Huntsman was it it more for the money, power, and getting votes than anything else than it sure isn’t working. I have a feeling he’d probably be taking more popular positions in his own party if that was the case.

  • Jenni Peck

    Thank you for posting this. I will be able to vote for the first time for the next presidential election and it’s helpful to see all this information in one place.

    • Guest

      It’s going to be my first time voting in a presidential election too. Now if only there was a single candidate that I actually wanted to vote for . . .

  • Denis

    I don’t get why they gave Paul a “C” for Church-State separation, rather than the “F” he deserves. He’s made it quite clear that he doesn’t believe in Church-State separation except where the Federal Government is concerned, and that State and Local governments should be allowed to establish a State religion if they want. He doesn’t believe the Constitution should apply to the States and Local governments at all, which includes (obviously) the First Amendment.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t get why it matters how a strict constructionist interprets the First Amendment.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm reasonable vs. supervillain….though one.

    On the one hand, I think Huntsman would elevate the debate and force the GOP to moderate their full sprint into rightwing lunacy. On the other hand, Huntsman is reasonable enough to win, and that would represent a Republican executive, with a Republican House and, if they won just 2 seats, a Republican Senate. I shudder to think what the GOP Congress would pass if they didn’t have to go up against Obama’s veto pen.

    Then again, I’ve learned my lesson about “Oh I hope they nominate that moron, so the Democrats have it easy”. That’s what I thought in the ’00 election, and that gave us Dubya….

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

      When the Republican candidate is weak, the Democrat can do anything. Loony Republicans are the reason Obama can decide not to veto indefinite detention of American citizens, can have investigations of financial fraud at a 30-year low and nearly got away with rubber-stamping the Keystone XL pipeline.

      It’s GOOD when Democrats are forced to provide a better candidate, instead of knowing that  no matter how many undeclared wars there are, how much regulation is written by the industries that are supposedly being regulated or how many government services are privatized so that donors can get rich while the quality of services brought to taxpayers suffers they’ll still be marginally less evil and their jobs will be secure.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm reasonable vs. supervillain….though one.

    On the one hand, I think Huntsman would elevate the debate and force the GOP to moderate their full sprint into rightwing lunacy. On the other hand, Huntsman is reasonable enough to win, and that would represent a Republican executive, with a Republican House and, if they won just 2 seats, a Republican Senate. I shudder to think what the GOP Congress would pass if they didn’t have to go up against Obama’s veto pen.

    Then again, I’ve learned my lesson about “Oh I hope they nominate that moron, so the Democrats have it easy”. That’s what I thought in the ’00 election, and that gave us Dubya….

  • Poodles

    Having lived under a Huntsman governorship, I would vote for him.  

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Romney deserves an F in the category “Attitude Toward Nontheists.”

    In December 2007, during his first bid for the Republican Presidential nomination, he delivered a very important speech.  Faced with Christian fundamentalists’ contempt and suspicion of his Mormonism, he tried to rally them all under his flag against the evils of, in his words, “the religion of secularism.” Basically, he wanted to turn nontheists into a scapegoat, a common enemy, in essence saying, “I’m like you other Christians. Let me lead you against those terrible atheists.”

    It was a demagogic maneuver worthy of any Jew-hating Brown Shirt in 1930′s Germany. (My apologies for the Godwin.)  I watched that speech live and I felt directly threatened. I have seen nothing to suggest that he has changed his willingness to ruthlessly exploit religious paranoia against non-believers. I will never ever trust the Prince of Panderers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neal-Jackson/1567595795 Neal Jackson

    What about Gov. Gary Johnson – where does he rate?

  • Anonymous

    Huntsman has been my frontrunner since he announced, but I have the advantage of knowing him better than most, since I lived in Utah when he was Governor there.  He was a very good Governor and did not kiss the ring of the Mormon church.  Additionally, I do not perceive him as all that devoutly religious–which is why many Mormons favor Romney.  Knowing him as I do, I can assert that he will score very well on the isuues you have as N/A on the scorecard.  He’ll come in with As and Bs there, and I believe that that coupled with his business, international, and governing acumen, he will be a better candidate than Obama.

  • benjdm

    Or are you just not going to vote, because the lesser of two evils is still evil?

    I’m going to vote but not for Obama or the Republican candidate – I’m going to write someone in.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

      I’m probably voting Green. Not that it really matters who you vote for in Presidential elections if you aren’t in a swing state.

      • Denis

        And thus you’re going to help either Romney, Gingrich or some other knuckledragger. Wake up people: American democracy is messy, and voting for a third party only makes your opponent’s position stronger. You are being naive and childish.

        • Anonymous

          SHE won’t be, not in IL, but she’s certainly encouraging others to do so.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Okafor/1759887752 Anthony Okafor

          How??? That’s the problem. We are beholden to this bullshit two party system that is CORRUPT BEYOND BELIEF. Nothing can ever change if it stays this way

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

          Whether I vote Romney or Obama or anyone else, we’ll still have the lowest rate of prosecution of financial fraud in over 20 years (as we do now), undeclared wars in over a half dozen countries (as we do now), persistent attacks on our civil liberties (as we do now) and ecological disasters bought by the failure to enforce regulation (see where I’m going with this?)

          Romneycare and Obamacare are nearly the same thing (mandates to purchase insurance with exchanges that will not reduce the power of insurance monopolies.) Both Obama and Romney have essentially the same legislative record on choice. Both have dodgy ties to Wall Street. Both are against civil recognition of gay marriage (but Obama is so magnanimous that he has said he will think about it, and for that we are supposed to do backflips.) Romney says crazy things in primaries to appeal to Republicans. Obama does crazy things in office to demonstrate his bipartisanship.

          So in order to achieve the marginal policy differences they might enact after the next election, we are to ignore how Obama is governing now? We aren’t to protest, because it gives the enemy an advantage? We aren’t to build alternative structures with different candidates who might not support this status quo, because that 2 years of potential marginal difference is such a threat?

          There are maybe 6 swing states that influence election outcomes. If you aren’t in one of them, you’ll have far more influence supporting a third party. And if you’re in one of them, your local politicians are working so hard to be just like the other side, you won’t be able to tell which party they were in from their voting record once they’re in office anyway.

        • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

          American Atheist Democrat Governor Culbert Olsen did little to  protect Japanese Americans from detention in 1942 what makes you think Obomba will not detain us who tell the truth about his war crimes, polluters poisoning whole oceans & the entire Missouri River down to the Mississippi water system?  If you vote for lies you get lies poisoning your real body instead of pretending half truths are healthier from Obomber?

        • Anonymous

          You greatly overvalue your vote.

      • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

        Obomber spent millions to win the Dem Primary in SC then immediately left the state … SC is so redneck & racist, it is a wonder that McSamePalin only got 57 % when gays were denied any legal rights by 78% in 2006 …. not a swing state? yeah!!! If I had millions to feed thousands of volunteers & drive them around all 46 counties knocking on doors & calling on the phone & stuffing envelopes HUMANITY might return to election day IF WE HAD REAL BALLOTS not cyber voting 843-926-1750 LARRY CARTER CENTER fought for Green Tom Clements for US Senate here instead of Nazi James DeMint

  • Sinfanti

    Please vote. 

    It may be that the lesser of two evils is still an evil.   But do you really want to forfeit your say in choosing the evil that you’re going to be stuck with?

    • Kyle S.

      I won’t choose any evil. I won’t vote for a lying narcissist, and lying narcissists are the only people who stand any chance at being elected President anymore. 

      Nobody said it better than George Carlin:

      “If you vote and you elect dishonest, incompetent people into office who screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You caused the problem; you voted them in; you have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote, who in fact did not even leave the house on election day, am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with.”

      • beforHim

        Totally right on.

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      I agree.  If you don’t vote, politically you don’t exist.  No politician or political party is going to care about a group of people that don’t vote.    If there is a perception that secularists are disenchanted and don’t vote, then all politicians and parties will use secularists as scapegoats for all the world’s problems.  Only by voicing your political opinions in the voting booth can politicians and the political parties take notice of secular issues.  Politics has always been, is about now, and will be about in the future of choosing the lesser of two evils.  Make your lesser evil choice and vote. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

        If you vote for them no matter what they do, you don’t exist. That’s why complaints from progressives in the first two years of Obama’s presidency got “f*ck them. Where else are they going to go?” from his Chief of Staff.  Some influence.

        Better to vote for a third party and demonstrate what they could have done to get your vote. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

      The best reason to vote is down-ticket elections, where there is a hope of influencing candidates. Also, referendums.

      Lesser-of-two-evilism is like deciding to drive off a cliff at 30 miles an hour instead of 100 miles an hour. You’re dead either way, but in the first case you have more time to build up the tension and kid yourself.

      We’ve had changes in our parties in the past (before there were Republicans, there were Democrats and Whigs).  And corrupted “centrist” parties that no longer represent their people have been supplanted elsewhere. But to have that happen, you have to get over the belief that the marginal difference between 2 parties will change everything in 2 years.

  • Jackie

    I’m all for Ron Paul…but I would really like some solid evidence not to vote for him…to me he makes the most sense…all the others are sell-outs and will do more bad than good for this country.  Some appropriate resources and what exactly is wrong with him…not propaganda.  Of course every candidate has something you don’t agree with…I would really like to know if his faults outweigh his benefits.  I personally give a rat’s ass what religious affliation they are, I want to know that things will happen to better our country. 

    • Dan

      How about the fact that Ron Paul’s newsletters in the late 80s/early 90s where full of racist and homophobic views for years, yet he now claims he never read what was published in his own newsletters, and has no clue who wrote them? When he was originally confronted with the crap in his own newsletters he said the quotes were out of context, but never denied writing them. A decade later he is now claiming that he never knew what was written and his ‘advisors’ when this was originally uncovered wouldn’t let him deny writing them. To me that disqualifies Paul, he is either the dumbest politician ever, letting people he doesn’t know write bigoted stuff  and publishing it under his own name and letting his advisors tell him to take the blame for being a racist, or else he IS a racist and homophobic liar.

      Or how about the fact that Paul considers the Civil Rights Act unconditional?

      • Jackie

        Thanks for the reply Dan.  I’m not sure if you posted before or not but who are you supporting and why?  80′s/90′s is over 20 years ago…a lot of things can change in that time.  I’ve seen a lot of support from minorities for the Paul campaign…hum…thanks for the info, I am off to research.  Thanks again.

        • Dan

          I don’t know, I’m not much of a fan of a lot of what Pres. Obama has done  (and didn’t vote for him in 2008), but he is much, much better than the Republican front-runners. I do like Huntsman though and would consider voting for him over Pres. Obama, I’ll vote for him in the primary (I may end up voting Gary Johnson in the Libertarian party as a protest vote). We’ll see.

    • Anonymous

      Ron Paul reached the non-interventionist in me.  Then I listened to him some more.  His idea of Liberty is a bastardized idea.  He thinks that property rights would prevent big corporations from destroying great swaths of land and water.  He is incredibly naive in thinking this way.  Fact is giant corporations have all the funds available to them to purchase all the land they’d like to pollute on.  If dumping their toxic wastes in their own purchased backyard will raise their profits, they will do it.  Earth be damned.  Any person who believes that a woman does not have the right to her own body and choosing whether to be an incubator or not is not a libertarian.  He doesn’t believe in climate change.  He doesn’t believe evolution is real.  And he doesn’t believe that the first amendment meant that the US government may not endorse Christianity as the state’s preferred religion.  He gets it right on a few things, but that does not change the fact that Ron’s idea of unfettered liberty is a liberty that WILL allow those with the biggest boots to stand on the necks of those beneath them in acting on their freedoms.  “Freedom for the pike is death for the minnows.” (Isaiah Berlin) That’s exactly the kind of liberty that Ron Paul espouses, though he doesn’t see it — he envisions a Utopian kind of liberty.  Problem is, we don’t live in Utopia. I’m not so naive as to believe eliminating laws that make it illegal for stores to post “no blacks allowed” signs would be just fine because society would create such a backlash that those stores would suffer.  Ron Paul IS that naive.   He’s not living in the same reality as you or I.  

    • The Captain

      Here you go, Paul is a libertarian, which pretty much means he is a Social Darwinist. 

      Sure there is much overlap in the two,most social darwinist are liberation, but at the end of the day, even the libertarians who do not think they are bettering the gene pool still would let poor people die in the street because they are poor. So it’s just the same thing by another name.

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to see a strong “anyone other that a D or R” campaign. I am tired of the two major parties running things. They have convinced folks that a vote for anyone other than a D or R is a vote wasted, but that is only true until enough people say “fuck ‘em” and vote for any other candidate. Imagine if 60% of the voters who turned out voted for other candidates. Even if a D or R won, the lie that no one else has a chance would be uncovered. And who knows what would happen after that…

    • Anonymous

      Push for a new voting method.  First past the post, plus winner take all in states leaves us with our problem.

      Voting method reform (to instand runnoff or similar) and/or electoral college reform is required to really make any substantive changes.

      Our methods of elections were darn good for the time period, but now there are many better options available.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

      The only way to get there is to think beyond 2 years. Voting reform is key and neither party will support it. That means supporting third parties now and not waiting for a savior to come along.

  • TheG

    I’m going to come out with the bold idea that it should be Perry, but preferably Bachmann.

    It isn’t until people are confronted with the harsh reality of their prejudice that they are willing to put aside differences and work for change. Four years of a nightmare would temper America into working for greater tolerance. Sure, it would suck for almost half a decade, but centrist religious people would no longer be able to hide behind the delusion that fundamentalists are just “good Christans” and wouldn’t harm anyone.

    I credit the Bush administration and the rampant abuses by the church bullies with the huge increase in secularists, humanists, and skeptics. Many of us have always been here; many more found us because of the work the FFRF and other groups had to do because of religionists throwing their weight around.

    • TheG

      BTW, even I’m not really sure how much I’m kidding there.

  • Rod Chlebek

    5 of 8 think evolution is what… a conspiracy?

  • Dan W

    I’d rather see Obama go up against one of the slightly more reasonable Republicans, like Huntsman or Gary Johnson (who we rarely hear about in the media), than one of that more wacky fundie types like Bachmann or Perry. Mainly because I’d rather not risk seeing someone like Bachmann or Perry win the election. Remember, Bush managed to get legitimately elected President one of the two terms he served.

    • Dan W

      Of course, I’m likely to vote for either Obama or a third-party candidate who’s more liberal than him. If not Obama, I’m looking at candidates from the Green and Socialist parties.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

      Also, the more reasonable the Republican, the less Obama can do things like sign laws calling for indefinite detention of American citizens without trial or approve oil pipelines over essential aquifiers.

      If the “greater evil” isn’t so crazy, that limits how much the “lesser evil” can get away with.

  • Tinker

    Wait, Mitt Romney won’t become a spokesman for his church? I thought he was Mormon? That would go against their teachings. Mormons in politics means that they MUST be advocates for their church. So either he is going against doctrine or he’s lying. Hmmm…a politician that lies, has that ever happened before?

  • Echo Inspector

    There is one name missing there, and her column would be all A’s: Jill Stein. Green Party. Yes, there is a third party presidential candidate. And yes, she’s the kind of person we want.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      And, yes, not nearly enough people know she exists in order for her to even have a chance. There’s something to be said about realizing the futility of a situation.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

        It’s a chicken and the egg thing – we can’t consider another alternative, because we can’t consider another alternative.

        A much politer version of Rahm Emanuel’s “F-ing ret-ds. Where else are they gonna go?” argument.

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, the “scientific based regulations and legislations” should be issue #1 in my opinion.  And the fact that so many candidates do so badly on that measure is horrifying(but accurate).

    If you don’t intend to make fact based policy based on the reality of our situation, you should under no circumstances be given political power.  It’s just that simple.

  • beforHim

    Theist here- sorry to anyone I might offend.  Please believe that I’m genuinely seeking wisdom here over these issues:

         Why is science and evolution such an important issue?  I understand the others, but why is science and evolution considered a main tenent or whatever?

    ((Sincere, genuine question which admits my ignorance and seeks wisdom))  Thx for giving me your time of day. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

      Aside from easily offshored low-tech industries, most industries depend on some degree of scientific thinking. The attack on teaching science (the process of asking a question, doing background research, constructing a hypothesis, testing your hypothesis by doing an experiment, analyzing your data and drawing a conclusion based on the data) as a source of knowledge in the defense of one particular faith’s origin myth is an attack on all scientific and technological development.

      It’s an attack on education, discovery, technology, progress and everyone who isn’t a believer in the Abrahamic creation myths.

      • beforHim

        Thx for the reply.

        . . .
         if I were in you guy’s shoes: well, I don’t vote anyway (the Carlin quote above says it well), so there’s my answer either way!  :p

    • Rich Wilson

      Evolution, and the age of the earth, and even human effect on global warming are established and accepted areas of science.  Denying them is kind of like denying the heliocentric model of the solar system.

      I don’t think an extramarital affairs in and of itself says anything about someone’s ability to be president, other than perhaps their ability to keep a promise I suppose.  What to me matters more is the lying that goes with it.  I don’t really care who Clinton had sex with.  What really reflects badly to me was his bald face lying about it.

      I don’t care if a president knows about genetic drift and mitochondrial DNA, but I want one who has enough of a B.S. meter to understand that “chimps are more closely related to humans than gorillas” is a fact.  One of many that supports the theory of evolution.

      (asking a genuine question should never be considered an offense)

    • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

      science is fundamental to all problem solving & evolution is an exemplary understanding of nature while faith solves nothing & creationism is a lie … does that explain if for ya?
       

  • Kan42404

    Thanks for this though I wish we had one candidate with all F’s so I’d have a clear choice! Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

  • http://www.facebook.com/NavAfArMcCgMerchantMarine Tallapoosa VeteransResources

    I’m impressed with several posters here.  Most Atheists are at least thinking, asking questions about this & past elections…. but this scorecard remains the problem, not listing all the candidates is enabling a corrupt duopoly

  • http://failingtheinsidertest.blogspot.com/ Jeffrey

    Having recently read part of “The Revolution” by Ron Paul, I would give him much better than an F on attitude toward non theists.

    Page 4:  He’s listing the sort of people in his diverse coalition: “anti-war activists, homeschoolers, religious conservatives, freethinkers.”  Yes, listing us is a very small gesture, but it’s more than most of the GOP field would do.

    Page 7: He quotes Bertrand Russell.  “In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”  Paul goes on to qualify it with, “I’m not in the habit of Bertrand, but when in American history has his sentiment been more true?”

    I’m not saying you should vote for Ron Paul.  (I’m voting for Huntsman.)  I’m just saying he deserves better than an F.

    • http://failingtheinsidertest.blogspot.com/ Jeffrey

      I’m not in the habit of **quoting** Bertrand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/quantumgloom Todd Collins

    This needs updated. Ron Paul says he does not believe in separation of church and state and says the republic won’t work without religion while Romney said he firmly believes in separation of church and state. Here they both receive the grade of C where Paul should get an F and Romney should get an A or B.

  • Ajeebmjeeb

    This is a piece of junk analysis full of missinterpretation. There is only one candididate with consistency that has been proven right over time. He gets A’s all accross anyone who disputes is ignorant.


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