A new nationwide Gallup poll provides insight about who the current frontrunners are for the GOP nomination. As you can see in the figure below, the only candidates I would ever support—Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman—didn’t even crack the top four. These two didn’t even make a respectable showing.
Now, I don’t think Gingrich and Huntsman are the best choices because I completely agree with them. Rather, I think they would be the most responsible candidates of those available and are clearly the most qualified. This is simply based on evaluating them against their peers.
I’ve hesitated to comment on the Republican proceedings so far (other than to point out a few contradictory positions). There are so many people making the same comments, it seems unnecessary. All that being said, I do feel inspired to make at least this one post on the subject. I want to briefly explain why the potential of any of these four candidates being elected should scare any reasonable person shitless. Let’s begin.
Perry is either incredibly dim-witted or incredibly conniving—neither of which are admirable traits. His constant barrage of anti-science comments show an incredible lack of awareness for the most basic of concepts. His prayer rally, which was promoted to help with the problems beyond our control, shows a real lack of governance and essentially is on par with rain dances. These things don’t work; a smart person would already know that. And when you consider the caliber of people attending and speaking at the rally, you just spiral into the blackest hole of stupidity ever produced by humans. But possibly worse than stupidity is delusion. A delusion is a false belief held with absolute conviction despite superior evidence. This describes Perry incredibly well. He does not let scientific results or actual research dissuade him from opinions. These positions include abstinence-only sex education (an oxymoron, I know), climate change, and evolution. You can’t brush this off by saying particular science beliefs are unimportant to the office of the President. A delusion will affect any area that runs counter to prior beliefs. This is a character trait that can affect legislation, economic strategies, international affairs, and many other important aspects of the job.
If, on the other hand, this is all just playing to the Evangelical base and he doesn’t really believe it, then we know that he will deceive the citizenry in order to gain power. Either option is troubling.
If Romney actually ran the country like he ran Massachusetts, it wouldn’t be all that bad. It certainly wouldn’t be bad enough to qualify as scary. But the demographics of people he was trying to please in Massachusetts is markedly different from the national landscape that includes fundamentalist Evangelicals and today’s Tea Party. You can look at his positions and clearly see that he is bending to the will of the common folk. He has gone from fairly moderate to espousing more and more highly conservative opinions. We don’t need an ideologue in office while the country is so divided, and we certainly don’t need a fake one. I doubt he believes a lot of what he says and I think that lack of true conviction (see entry on Bachmann) is hurting him in the polls. So, we have a candidate who very likely disagrees with many Tea Party principles, yet tries to please them for votes while completely ignoring the half of this country that is fairly liberal. That is not a good sign.
In addition, Romney is a Mormon. Anyone who adheres to a religion that is obviously false should have their critical thinking skills seriously questioned. Maybe in the end they will show they do value critical thinking and don’t let religion get in the way (like Huntsman to an extent), but most do not. Mormonism, Scientology, Heaven’s Gate—these are not religions worth even entertaining as moderately convincing. They have been empirically disproven, making any long-term adherents either ignorant or delusional (this is a recurring theme).
Paul is the political equivalent of a butterface. There are some things you may really like about him, but they are ultimately outweighed by the statements that sound eerily similar to things your crazy uncle says. Therein lies the problem. As much as I may like a few of his opinions, we have to be cautious of catastrophe. Whatever people think of him, it is not reasonable to expect him to make any sweeping changes for the better. Instead he will cut a number of things and then sit back and try to do as little as possible. That is essentially what he proposes. The outcomes to be expected from this in the short term will either be marginal improvements from reduced government spending and gained state freedom or a downward spiral into Hell. We would have even worse unemployment than we do now by slicing up the Federal government, and he has many ideas that are viewed as crazy nonsense by markets around the world, which could scare things into a sharp fall. These are just the tip of the iceberg of how things could potentially go wrong. The potential gain is not nearly worth the risk. You might argue that some of these policies are better for the long term, but we are not currently in a strong enough position as a country to take that gamble.
The thing about Bachmann is that she is actually crazy. There is nothing about her that indicates she is a sane person—nothing. Her history of statements that take the most nonsensical positions, her version of religion, her belief in the LaHayes’ end times bullshit, her methods for curing homosexuality…do I really need to keep going? She is nuts. This is not about attacking her because she is a woman or because she is a Christian. She is actually bat shit crazy. I would seriously consider moving to Canada if she were nominated. The fact that she has already held office in this country should be considered a blight on our reputation.