So… What If Your Only Options In A General Election Were Santorum, Perry, Palin, and Bachmann?I live for such questions. Because, no matter how bad the set of available options are, we need to pick the best of the lot. It is far easier to throw up your hands in surrender and say "Who cares, they are all equally scum anyway!"
They are not. We often take pains to point out that everyone is different, that we should not treat everyone the same way, or generalize hastily, but treat them based on how they act. At least the same applies here.
What I want from a president is someone who will work to solve problems as best as she can, and someone who will not hesitate to reconsider and change the course of action if something does not appear to work. "Staying the course" in the face of continued failure is not a sign of determination. It is not a sign of steadfastness or cussedness either. It is dangerous stupidity. Bush the Younger adopted this policy through the Iraq war, and look at its legacy! Obama has adopted a policy of hold-firm-from-a-starting-middle-ground-position-but-cave-completely-when-the-opposition-does-not-budge, and he is a step away from being evicted.
When you have incontrovertible evidence that your plan is failing, you must do something different.
I then seek for the President to simply uphold the basic tenets of the constitution. That means putting individual rights before symbols. I'd rather have a President trample the flag with her boots rather than salute it at half-mast one day a year—probably for the whole day—at Ground Zero with a Jesus choir praising "The Lord" in the background.
Finally, I seek an intelligent person. Someone far more intelligent than the common man, myself included. Someone who can think through difficult problems, make difficult decisions, rely on science ahead of "common sense", and think beyond winning a second term.
In between, I'd like to see the President work towards the prosperity of the citizens, better living standards for all, and not cater to the lowest common denominator.
It is hard to find this combination in one candidate, let alone the cesspool where these four are resident.
So off the bat, I'd exclude Santorum and Bachmann. Neither seems intelligent enough, nor knowledgeable about the constitution. They are both virulently against homosexuals, science, steadfast in their dogmatic religious beliefs and incapable of solving any of the issues facing the nation. They will likely hasten a theocratic rule.
That leaves Palin and Perry. Both are opportunists, which actually is a plus. That means that they can find ways to get things done, sometimes, even in unfavorable situations. Both have quit, Palin in her gubernatorial term, and Perry when the state went dry and caught fire. But Perry is still the governor. Which means, if the going gets really tough, he wouldn't be screaming "Taaaawd, I hate this, get me out here, I am sooooo done!" He also is not scientifically illiterate (contrary to popular perceptions) and can understand the difference between a vaccine being maligned as dangerous, and one actually being dangerous. "But," you say "he does not accept global warming!" Well, that is what he says, but it is more likely that he does, but does not want to anger his base for now. Perhaps he just does not care about the future generations. That is a specific minus, but it applies to each of the other three. And Minnesota Palin is worse, she'll drill in the Everglades!
Also, Perry is capable of correcting himself on this. Anyone requiring a vaccination for kids is not someone above correcting himself on this issue. The gist being he is not that anti-science as the rest of them.
Perry favors legalizing undocumented immigrants and making that productive taxpayers, which is a pragmatic way to fix the problem; he does seem to want to reform social security, and he wants to end the war in Afghanistan (and that is a big taboo in the Republican circles) — all positions whose existence even, Palin does not care to acknowledge. He is against the rights for homosexuals to marry, but I suspect he is not a homophobe like Bachmann or Santorum, even if Palin is likewise probably not anti-gay. I suspect that with changing winds, he'll not stand in opposition to gay rights advancing in the country. In short, the one thing that makes Perry better than all the rest is to change positions to solve problems. Just like he changed from being a Democrat.
That said, it figures that Rick Perry is the only logical choice. Yes, I did consider "none of the above", but that is worse. We obviously need a president. Imagine the US without a third branch of our government. It is pure fantasy to believe that the country will function. Think Somalia. And besides "none of the above" only makes someone else's vote have more value than mine, and they might pick Minnesota Palin.
That does not mean I like Perry, or that he is my first choice, only that he is my first choice among the four.
I also believe that he will be #45