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Author Topic: Has there ever been an election between 2 worse candidates?  (Read 12143 times)
Jacobtm
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« on: June 06, 2006, 03:43:50 am »
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Looking back on 2004, Bush and Kerry were easily some of, and possibly the worst two candidates in history. Bush had already proven how bad he was, and Kerry couldn't even convince people that he wouldn't do a worse job than Bush.

At least in 2000 people didn't have any idea how bad Bush would be...

Anyone got an election with worse candidates? Maybe Grant's re-election?
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Why do so many people here cheer on war crimes?
Israel and the United States "killing dozens of civilians with explosives", as you phrase it, has, throughout history, almost always been a good thing.
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2006, 02:04:30 pm »
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With or without hindsight?

With hindsight, 1976 probably had two poorer choices that Kerry and Bush, but at the time, Carter seemed like a good guy.  And he's still a good guy, but he wasn't made of presidential material.

1964 sucked too, but again, the hindsight factor.  I'd have had no problems with voting LBJ at the time, but knowing what I know now, I'd surrender to the Soviet Union before I voted for Johnson.
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2006, 02:26:17 pm »
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1984: Walter Mondalve vs. Ronald Reagan
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2006, 03:02:17 am »
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Most 1860-1928 races were quite similar.
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I may conceivably reconsider.

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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2006, 05:12:22 pm »
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1840, 1856, 1868, 1988, 2004 were the worst 5 with 1856 being dead last.
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2006, 05:49:05 pm »
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1972

Nixon - a very gifted leader who sold himself out to the forces of corruption and subversion, and who had already become enmeshed in the scandal of what was to become known as Watergate even before the votes were cast

McGovern - a well meaning politician, but an ultra leftist, who allowed himself to be manipulated and controlled by the looney left fringe of the country
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Nym90
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2006, 11:07:30 pm »
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There have been worse elections in the 1800s certainly, but 2004 is definitely up there among elections in the past 100 years. It was probably the worst since 1924 in terms of the overall quality of the two major party candidates.
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dazzleman
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2006, 09:03:16 pm »
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Honestly, sometimes the lack of historical perspective among some people is very surprising.

The 2004 candidates were far from the worse we've had.  The dismal period before and after the Civil War has to rank as the worst period in our history, in terms of leaders.

Bush and Kerry were both good candidates in their own way.  I don't think that as a combination, they were below average.  They provided a good contrast and choice.  I hear the "the candidates are so bad" theme every election, including elections, such as 1980, that have produced presidents who are now considered great presidents.
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2006, 10:35:13 pm »
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Honestly, sometimes the lack of historical perspective among some people is very surprising.

The 2004 candidates were far from the worse we've had.  The dismal period before and after the Civil War has to rank as the worst period in our history, in terms of leaders.

Bush and Kerry were both good candidates in their own way.  I don't think that as a combination, they were below average.  They provided a good contrast and choice.  I hear the "the candidates are so bad" theme every election, including elections, such as 1980, that have produced presidents who are now considered great presidents.

Well that's true. Everyone has their own criteria for good and bad, and I agree that the 1800's were overall worse than most anything we've seen in the last 100 years.

I think part of the problem with Kerry and Bush was too much of a contrast, leaving moderates being forced to vote for someone they didn't really like. In some ways it was a caricature election for both sides since each candidate's home state was the state that the opposite party probably dislikes more than any other single state. Combined with the fact that both party's strategies seemed to be to pump up their base rather than really put a major push towards attracting swing voters.

And yeah, people complain about the candidates in every election. At least turnout was very high this past election, which is always a good sign for the health of our democracy. The events of recent years at least seem to be causing people to care more about politics which is always a good thing in my opinion.
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2006, 10:43:02 pm »
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1972

Nixon - a very gifted leader who sold himself out to the forces of corruption and subversion, and who had already become enmeshed in the scandal of what was to become known as Watergate even before the votes were cast

McGovern - a well meaning politician, but an ultra leftist, who allowed himself to be manipulated and controlled by the looney left fringe of the country

I think you don't give Nixon credit for his paranoia and his own blame in this, but generally,  this is what I wanted to say before I even saw yours.
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2006, 11:17:23 pm »
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1972

Nixon - a very gifted leader who sold himself out to the forces of corruption and subversion, and who had already become enmeshed in the scandal of what was to become known as Watergate even before the votes were cast

McGovern - a well meaning politician, but an ultra leftist, who allowed himself to be manipulated and controlled by the looney left fringe of the country

I think you don't give Nixon credit for his paranoia and his own blame in this, but generally,  this is what I wanted to say before I even saw yours.

Yeah, 1972 was definitely not the best election by any means. McGovern, while a good man, was too liberal, and Nixon, while moderate and not a bad President policy-wise, was thoroughly corrupt to the core.
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Jacobtm
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2006, 11:30:04 pm »
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Tweed: 1964 had Goldwater man! Sure LBJ was as bad as you can get, but Goldwater was the man...

1840, 1856, 1868, 1988, 2004 were the worst 5 with 1856 being dead last.
Bush Sr. was TONS better than Bush Jr., and Dukakis was probably on par with Kerry.

What was so horrid about Van Buren and Harrison compared to Bush and Kerry?

I see what you mean with 1856 and 1868 though. Though I'd probably put 1872 after 1868, since no one had any idea how bad Grant would be in '68, but he had proven himself as a bad president by '72.

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Why do so many people here cheer on war crimes?
Israel and the United States "killing dozens of civilians with explosives", as you phrase it, has, throughout history, almost always been a good thing.
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2006, 11:36:00 pm »
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1972 hands down
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Jacobtm
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2006, 12:31:15 am »
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1972 hands down
What was so much worse about Nixon than Bush? As I see it, the only reason Nixon had to resign was that there was a Democratic Congress that would've impeached him. Bush Jr. has done lots more reprehensible things than Nixon ever did. And Nixon got real things accomplished, like opening up China for trade.
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Why do so many people here cheer on war crimes?
Israel and the United States "killing dozens of civilians with explosives", as you phrase it, has, throughout history, almost always been a good thing.
dazzleman
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2006, 08:48:40 pm »
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1972

Nixon - a very gifted leader who sold himself out to the forces of corruption and subversion, and who had already become enmeshed in the scandal of what was to become known as Watergate even before the votes were cast

McGovern - a well meaning politician, but an ultra leftist, who allowed himself to be manipulated and controlled by the looney left fringe of the country

I think you don't give Nixon credit for his paranoia and his own blame in this, but generally,  this is what I wanted to say before I even saw yours.

Yeah, 1972 was definitely not the best election by any means. McGovern, while a good man, was too liberal, and Nixon, while moderate and not a bad President policy-wise, was thoroughly corrupt to the core.

Eric, what do you think of 1964?  LBJ was also corrupt to the core, and even you have admitted that liberal policies in the 1960s went to excess.  Goldwater obviously wasn't an appealing candidate to a lot of people either.

Either way, the years 1965-69 were among the worst in our history.
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Nym90
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2006, 09:28:50 pm »
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1972

Nixon - a very gifted leader who sold himself out to the forces of corruption and subversion, and who had already become enmeshed in the scandal of what was to become known as Watergate even before the votes were cast

McGovern - a well meaning politician, but an ultra leftist, who allowed himself to be manipulated and controlled by the looney left fringe of the country

I think you don't give Nixon credit for his paranoia and his own blame in this, but generally,  this is what I wanted to say before I even saw yours.

Yeah, 1972 was definitely not the best election by any means. McGovern, while a good man, was too liberal, and Nixon, while moderate and not a bad President policy-wise, was thoroughly corrupt to the core.

Eric, what do you think of 1964?  LBJ was also corrupt to the core, and even you have admitted that liberal policies in the 1960s went to excess.  Goldwater obviously wasn't an appealing candidate to a lot of people either.

Either way, the years 1965-69 were among the worst in our history.

Yeah, it wasn't one of the better elections. Johnson did a lot of great things and overall I think he was a good man, a lot better than Nixon, though he certainly was a bit of a machine politician. I definitely didn't like that aspect of him at all. As it turned out, Vietnam wasn't such a good idea either in retrospect, although at the time it seemed like a just war and certainly the fact that Johnson was willing to try to stop the advancement of Communism is commendable.

Overall the Great Society went too far certainly; it was a failed experiment that had noble ideals which I support but as you've said unfortunately hurt the people it was trying to help in a lot of ways. Certainly things like Medicare, Medicaid and the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were great achievements of that era, but other things like welfare, busing, affirmative action and the like were not.

Goldwater was way too conservative for his time; he was quite frighteningly hawkish, and his opposition to the Civil Rights Act is pretty much unforgiveable in my book, even if he did oppose it merely on states' rights grounds (which I think he did).
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dazzleman
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2006, 09:35:26 pm »
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1972

Nixon - a very gifted leader who sold himself out to the forces of corruption and subversion, and who had already become enmeshed in the scandal of what was to become known as Watergate even before the votes were cast

McGovern - a well meaning politician, but an ultra leftist, who allowed himself to be manipulated and controlled by the looney left fringe of the country

I think you don't give Nixon credit for his paranoia and his own blame in this, but generally,  this is what I wanted to say before I even saw yours.

Yeah, 1972 was definitely not the best election by any means. McGovern, while a good man, was too liberal, and Nixon, while moderate and not a bad President policy-wise, was thoroughly corrupt to the core.

Eric, what do you think of 1964?  LBJ was also corrupt to the core, and even you have admitted that liberal policies in the 1960s went to excess.  Goldwater obviously wasn't an appealing candidate to a lot of people either.

Either way, the years 1965-69 were among the worst in our history.

Yeah, it wasn't one of the better elections. Johnson did a lot of great things and overall I think he was a good man, a lot better than Nixon, though he certainly was a bit of a machine politician. I definitely didn't like that aspect of him at all. As it turned out, Vietnam wasn't such a good idea either in retrospect, although at the time it seemed like a just war and certainly the fact that Johnson was willing to try to stop the advancement of Communism is commendable.

Overall the Great Society went too far certainly; it was a failed experiment that had noble ideals which I support but as you've said unfortunately hurt the people it was trying to help in a lot of ways. Certainly things like Medicare, Medicaid and the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were great achievements of that era, but other things like welfare, busing, affirmative action and the like were not.

Goldwater was way too conservative for his time; he was quite frighteningly hawkish, and his opposition to the Civil Rights Act is pretty much unforgiveable in my book, even if he did oppose it merely on states' rights grounds (which I think he did).

The funny thing about the Civil Rights Act is that a poll was taken here, and a majority opposed it, mainly on libertarian grounds.  You and I were among the few actually defending it.

I can't agree that LBJ was really a better man than Nixon.  He did some good things that were largely overshadowed by his larger failures, and his greatest accomplishments came in the first 2 years of his presidency.  After that, it was straight downhill, and what a downhill ride it was.

As a human being, LBJ was crude, cruel, volatile and paranoid.  All in all, a true nutcase.  Not much different from Nixon, really.  Policy-wise, Nixon was actually a steadier hand at the till, though Nixon's policies were derived in a highly cynical manner, and he shafted his supporters just as much as, or more than, his more rabid opponents, in many areas. 
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« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2006, 07:48:37 pm »
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Honestly, sometimes the lack of historical perspective among some people is very surprising.

The 2004 candidates were far from the worse we've had.  The dismal period before and after the Civil War has to rank as the worst period in our history, in terms of leaders.

Bush and Kerry were both good candidates in their own way.  I don't think that as a combination, they were below average.  They provided a good contrast and choice.  I hear the "the candidates are so bad" theme every election, including elections, such as 1980, that have produced presidents who are now considered great presidents.
Hey now Tongue
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True Democrat
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2006, 10:28:44 am »
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1984: Walter Mondalve vs. Ronald Reagan
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2006, 11:52:40 am »
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Honestly, sometimes the lack of historical perspective among some people is very surprising.

The 2004 candidates were far from the worse we've had.  The dismal period before and after the Civil War has to rank as the worst period in our history, in terms of leaders.

Bush and Kerry were both good candidates in their own way.  I don't think that as a combination, they were below average.  They provided a good contrast and choice.  I hear the "the candidates are so bad" theme every election, including elections, such as 1980, that have produced presidents who are now considered great presidents.
Hey now Tongue

Yeah, some people consider Reagan great; I would say the median opinion of him would be good, but certainly not great.
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dazzleman
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« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2006, 01:34:22 pm »
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Honestly, sometimes the lack of historical perspective among some people is very surprising.

The 2004 candidates were far from the worse we've had.  The dismal period before and after the Civil War has to rank as the worst period in our history, in terms of leaders.

Bush and Kerry were both good candidates in their own way.  I don't think that as a combination, they were below average.  They provided a good contrast and choice.  I hear the "the candidates are so bad" theme every election, including elections, such as 1980, that have produced presidents who are now considered great presidents.
Hey now Tongue

Yeah, some people consider Reagan great; I would say the median opinion of him would be good, but certainly not great.

I can't say I agree Eric.  Reagan was always a somewhat polarizing president, but he also was able to receive the votes of many who didn't really agree with him on the issues.  His presidency is probably too recent to really make a final judgment, but I think that a good number of people consider him a great, or near-great, president.
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« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2006, 07:29:14 am »
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I cant believe no ones mentioned 1988 yet. Bush VS Dukakis. with Dan Quayle  on the Republican ticket too!

come on people!!
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Nym90
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« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2006, 03:09:45 pm »
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I cant believe no ones mentioned 1988 yet. Bush VS Dukakis. with Dan Quayle  on the Republican ticket too!

come on people!!

True, that one wasn't so great either, but in my opinion, Bush Sr was better than Bush Jr., and Dukakis was no worse than Kerry. And Quayle was no worse than Cheney.
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« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2006, 03:34:26 pm »
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I cant believe no ones mentioned 1988 yet. Bush VS Dukakis. with Dan Quayle  on the Republican ticket too!

come on people!!

True, that one wasn't so great either, but in my opinion, Bush Sr was better than Bush Jr., and Dukakis was no worse than Kerry. And Quayle was no worse than Cheney.

That, and the fact that Lloyd Bentsen was included in that race made it a little better.
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« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2006, 10:42:25 pm »
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I cant believe no ones mentioned 1988 yet. Bush VS Dukakis. with Dan Quayle  on the Republican ticket too!

come on people!!

True, that one wasn't so great either, but in my opinion, Bush Sr was better than Bush Jr., and Dukakis was no worse than Kerry. And Quayle was no worse than Cheney.

That, and the fact that Lloyd Bentsen was included in that race made it a little better.

Very true. Bentsen would have been a great President. Too bad he wasn't the nominee in 1988.
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