General Question

SergeantQueen's avatar

How can anybody claim a candidate is "the lesser of two evils"?

Asked by SergeantQueen (10432points) 1 month ago

I AM NOT ADVOCATING FOR EITHER CANDIDATE (and I don’t want to start an argument)

In my mind, Biden and Trump are honestly the same.

Biden has said racist stuff, and he has sexual assault allegation(s) against him too.

Regardless of what your views are on either candidate, how can you claim one is better than the other?

I understand the reasons people dislike Trump. I had a friend talk about how racist he is and how she won’t vote for him, but for Biden instead… That seems very hypocritical.

I mean, They both have a history of saying shitty things. And in my mind, there is no such thing as something being “more racist” than another. Racism is racism and it is equally as bad. and shouldn’t be tolerated.

I am trying to understand how people can list all the reasons they hate Trump, which often times include stuff about racism and sexual assault, and then say they will vote for Biden, and not think that is hypocritical.

I am trying to say that I don’t think either candidate is “the lesser of two evils” I think they both kinda suck. And I get to vote for the first time in a presidential election and I’m not as excited as I should be because it’s like voting for someone I don’t like either way.

I don’t like the phrase ”[...] is the lesser of two evils”. Not in this situation at least.

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38 Answers

kritiper's avatar

It’s easy enough. Maybe I don’t like one candidate but I dislike the other candidate more. But I have to vote for one, since I’m voting, so which one should I pick?
Simple answer.
You may see both candidates as the same but that is your POV and not the POV of anyone else. So, “To each his own.”

Zaku's avatar

There are degrees of terribleness, and degrees of idiocy.

Biden isn’t nearly as blatantly awful as Trump in many ways.

The ones I care about most are:

Biden isn’t an ultra-anti-environmentalist.

Biden isn’t a climate change denier.

Biden at least pretends to care about things other than himself and corporate profits.

Biden pretends to be something other that a giant giveaway bonanza for the ultra-rich and giant corporations.

Biden isn’t prone to creating international diplomatic problems through idiocy.

Biden sometimes makes sense.

Blackberry's avatar

I understand what you mean, but everyone loves to use the cheap excuse “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.”
So we’re forced to vote for someone we don’t like anyway.
A 3rd party vote is basically a “wasted vote” so people feel they have no choice.

Biden is gross, but he has some class at least.
I grew up around “Trump supporters” and I just can’t stand their attitudes.
All those empty stereotypical sayings you hear like “Mexicans need to stop having so many babies” and “You know most black people dont work right?”

I grew up around people like that and they love Trump. They always use the word “dumbocrats” and just act really juvenile.
I’m not really gonna get into all the issues I faced growing up around people like that.
But Trump had the chance to denounce racism but instead encouraged it during the protests in south Carolina for example.
He just made a bunch of silent racists feel comfortable.
His family member that wrote a book about him confirmed my suspicions about him being a total douchebag: basically treating women that arent Barbies like garbage, being a shady businessman and not paying already poor people etc.

I can’t find many redeemable qualities in the guy.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Blackberry ”A 3rd party vote is basically a “wasted vote” so people feel they have no choice.”

I don’t think it’s a waste. If we ever want to break out of the cycle of “lesser of two evils” voting, then it’s the only rational vote. If enough people do it, the 3rd party qualifies for Federal funding and a spot in the debates. That would be the best possible outcome for 2020 IMO.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@gorillapaws Has that ever happened?

Brian1946's avatar


At least once: Ross Perot:

“He chose Admiral James Stockdale as his running mate and appeared in the 1992 debates with Bush and Clinton.”

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m confused. Are you really telling us that you see no difference in the 2 candidates? Or is it your assertion that there is no validity to the concept of “lesser of 2 evils”?

SergeantQueen's avatar

@stanleybmanly I don’t understand how somebody could call Trump a racist, and then turn around and vote for Biden. Or talk about how Trump assaulted women, and then totally ignore allegations against Biden.

So yes, I am telling you that in many ways, they are very very similar. And if you hate a particular trait both candidates have, why are you calling one “less evil” than the other? If they both possess things you strongly dislike and always bring up in one, but seemingly ignore in the other.

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stanleybmanly's avatar

Is misogyny the reason you claim the 2 men similar? Is that all Trump has done to convince you the 2 are cut from the same mold?

hmmmmmm's avatar

Because there are differences in certain variables between the “choice” people have.

If people live in a country where 2 corporate parties control the electoral system in such a way that it leaves two candidates/parties as the only action people can take to feel they are involved in any way, people can look at the packaging and determine that there is a lesser of two evils.

Trump and the Republican party are manifestly racist, xenophobic, authoritarian, anti-worker, anti-poor, and anti-democratic. Their public declarations and policy positions proudly declare these goals, and the climate they engender is one of fear and violence.

Biden and the Democratic party, on the other hand, position themselves as a reaction to this, and push back on some of these things.

So, it’s clear to many that there is a “lesser of two evils”. It would seem absurd and disingenuous for anyone to claim otherwise.

However, when you consider that Democratic policies and actions have directly created Trump and the modern Republicans, you’re left with the question: if the greater of the two evils was given to us by the lesser of two evils, how much lesser is it?

Additionally, since the lesser’s actions have led to immeasurable suffering, one can ask if the whole question is really just an exercise in asking, “Which candidate/party’s public declarations are the lesser of two evils?”

Note: there are legitimate concerns that choosing the lesser of two evils may result in a greater evil in the near future.

Pandora's avatar

@gorillapaws A third party vote is a wasted vote because there are not enough independents or even democrats that would make them a winner. All it does is assure a vote win for the republican party. In small districts, you can maybe win with an independent if that district is mainly made up of liberals but that is about it. For the Presidency and for senate, it becomes dicey. That is why republicans are trying to help Kanye West run for President. They are hoping they can get the votes needed from democrats and independents to vote for West and essentially take votes away from Biden.
@SergeantQueen I don’t see Biden anywhere near the level of horribleness as Trump. First the lady who accused Biden of sexual assault not rape, has changed her story so many times and has even said Biden would make a great President. The rest was about his level of creepiness by getting to close os sniffing hair or getting too touchy like a shoulder press or a hug. Not the same as a man walking through a teenage pageant while some of the girls were undressed and thinking he had the right to do so because he owned the hotel it was being done in. Also Trump was accused by one of Epsteins former girls of raping her when she was a teen at one of Epsteins parties. That had even came out before he ran, but statues of limitations an other things blocked it.
Biden also went through two major pandemic possibilities as VP and we got through it fine without having hundreds of thousand dead because they didn’t sit there wasting time debating if it was a hoax.. Biden didn’t cheat on his wives. We can debate policies and some in Biden past were not good, and his gaffs are not good. but I truly don’t believe he is a racist where Trump gives clear indications that he is a racist. So as a Latina who is a born American, I know who my enemy is. And it’s not Biden. .

Strauss's avatar

@SergeantQueen I have in the past voted for a candidate I considered to be the lesser of two evils. This was not for a Presidential election, but for a local position. Although I did not agree with the candidate I voted for on most issues, I felt her opponent was truly unfit for the job, so my vote was more a vote against the other candidate.

gorillapaws's avatar

@SergeantQueen “Has that ever happened?”

Yes. The Republican Party began as a 3rd party in the US.

@Pandora “A third party vote is a wasted vote because there are not enough independents or even democrats that would make them a winner. All it does is assure a vote win for the republican party….[Republicans] are hoping they can get the votes needed from democrats and independents to vote for West and essentially take votes away from Biden. ”

First, Maybe Biden should have considered that when making his platform and choosing his VP? Doesn’t that tell you that he cares more about blocking Progressivism than beating Trump?

Second, why would I vote for Biden? I have nothing but abject contempt for the fucker. He sexually assaulted his staffer, told her she “was nothing” and then had her fired. He’s a big part of the reason we’re still in Iraq, he’s the mastermind behind the school-prison pipeline and the “new Jim Crow,” he happily helped outsource the middle class to exploited poor 3rd world labor, and he had a major role in selling out the DNC to whoever wants to write a check (Big Oil, Pharma, Payday lenders, private prison slavers, outsourcers, big banks, telecom, whoever). Obama and Biden’s Neoliberal failings and abandonment of the middle class are what brought us Trump. Biden doesn’t have a single redeeming quality.

If I wasn’t going to vote 3rd party, I’d leave it blank. That’s mathematically not a vote for Trump or Biden. It literally doesn’t change their tallies at all.

Furthermore, a 3rd party candidate doesn’t have to hit 270 electoral votes to have a “victory.” If they can loose with enough of the vote, then they qualify for Federal funding and earn a place in the debates. They could also begin to build momentum for the future.

I have completely lost any faith that the DNC can be repaired/reformed. The leaders are too corrupt and willing to cheat in order to retain their power. That means that the DNC itself and their chosen candidates are the largest impediments to achieving working class policy. The only way to ever have an election that doesn’t involve the “lesser of two evils” will be with a third party. That may be a hell-of-a-long-shot, but it’s a much higher chance than getting the DNC to not rig the primary or hold fair elections.

SEKA's avatar

I see Byedon as the lesser of 2 evils. We’ve all said stupid things in our lifetime so that doesn’t come into my thinking on either side. I don’t have to worry about Byedon deciding to gang rape me by becoming the emperor of the country and having his unmarked militia grabbing me off the streets and doing who knows what once I’m out of sight. As far as sexual abuse goes, one woman was upset because Byedon kissed her on the top of her head. Personally, I don’t call that sexual abuse. My grand daddy used to do that to show me he loved me and he never touched me sexually. In addition, no hooker ever showed up claiming that she wasn’t paid when hired to spank Byedon’s ass. He’s at least smart enough to pay his hookers for a job well done

My main reason for voting for Byedon is that I’m exhausted from going to bed crying and waking up to a panic attack before checking the news to see the latest bullshit spewed forth from our commander in chief

I liked the US much better when we were partners with WHO, the CDC, Canada, and we were working toward a better environment. The only real fear I have with Byedon is that I fear that he won’t be able to fix the mess that trump has put us in. At the same time, I definitely know that trump wont attempt to fix those exact same problems because he created them and he doesn’t feel that they need to be fixed

Lastly, I fear the day that the Russians walk onto our shores and trump hands them the key to the White House

Demosthenes's avatar

The lesser of two evils is still evil. The fact that anyone thinks “but he’s the lesser of two evils!” is a convincing argument is astounding to me. How about we have a fucking election where the two choices are not “evils”?

chyna's avatar

@Demosthenes Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

gorillapaws's avatar

@SEKA “As far as sexual abuse goes, one woman was upset because Byedon kissed her on the top of her head.”

That’s not the allegation I’m concerned about. The one that bothers me the most, is the one where he pinned his staffer against a wall, forced his finger in her vagina against her will, and when she recoiled, he told he she “was nothing to him” and later had her fired. That’s the one that bothers me.

SEKA's avatar

Was she wearing no panties? My concern is if trump paid her $130K (or maybe more) to say such a thing. trump brags about grabbing women by the pussy and Byedon is considered the bad guy here. Byedon has been in office for over 40 years and he’s only had 1 such allegation against him. Although I hate to admit it, women have been known to lie. Ever consider maybe he “refused” her advances and she’s striking back because he had the nerve to say no to her? I find it difficult to believe that if Byedon had done such a thing that she waited until trump was in office to declare it and no one else has ever accused him. Why no word of it before the 2008 election? Or was McCain a better man than trump?

cookieman's avatar

@Demosthenes: Exactly. Sadly, it seems those smart enough, experienced enough, and decent enough to be a great president have no interest in running or shot at being elected.

chyna's avatar

@gorillapaws That has never been substantiated. Her story has changed over the re-telling of it. She had just recently added the part about his finger penetration. No one can find a record of the report supposedly made at the time.
However, I was not there and do not know what really happened.

gorillapaws's avatar

@SEKA “My concern is if trump paid her $130K (or maybe more) to say such a thing.”

I guess that’s possible, but Trump would have also needed to use a time machine to pay off Tara Reade’s mom to call in to the Larry King show back in 1993. That begs the question: if Trump had access to a time machine, he could have just told young Trump what stocks to buy and been less of an incompetent buffoon in business?

Seems much more likely that Biden is a piece of shit.

gorillapaws's avatar

@chyna “Her story has changed over the re-telling of it.”

It didn’t change, it became more detailed. There’s a big difference. And she’s been trying to tell her story for a long time. The Me Too movement let her down. Just ask Anita Dunn about it.

@chyna “No one can find a record of the report supposedly made at the time.”

It’s not that they “can’t be found,” it’s that they’re sealed.

Pandora's avatar

@gorillapaws Unless you saw the interaction with his staffer than how do you know he sexually assaulted her. I don’t think this woman is well and maybe she may have been paid off. Read this article. Now as for her mom she claimed her daughter didn’t want to report sexual assault at the work place out of respect for the senator she worked for. The mom did not claim her daughter said it was Biden. Listen to the audio yourself. So it could be she was sexually assaulted by someone got fired and then got pissed at Biden after that. But till recently she was fond of Biden. So what’s to say she wasn’t paid to say that Biden was the person who assaulted her? Even her lawyer dropped her. No doubt because of all the contradictions in her story. Her brother even said she said that Biden would touch her and make her feel uncomfortable but denied her telling her it was sexual assault. Then he changed his story and suddenly remembered the details. Yeah. Sounds all to fishy. But you are okay with the guy who admitted on audio about how he can sexually assault women because he is rich.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Pandora Have you listened to Tara tell her story in her own voice? Have you seen Tara tell her story?

If she’s lying, she’s one hell-of-an-actress. I find it pretty disgusting the way she’s being attacked by people like yourself. Biden’s campaign said nothing ever happened, but her mother’s phone call confirms that to be a lie.

Tara has no reason to lie.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It seems that the degree and definition of ‘evil’ is very subjective based on your political priorities.

Pandora's avatar

@gorillapaws , in for a penny in for a pound. People can become awesome actresses when motivated by money or out of fear of being found out. I remember as a kid I could turn on the water works when I was in trouble for something and I wanted to play the victim. First of all I have been sexually assaulted at work. So I do understand the shame and not wanting to say anything. I don’t like being in this position but so far she is the only one to say this has occurred. And yes I have seen her interviewed. I wasn’t convinced. I don’t know her history. I don’t know if this woman is well either. I also don’t believe that every woman who has claimed sexual abuse should be believed. There are vindictive people in the world and people looking to make money and they don’t care who they crush or what they have to say to get what they want. It’s a hard thing to prove. So do you believe every allegation should be believed without evidence? Is that how our laws should work? Someone points a finger at you and you are guilty?

I did not say she was a liar. I’m saying it’s fishy and can go either way. She has no solid proof and she thought he was a great guy even after being fired. She even thought his stand on women rights was great. So why the change? What’s her motive? And what if she is lying. Should Biden say he did something he didnt’ do to satisfy whatever angst she has? It seems to me you have already decided he’s guilty without any real proof and he doesn’t even have a video of him saying he does stuff like that or have hookers sign NDA
But here goes one thing that helps me with voting for Joe Biden. I trust that he loves our Nation and will work for the Citizens of our Nation for our betterment,, and not just for his rich cronys or because he’s on a power trip. I didn’t like Bush but I trusted he loved our Nation. Trump loves himself over everything and doesn’t care who he has to crush (citizens) to maintain power and make himself rich. So I’m voting clearly for the Guy I feel won’t rape the nation I love..

KNOWITALL's avatar

@gorillapaws It’s eight women accusing Biden at last count.

Trump Twenty-five women.

As you say, neither are squeeky clean, I’m sure.

(PS Please note it’s the same source for both. Left-center bias rating.)

Zaku's avatar

Only in the current USA is “Business Insider” considered biased Left of center.

SEKA's avatar

When the Reps can give me someone other than trump as my choice, I’m willing to give my vote to the sexual deviant. I don’t trust him at all and I still trust him 1,000 times more than I can trust trump

Smashley's avatar

Voting third party will not help break the two party system. Only a strong political movement could create the structural changes required to make room for other parties. The system isn’t two party because a bunch of rich guys control everything. It’s two party because that’s the scenario the structure of our elections heavily favors. Democracy reform is possible, though Buttigieg ran on it until people just shrugged and dismissed it.

My point is that third party voting is a pretty feeble attempt to change things. If this is your issue, you can fight in different ways. If you don’t know what to do and just want democracy to still be here to reform for a few more cycles… vote Biden.

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