Voting for president is a lot like sex—and not just because it takes place every four years in the solitude of a semi-private booth. Both are intensely personal activities that nonetheless can have profound public consequences. We might add that both often involve drug-and-alcohol-fueled delusions and morning-after feelings of guilt, shame, and recrimination.
As Campaign 2004 entered its home stretch, we asked a variety of policy wonks, journalists, thinkers, and other public figures in the reason universe to reveal for whom they are voting this fall, for whom they pulled the lever last time around, their most embarrassing presidential vote, and their favorite president of all time. Their answers, as of late August, follow.
Contributing Editor Bagge is best known as author of the alternative comic book Hate.
2004 vote: If it looks like my home state could go either way by Election Day, I'll vote for John Kerry. Otherwise I'll vote for the Libertarian Party's candidate, Michael Badnarik. That's been my M.O. every election year, since the Democratic candidate usually strikes me as the lesser of two evils (if not by much).
2000 vote: Harry Browne.
Most embarrassing vote: Every time I've voted for a major-party candidate I've felt embarrassed. I vaguely recall voting in '88 for Michael Dukakis, whose only positive attribute was that his last name wasn't Bush (as is the case with John F. Kerry).
Favorite president: George Washington, for actually refusing to assume as much power as he could have gotten away with. I can't think offhand of another president that could be said about.
Bailey is Reason's science correspondent.
2004 vote: I'm undecided between Republican George W. Bush and Libertarian Michael Badnarik. Bush has been a great disappointment. But Kerry will be even worse -- raising taxes, overregulating, and socializing more of medicine. What to do?
2000 vote: George W. Bush. I couldn't possibly have voted for Gore since he dislikes me personally. Besides, I was presciently worried (you can ask my wife) about a popular vote/electoral vote mismatch.
Most embarrassing vote: George McGovern, 1972. I was 18 and thought I was a socialist.