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Shermer is publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, author of The Science of Good and Evil (Henry Holt), and a bicycling enthusiast.
2004 vote: John Kerry. I'm a libertarian, but in 2000 I voted my conscience under the assumption that it probably didn't matter who won between Bush and Gore (Tweedledee and Tweedledum when compared to Browne), and I was wrong. It did matter. The world situation is too precarious and too dangerous to flip a coin, the Libertarian candidate cannot win, Bush's foreign policy is making the world more dangerous and more precarious rather than less, and Kerry has a good chance to win and an even better chance to improve our situation. Most important, he's a serious cyclist who wears the yellow "LiveStrong" bracelet in support of Lance Armstrong's cancer foundation and Tour de France win.
2000 vote: Harry Browne, because like the Naderites on the other end of the spectrum I voted my conscience.
Most embarrassing vote: Richard Nixon, 1972, my first presidential vote cast, just out of high school. My poli-sci profs the next several years of college regaled us with daily updates about Watergate. Ooops...
Favorite president: Thomas Jefferson, because 1) he was a champion of liberty, 2) he applied scientific thinking to the political, economic, and social spheres, and 3) when he dined alone at the White House there was more intelligence in that room than when John F. Kennedy hosted a dinner there for a roomful of Nobel laureates.
Sirius, former editor-in-chief of Mondo 2000, edits NeoFiles at life-enhancement.com/NeoFiles and is author of, most recently, Counterculture Through the Ages: From Abraham to Acid House (Random House).
2004 vote: I can't bring myself to say it. I'm voting for the only guys who stand a chance of replacing the complete insanity of the Bush administration and return us to the ordinary consensus madness we had come to know so well. You know, John and John.
2000 vote: Even though I ran as a write-in candidate myself, I wound up voting for Nader because I thought he gave such rousing and impressive speeches. I wouldn't actually want him to be president though. He's way too puritanical. Did anybody notice that he joined in on the Janet Jackson nipple crisis? Instead of objecting from a religious point of view, he objects from the view that corporate media are "spewing filth" into our environment. The health fascists are everywhere.
Most embarrassing vote: Ralph Nader in 2000. First of all, some other people actually voted for me. My insincerity is justifiable only in a dadaist context, which I therefore proclaim. And secondly, it encouraged Nader, who is now clearly addicted to the run.
Favorite president: It's difficult to rate the quality of an 18th-century president's decisions at this distance, but I choose Thomas Jefferson for eloquently elucidating many of the ideas and attitudes of the Age of Reason.
Bradley A. Smith
Smith is chairman of the Federal Election Commission.
2004 vote: That's one an election commissioner better not answer; we're not supposed to engage in partisan activities
2000 vote: I don't want to answer that one either.