Free Minds & Free Markets

Who's Getting Your Vote?

Reason's revealing presidential poll.

(Page 12 of 16)

2004 vote: Kerry would get my vote if I didn't live in the District of Columbia, but the prospect of raising his total from 94.0001 percent to 94.0002 percent isn't quite enough to lure me to the polls. Badnarik is embarrassing, and Bush is so egregiously dishonest and destructive that even electing a mannequin like Kerry is an acceptable price of ousting him.

2000 vote: I didn't vote, though (to my shame, in retrospect) I was optimistic about G.W. Bush after the convention speeches, where all that focus on Social Security reform, educational choice, and "humble" foreign policy led me to think he might do some net good.

Most embarrassing vote: I've managed to spare myself that particular breed of embarrassment by not voting. Blessed are the apathetic, for they get the better even of their political blunders.

Favorite president: Grover Cleveland, who vetoed a popular agricultural assistance bill with the phrase, "Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people."

Jack Shafer

Shafer writes the Press Box column for Slate.

2004 vote: Who is the Libertarian candidate this year? That's who. Because I'm a yellow dog Libertarian.

2000 vote: Who was the Libertarian candidate that year? That's who.

Most embarrassing vote: I've never been embarrassed in the slightest by my presidential ballot.

Favorite president: Richard Nixon, because he's the gift that keeps giving.

Michael Shermer

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.

R.U. Sirius

Sirius, former editor-in-chief of Mondo 2000, edits NeoFiles at and is author of, most recently, Counterculture Through the Ages: From Abraham to Acid House (Random House).

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