Voting for president is a lot like sexóand 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, Iíll vote for John Kerry. Otherwise Iíll vote for the Libertarian
Partyís candidate, Michael Badnarik. Thatís 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 Iíve voted for a major-party candidate Iíve felt embarrassed. I vaguely recall voting in í88 for Michael Dukakis,
whose only positive attribute was that his last name wasnít 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 canít think offhand of
another president that could be said about.
Bailey is Reasonís science correspondent.
2004 vote: Iím undecided between Republican George W. Bush and Libertarian Michael Badnarik. Bush has been a great disappointment. But Kerry will be
even worse Ė raising taxes, overregulating, and socializing more of medicine. What to do?
2000 vote: George W. Bush. I couldnít 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.
Favorite president: George Washington. The man spurned being made king and stepped peacefully down from office.
Bovard is author of The Bush Betrayal (Palgrave Macmillan) and seven other books.
2004 vote: I will probably vote for Badnarik, the Libertarian Party candidate. Both of the major-party candidates brazenly flaunt their contempt for
the U.S. Constitution. Regardless of who wins in November, the U.S. likely will have a lousy president for the next four years.
2000 vote: I abstained.
Most embarrassing vote: I voted for Gerald Ford in 1976. He was not that embarrassing, compared to Jimmy Carter. And compared to George W. Bush, Ford
was verbally graceful.
Favorite president: It might be a coin toss between Washington and Jefferson.
Washington set a magnificent example of self-restraint, protecting the new nation from both his own power lust and unnecessary wars (despite foolish
popular demands). Jefferson masterfully reined in the federal government from the tyrannical Alien and Sedition Act persecutions that John Adams
Carey stars in Drew Careyís Green Screen Show, beginning October 7 on the WB.
2004 vote: Quit pretending that it matters, would you? Can you vote for all the nefarious cabals that really run the world? No. So f*** it.
2000 vote: I voted Libertarian, for all the good it did me.
Most embarrassing vote: Is it considered embarrassing to cast a vote out of principle for someone you know doesnít have a snowballís chance of
winning? Oh, OK. Then theyíre all embarrassing.
Favorite president: Andrew Jackson, because heís what a lap dance costs (and because, ironically, he opposed having a National Bank).
Cavanaugh is Reasonís Web editor.
2004 vote: Michael Badnarik, because heís Not Bush either.
2000 vote: Ralph Nader.
Most embarrassing vote: Dukakis in 1988. I thought he looked cool in that tank!
Favorite president: If we canít count John Hanson, then Warren G. Harding; would that they could all achieve so little.
Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.
2004 vote: I havenít decided between John Kerry and Michael Badnarik. I have only the dimmest hopes for a Kerry presidency, but I think Bush has to be
held accountable for Iraq, the worst foreign policy blunder since Vietnam, and the accelerated growth of the federal government.
2000 vote: Harry Browne, in keeping with my usual (though not automatic) practice of voting for the Libertarian presidential nominee.
Most embarrassing vote: Richard Nixon, in my first election, 1972, an experience that helped estrange me permanently from the Republican Party.
Favorite president: Thomas Jefferson, who took great and justified pride that as president, he eliminated internal taxes and avoided war, and who
peacefully doubled the size of the young nation.
Senior Editor Doherty is author of This Is Burning Man (Little, Brown).
2004 vote: I am a principled nonvoter. If I were forced to vote at gunpoint, Iíd pick the Libertarian Partyís Michael Badnarik, whose views on the
proper role of government most closely resemble mine.
2000 vote: I did not vote. Those who vote have no right to complain.
Most embarrassing vote: Iíve been saved the embarrassment of ever having to feel any sense of responsibility, of even the smallest size, for the
actions of any politician.
Favorite president: In their roles as president, I canít be an enthusiastic fan of any of them, but for his role in crafting the Constitution, a
document that held some (unrealized) promise to limit government powers, James Madison.
MORE MORE MORE
ďI sure as f**k donít want to see George W Bush in charge of a Village Inn restaurant much less a country but, more importantly, I donít want
anyone but myself as a leader. The Libertarian Party puts the burden of self-determination in your hands.
So do you want to be led or do you want to be served?Ē
[edit on 20-10-2004 by TrueLies]