Steven Taylor was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and spent the first fifteen years of his life in various parts of North and Central Texas. During high school he moved to California. There he would fall in love with his future wife Sherry, and also with the study of Political Science at the University of California at Irvine. He and Sherry have been married for fourteen years and have three boys, Alexander, Garrett and Austin. Steven earned his PhD in Government from the University of Texas. He is currently an Associate Professor of Political Science at Troy University in Alabama. His main areas of research include parties and elections and the country of Colombia. Steven blogs at PoliBlog.
Why do you blog? > Because I am? I love news, politics, information, discussion and computers. Hence, blogging is a perfect intersection of these interests. I used to just email back and forth with a friend of mine (James Joyner of Outside the Beltway) various comments on the news. Now I blog instead.
What has been your best blogging experience? > The realization that there were people out there interested in what I had to say.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Dealing with trolls and spam.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Write daily and recognize that a little self-promotion is necessary to get noticed.
What are your favourite blogs? > It's hard to name only three. I feel like Academy Awards winners who want to thank everyone, lest someone be left out. But: Outside the Beltway, Signifying Nothing and Professor Bainbridge.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > John Stuart Mill.
What are you reading at the moment? > Joseph Ellis's His Excellency: George Washington.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > The Lord of the Rings.
What is your favourite movie? > Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > The war on drugs: my own research has convinced me of its utter failure and the impossibility of success. Indeed, I think that the policy makes the situation worse while wasting billions of dollars every year.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > That all human beings are equal, and that as a result there are fundamental human rights.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > That there are no moral absolutes and therefore all morality springs from the mind of man.
Who are your political heroes? > Ronald Reagan.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Find something you enjoy doing and build your life and career around it.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > I think that that would be remarkably difficult. I don't know how James Carville and Mary Matalin do it, as not only do they have different political views but those views are part of their vocational lives as well.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Dishonesty.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Do unto others as you would have done unto you.'
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > NASCAR.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > My children's education.
What would you call your autobiography? > Why Are You Reading this?
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > In fantasyland: Jimmy Stewart.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > In the mountains.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Blogging and reading.
What is your most treasured possession? > My family (clichéd, perhaps, but true - and no, I don't literally think of them as a possession, but you know what I mean).
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Dweezil. (Just kidding.)
What talent would you most like to have? > To play the guitar and/or piano.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Work at a think tank.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Douglas Adams.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Roger Staubach, Tom Landry.
Which football team do you support? > The Dallas Cowboys.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > To have a syndicated newspaper column.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Benjamin Franklin, Paul the Apostle and Aristotle.