red button: Going back to 1913 and preventing Gerald Ford from being born, orDoes anyone really doubt the world would be more different from what it is now if the shadowy figure pressed the blue button vs. the red button?
blue button: Going back to 1933 and preventing James Brown from being born.
Plus, it seems also more straightforward that the ways the world would be different would be for the worse had James Brown never been born than if Gerald Ford never been born. Artists have this advantage. With an elected official, you can point to how they did A and B and C, but they also kept someone from holding that same office who would have done D and E and F. I think it's very likely we would have had the Nixon pardon and "Whip Inflation Now!" even if Ford had never been born, while I think it's very unlikely we would have had "Get Up (I Feel Like Being Like a) Sex Machine" had James Brown never been born.
That said, I do have these married friends that had an unusual number of aspects of their courtship involve Gerald Ford--e.g., a pivotal date being a trip to the Gerald R. Ford presidential museum--so much so that they sent him an invitation to their wedding. He did not respond. Their love endured the snub.
Meanwhile: That John Edwards is running is the only reason I have not provided an early JFW endorsement of Barack Obama for the 2008 presidential race. Likewise, the seemingly likely Obama candidacy is the only reason Edwards's announcement was not accompanied by his getting the official JFW endorsement today.