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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 14 - 11/6/2000
The Unresolved US Election
Did YOU vote? Which candidate did you vote for? How do you feel about the political wrangling going on right now in Florida? Will/Should either candidate concede for the good of the country-or should either/both fight it out until we all scream for mercy? How do you think either candidate, if declared the winner, will be able to bring the country together given the inference that the election results now point to an America that is almost equally divided into one camp or the other? And the BIG question-What, if any, impact will the final results have on the Pagan communities?
| Reponses: There are 263 responses posted to this question.
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| Although I'm Canadian, I've Been Watching The Whole Bush/gore Debacle With... ||Nov 10th. at 4:26:50 pm EST|
|Laurie E. Smith (Winnipeg, Manitoba CA) ||Age: 36 - Email |
Although I'm Canadian, I've been watching the whole Bush/Gore debacle with great interest. Our own election race for Prime Minister is well underway... and one of the leading candidates, Stockwell Day, has many of the same right-wing anti-gay pro-life pro-Christian views as Bush. If Bush wins, I fear that the chances of Day winning will also increase. And if that happens, North America as a whole could become a very unfriendly place for Pagans. Are we about to go underground again?
| For Myself, I Voted For Gore - The Minnesota Race Looked To Be... ||Nov 10th. at 4:39:46 pm EST|
|Jenett (St. Paul, Minnesota US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
For myself, I voted for Gore - the Minnesota race looked to be quite tight, and I did *not* want Bush to win (and I don't agree with Nader on a number of issues. I'd have had some harder thinking to do had there been an Independence party candidate) I voted for Gore not quite so much because I agree with him, but because I think he is the best alternative (and because I think he has experience which Bush does not, and a willingness to at least *appear* to listen to alternative opinions)
My consolation from this is what other people have said - even if Bush wins, the Senate and the House are both so close to even that it's going to be hard to make major changes at least until the next House/Senate elections in 2 years.
As far as Florida, I understand both that the ballots are not created as dictated in Florida law, that they are quite confusing (having seen them myself, I can see why people might be confused), and I have heard (second hand, but from sources I trust to have checked their evidence) of people being denied replacement ballots when they realized their mistake (while still in the polling place) (Florida law apparently should allow two replacement ballots if you realise you've entered a vote incorrectly.)
It's the last one I think is the most egregious problem, but I also think that with the race this close, they really need to do *something* to come to a consensus, particularly given the large number of ballots discarded due to double punching.
As a note: I was very impressed with my first time voting in Minnesota. Everything went very smoothly, and they do one thing here I find very useful - tehy allow same day registration (you need a driver's license with your current address, or a photo ID + proof you live at the address, like utility bills). Although I'd registered when I got my driver's license, it was still really nice to see every reasonable effort made to allow people to vote. They also used a quite simple voting method - you took a black marker type pen and joined in two parts of an arrow pointing directly to the person you wanted to vote for.
| Now That's A Lot Of Questions.....i Voted For Gore, Out Of... ||Nov 10th. at 4:42:04 pm EST|
|Victoria Glynn (Huntsville, Alabama US) ||Age: 47 - Email |
Now that's a LOT of questions.....I voted for Gore, out of fear of a more intrenched right-wing control of the federal government than of any real commitment to Gore or his positions. In my heart, I'm GREEN. If I had to do it over again, considering how tight this race is, I think I'd vote the same way again. I don't believe the dems should back off their demands for a re-vote in Palm Beach County, indeed, I think they should probably call for the entire state to vote again, considering the reports of police intimidation of black voters, voters turned away because the polls were "out of ballots", et al.
Think what would be happening if the situation were reversed. Let's imagine that the state in question is one in which the Democratic candidate's sibling is governor, his father is the former head of the CIA, recorded in our history books as the president who sold us out in Iran/Contra and who brought us the Savings and Loan debacle. Now let us assume that this Democratic candidate had serious discrepencies in both his arrest record and his military record but that those records have mysteriously evaporated. What, gentle readers, would the Republicans be doing right about now? Based upon prior example, they would be marching in the streets, insisting that Bill and Hillary Clinton were performing lewd sexual rites in the Lincoln Bedroom with all their satanic liberal friends in show biz, and Bill would be waving that 'magic wand' of his toward the state in question to assist in the terrible miscarriage of democracy. Statesman like behaviour from Shrub? Please. As I heard (2nd hand, albeit) from a REPUBLICAN lady from Texas, "That boy couldn't pour piss out of a boot". Do I sound bitter? Please excuse the rant. Goddess help us all.
| My Policitcal Views Aren't Real Important (except The Fact That I Dislike... ||Nov 10th. at 4:46:11 pm EST|
|Megara (Jackson, Michigan US) ||Age: 0 - Email |
My policitcal views aren't real important (except the fact
that I dislike all choice of candidates) but really I think
they're being quite immature and its take them THIS long to
realize that an Amendment is neccessary and practically
mandatory. Ever notice that when the population complains
they don't listen? They think revising the election process is
a waste of time. But when it finally hits them and their popularity
and their pocketbooks, the whole GOP is an uproar and the talk of
Amending the Constitution arises.
Either candidate will have a cloud over their presidency no
matter what now because of this fiasco. They're both acting
extremely cocky and childish. There either needs to be a revote
in the state of Flordia, the entire country or it needs to be
take to the House. Constitutionally, it's supposed to go to our
House of Representatives. Have they forgotten that the Constitution
exists in this?
| I Voted For Gore. I Do Not Know If There Was Any... ||Nov 10th. at 4:47:07 pm EST|
|Iko Starr (Chicago, Illinois US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
I voted for Gore. I do not know if there was any deliberate fraud perpetrated in Florida, but I do know there is a mess in Florida that needs to be sorted out in a calm and rational manner. No one, not the Democrats for sure, but neither will the Republicans benefit in the long run if we sweep this political mess under the rug. The votes need to be recounted, the absentee votes need to be counted, and perhaps recounted. After that is finished we need to let the wheels of justice start turning and let a judge or judges determine whether or not voters of Florida were denied their Goddess given right as United States citizens to vote for the candidate of their choice in this election. If the Republicans succeed in halting any furhter inquiry into the voting irregularities in Florida they will, in the long run, hurt themselves. What is happening in Florida is precedent setting. Bush, always arrogant and now showing his mean spirited littleness, would have us all crown him king, bow to his highness and let him start running the country the way big-oil-wealthy-white-protestant-egocentric-maleness would have it run. Can you imagine how loud and hard the Republicans would be screaming if the shoe was on the other political foot? I disagree with the Republican spin that we are "undermining the Constitution" by allowing an inquiry into the Florida irregularities. Actually we are upholding the Constitution by beginning the inquiries. It is funny how the same Republicans who are saying we may have to invoke "ancient" Constitutional language and protocol to examine the Florida voting irregularities (and make it seem unseemly in the process) are the same people who in a heart beat will invoke "ancient" Constitutional language (totally out of context in this author's opinion) to defend their rights to buy automatic machine guns for "hunting." I think Bush and Gore need to go take a nice month long vacation and let this mess be sorted out - not in the media, not by their spin doctors - but by rational, impartial and calm minds. I do not know if whomever it is that is eventually made President will be able to unite the country. If Bush is our next President due to the electoral college vote and Gore maintains his lead in the popular vote, I doubt that Bush will be able to convince that majority of Americans who did not vote for him that they should unite behind him. Sadly, the same may be said for Gore. I suppose the light I see at the end of this tunnel is that if Bush is our next President it is highly unlikely that his very narrow, uninformed and mean spirited views of Paganism (and of Wiccans in particular) will be able to be pushed forward. I doubt much of anything during a Bush administration will be able to be pushed forward. Perhaps what we all will need to do is hold our breaths during the next four years, push for a standardized national ballot form for national elections, seriously consider tossing out the archaic electoral college system and start searching for a democratic candidate that most Democrats, many moderate Republicans and the supporters of third party spoiler Nader can all agree to get behind and elect as our next president.
| I Voted For Al Gore - He Seems To Be A Candidate That... ||Nov 10th. at 5:42:41 pm EST|
|Starscryer (Denver, Colorado US) ||Age: 45 - Email |
I voted for Al Gore - he seems to be a candidate that has many views aligned with my Pagan perspective, and I felt he was a *viable* candidate, i.e., he could be elected. This is something that I couldn't see in Ralph Nader, a man who, in my opinion, did not support the platform of the party he ran under.
In the current circumstances, I see this as a victory for the republic, the Constitution, and the cause of democracy. On January 21st, 2001, we will inaugurate a new President. There will be no troops with fixed bayonets lining the streets, and our rights will not be lost to a coup-de-etat.
In my opinion, it really doesn't matter which candidate is elevated to the presidency. He will inherit an office in a land that is divided, with a
Congress that is (fairly) evenly divided. In other words, very little will be accomplished in the next four years without the consent of a number of the members of the opposing party.
Many have indicated that a victory for George W. Bush is a defeat for paganism, especially with regard to Federal and Supreme Court judges. I disagree. The political climate in Washington will be vicious - each side waiting for the other to make a mistake, no matter how small. This will have the effect of moderating politics of both the right and the left.
In the last ten years we have become an amazingly connected community. Our strength will serve us well in the days to come. Remember my Brothers and Sisters, there *is* strength in numbers. If we stand fast before the coming tide, we shall prevail. Remember the example of the Mahatma, Gandhi; he and his followers defeated the entire British Empire - with nothing but the force of their will.
| Much To My Dismay, I Was Born On The *8th* Of November... ||Nov 10th. at 6:00:38 pm EST|
|Ellia SilverHawk (Clinton/Mohegan Lake, New York US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
Much to my dismay, I was born on the *8th* of November, 1982. I missed the election by one day. NY went to Gore anyway, as I knew it would, but I wanted nothing more than to vote against Bush. The idea that he might still become President of the United States leaves me caught between weeping, nausea, and fury. I'm not particularly fond of Al Gore as a person, but I much prefer him over that bigoted Texan imbecile. I am, frankly, angry at any Floridians who voted for Nader at the moment, but I will get over that with time. They had every right to vote for the candidate of their choice. That's why America is supposedly free.
I am in full support of a revote in Florida, or at least a revote in the disputed counties. I see no reason why 19, 000 American citizens should be disenfranchised because someone in charge messed up the ballots.
May the Goddess grant Gore the victory!!
| Yes, I Voted. I Voted For Bush Because Of His Sound Fiscal... ||Nov 10th. at 6:14:22 pm EST|
|Kimberly C .Shaw (El Paso, Texas US) ||Age: 45 - Email |
Yes, I voted. I voted for Bush because of his sound fiscal policy and his support of the Texas Pagan community.
I think the Florida situation is unconscionable and we need to find a better way to record votes. For anyone to leave boxes unattended is unbelievable! The entire recount issue is moot!!! Florida needs to completely re-do their election information or go with the original figures plus the absentee votes.
Whoever is behind in Florida should concede for the good of the country. It was absolutely childish of Gore (did I expect anything else after his debate performance? No, I don't think so.) to recant his concession phone call just because he wasn't behind in Florida as much as he thought. He is a petulant, childish, selfish, untrustworthy person who doesn't deserve the Presidency (although I like his VP choice).
Another suggestion would be to have a runoff election with just the two candidates so everyone who voted for Nader, Buchanon or any other Presidential candidate would have to choose one or the other. That would solve the entire issue of who won.
| Due To An Upper Respiratory Infection, I Was Not Permitted To Vote... ||Nov 10th. at 6:30:54 pm EST|
|christine (arkadelphia, Arkansas US) ||Age: 44 |
due to an upper respiratory infection, i was not permitted to vote. i would have voted for harry browne...the libertarian. he has not been spoken of much in the media, and most do not know him. he advocates a government that is less involved in society...before medicaid, medicare, and social security. he advocates fewer taxes.
as for the current happenings...i say scrap the whole election and start over. all the way back to choosing who will run on each ticket. it doesn't matter who will be elected of these two gore/bush. this 4 years with either of them will be filled with questions of doubt and dishonesty.
the option is to let them both be co-president....since their goals appear to be so similar...let them jointly govern our country.
| I Believe There Should Be A Run Off Just In Florida. Allow... ||Nov 10th. at 6:40:53 pm EST|
|quietwater (jacksonville, Florida US) ||Age: 33 - Email |
I believe there should be a run off just in Florida. Allow 2 days to give everyone a chance to vote instead of the usual 1 day. After that, wait until the final counts are totaled before announcing the new president. Whatever the result, stick by it. No more recounts or additional votes being added or taken way. I live in Florida and I believe the way the voting has been handled here makes us all look like idiots or cheats. I dont care who wins. Just get it settled. This will be creating a lot of jokes through the rest of the states as well as around the world.
| I Am Proud To Say That I Voted For Browne. I Have... ||Nov 10th. at 6:44:56 pm EST|
|Giz (Doylestown, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I am proud to say that I voted for Browne. I have read many of the responses to this query and I am sad to see how many people have the feeling that, since I voted for one of the third party candidates, I threw my vote away and helped put Bush one step closer to office. By no means can I support Bush in office--which is why I didn't vote for him. I simply cannot support a man who is so close-minded and egocentric as to think that his interpretation of the constitution and freedom of religion can only extend towards those he personally can endorse or accept. The comments he has made during his campaign with regard to his total lack of religious tolerance summon thoughts of oppression not unlike a 21st century crusade or (dare a say it?) a veritable witch hunt--and I think that his stance on the environment speaks for itself.
I voted Browne because, for the first time, I voted to support my beliefs, as opposed to casting my vote against who I felt was the worst candidate. These beliefs include the concept of tolerance. The libertarian view is basically live and let live. If this smacks of the familiar to you, I wouldn't be surprised. After all, it is hardly a new concept among witches and one that many of us (self included) tend to take for granted.
Many of the previous postings say that they voted Gore in the hopes of preventing Bush from succeeding, but that they would have rather voted for a third party candidate. I can only wonder: what if everyone who felt this voted according to their own conscience, with no other motive? Would we still have the bi-partisan problems we have today? For that matter, what purpose do the political parties serve? Can we not research each candidate ourselves based on their own merit instead of having to filter through the rhetoric of their party's alleged beliefs? The political party system existing in America today seems to feel that the general population hasn't the intelligence to discern between candidates without the general heading of "democrat" or "republican", when, if it was as simple as sticking a label on someone, we would all be political clones, with no independent thoughts of our own and we would know exactly what each candidate and elected official would do at every turn. When we vote to support the democrats and/or republicans, we support that party--you can word it however you want, but this is how politicians interpret our actions. Remember: these two political parties haven't always been the strongest or, for that matter, even present on the political scene in America (recall if you will those grade school history classes about whigs, tories, federalists, etc). If we don't support them, they will have no choice but to fade into history themselves. That said, I will step down from my soapbox...
Please note: By no means am I proselytizing for the libertarian party. I'm not even a member, I'm registered independent. I just feel that it is the responsibility of every American to fully investigate who and what they are voting for when they go to the polls.
As for the mess in Florida, I read a great quote today from Senator Torricelli from New Jersey (a democrat): "I want Al Gore to win this election, but more than that, I want somebody to win this election." The fact of the matter is that I think all of us can say with some degree of certainty that, in light of all the problems and recounts Florida has been and is enduring, there have probably been voting inaccuracies in every election since George Washington. The only reason these problems have come to the forefront at this point in time is due to the infinitesimal gap between the two major party candidates in the polls. However, the election itself is hardly the best time to effectively affect a change. If we hold our constitution so high, we must let the election proceed along as normal and accept its results. Then, if we feel we need to change the system, we must go through the correct legal channels to do so. That is the role of the amendments--if something doesn't work, change it!
I personally do not feel that either Gore or Bush will be able to bring the country together. Whoever wins won't be able to unite congress--what makes anyone think he will be able to unite the nation? Basically, the next four years will be a struggle to accomplish anything at all, good or bad. Take that for what its worth.
How will it affect the Pagan community? Honestly, I don't know. The best I feel we can hope for with either the democratic or republican party is to maintain the current atmosphere, which is largely dependent upon where you live, what you do and to whom you open yourself. The largest problem I see is if Bush wins the presidential race. His lack of support for hate crime laws opens a Pandora's box for those who not only don't share our views, but feel the need to attack those who don't conform to their own. Gore seems to embrace religious tolerance, but I don't see him fighting for religious equality.
To reiterate, I just simply don't understand how someone can say that voting according my own belief system is throwing my vote away. This past Tuesday was the first time since I started voting that I left the booth content in where I cast my vote instead of departing with a vague sense of unease. If you have managed to read through this entire diatribe, please take one small bit of advice. You owe it to yourself to investigate every political option open to you. Perhaps in the future enough of the country will follow their individual convictions to let the major parties know that their endorsement is no longer enough. We want to vote the best person into office, not the least repugnant.
| I Did Vote And I Think That Everyone Should Vote. I Am... ||Nov 10th. at 6:47:17 pm EST|
|Hayley Mertz (Imperial, Missouri US) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I did vote and I think that everyone should vote. I am for women's rights and for Pagan rights. Some of the closed minded repuplican male canidates think that if you are not "Christian" then you don't have family values. They bring way too much religion into polotics. I voted a split ticket between the Green party and the Democratic party. I am for gun control and the Repubican canidates have the NRA on thier side. I am for the right to choose and for unions and they are not.
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