The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
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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| 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.
| I Voted For Gore And Was Very Disappointed; But I Really Feel... ||Nov 10th. at 6:51:36 pm EST|
|dreamwalker (kent, Washington US) ||Age: 52 |
I voted for Gore and was very disappointed; but I really feel for the florida voters who were confused by their ballots.We used to have those ballots here and I was never really sure if my vote was what I wanted it to be. It was always prudent to check after punching and by that time it is too late and anyway how does space no. 58 relate to the party you want? Now we have a different way of balloting. Clear printed names and a space next to it to be colored in. this way you really know what you do. One thing I learned when Kennedy was assasinated was that democracy such as ours can survive anything.Even Bush. I worry though about the idea of a dynasty. I thought bush sr. was trying that in 1988 with quayle and even more now. Just how did jeb get to be a native floridian and his brother a native texan anyway???
| I Did Not Vote, I'm Not Old Enough To. I Back Gore... ||Nov 10th. at 7:10:12 pm EST|
|Chrissie (Wapakoneta, Ohio US) ||Age: 14 |
I did not vote, I'm not old enough to. I back Gore on the issues, I don't believe Bush would do this country well. He may do the white, christian man well, but that's about it. Vice President Gore takes a stand on woman's rights and minorities. I hope Gore wins! :)
| I Am, Very Sadly, To Young To Vote, Although I Followed This... ||Nov 10th. at 7:21:12 pm EST|
|Marja Sainio (Grand Rapids, Minnesota US) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I am, very sadly, to young to vote, although I followed this campaign since it's birth with great interest. If I had been able to legally vote it would have been for Gore do to many factors surrounding him and the other candidates. I studied up on all of the major candidates, including Nadar, Bush and Buchanan and in the end realized that Gore was the only one that would be able to keep many of his promises without jeopordizing a great part of the country. The main reasons I kept away from Bush was the horrible state in which Texas has been placed in during a great deal of polls and the fact that he said he didn't consider Witchcraft a religion. I feel that any candidate that wants to earn the respect of the country must not be one to pick and choose which groups to support.
| I Voted For Gore. I Believed Then And I Still Believe That... ||Nov 10th. at 8:25:42 pm EST|
|Aradia (Glen Burnie, Maryland US) ||Age: 52 |
I voted for Gore. I believed then and I still believe that he was the best candidate. My heart goes out to the people in Florida who lost their vote because of a very suspect type of ballot. I think that this election count should take as long as it takes. We have a President in office and the new President does not take office until the end of January. I think that democracy in action is worth waiting for. I believe that Maat is showing us just who the real man of integrity is: Al Gore. He said that he would fight for the common people and this is just what he is doing in Florida. Fighting for the rights of those people to vote. Let us also remember that there were many of our brothers and sisters of color who were turned away from the polls on election day. The thought that this would still be happening in the year 2000 truly disgusts me. I believe that we have the time for justice to be done in this Country. Why are the Republicans rushing to judgement. All the votes have not even been counted. As a grandmother with three young grand-daughters it would have been unthinkable to vote for someone like George W. I refuse to go back into the broom closet and I believe that if we must live under a Bush regime it will only make us all stronger in our Religious Convictions. Never again the Burning!
| I Am Very Concerned At The Thought Of A Republican Administration And... ||Nov 10th. at 9:36:03 pm EST|
|Aedh Rua (Sterling, Illinois US) ||Age: 35 |
I am very concerned at the thought of a Republican administration and Congress in this country. The majority of Republicans view Pagans, Wiccans, and other "occultists" roughly in the way that the Nazis viewed Jews in the '30s. I doubt that the Republicans will have enough of a majority to pass laws against us, but it probably won't stop some of them from trying. Keep in mind that Jesse Helms tried to pass anti-Witchcraft laws in the 1980s, and that Bob Barr wished to ban Pagans from the military only last year.
I suppose that they might try to take tax-exempt status and non-profit postal rates away from Pagan churches, and to encourage various forms of discrimination. More than this would be very difficult in the sort of divided Congress we are likely to have. The "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scare of the late 1980s might have a repeat, but that effected very few Pagans. Ironically enough, that particular case of hysteria mostly effected Christians, often Fundies.
Conservative courts could give us more trouble, particularly in child custody cases, and it seems likely that a Bush in office would appoint mostly very conservative justices to Federal courts. Still, he would probably have very great trouble getting such people confirmed.
More generally, a Bush administration would likely see an upswing in racial, sexual, and sexual preference discrimination, with very little that we could do about it. This is more a matter of not enforcing existing laws than passing new ones. Bush could do much damage simply by inaction. Attempts at censorship, especially of the internet, might be popular enough among many Democrats to have a good chance of success. This would effect us only slightly, but is still not a good thing.
What can we do about it? Frankly, I support Gore's attempts at winning, no matter what methods he uses. For us, this is a matter of dealing with real oppression, and Bush is the candidate who stands for that oppression. We do not have the luxury of abstract Constitutional correctness. Our struggle is a struggle against those who would destroy us.
In the future, as distasteful as it is to act like Christians, we must grow, in numbers, wealth, and power. We certainly do not want to seek converts, but we must make a concerted effort to reach out to anyone who is already Pagan, and looking for contacts, and to people who are essentially Pagan in belief, but who don't know what to call themselves. We must seek alliances with others, but I think it is important also to clearly express our own perspective(s).
More distasteful, still cynical chuckle), we must stop fighting each other, COMPLETELY! No more witch wars, no more Pagan-Heathen disdain, no more trad comparing. We are all in the same boat, with the same enemies, enemies whom I will never again underestimate. I want never again, ever, to be as frightened as I am now. I want never again, ever, to be ruled by a regime made up of enemies of my religion. To prevent that we must become strong, overwhelmingly strong. We must stick together, no matter what, and love one another as one people. We must not hate our enemies, don't get me wrong, for hatred will accomplish nothing. But we must make it impossible for anyone to ever harm us.
We are not a numerous people, and nobody loves us...
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