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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 9,842,205  

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Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 263

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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. Reverse Sort 


I Voted For Nader, In California. I Didn't Even Have To Feel... Nov 11th. at 12:37:41 am UTC

Luis Felipe Morales (Santa B‡rbara, California US) Age: 23 - Email


I voted for Nader, in California. I didn't even have to feel guilty about that, thankfully, though in truth I'm not too inclined to feel guilty in any case... being as how, of course, Gore f***ed his own campaign up far more effectively than any third (or fourth or fifth) party ever could. As every commentator I respect has said, this election ought, by all rights, have been a Democratic slam dunk. But enough said about that.

Bush certainly isn't about to concede for anyone's good, because he actually has the votes on his side, at the moment. Gore isn't going to concede, either, not for now at any rate. And let me say to anyone who hasn't already heard it that IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO WINS because neither side has a 'mandate' nor, more to the point, a working majority in either legislative camera. And we've only elected a President, in any case... not a King. Anyone who sees the Reagan era about to be reincarnated is forgetting how much American voters loathed Jimmy Carter in 1980, not to mention practically everything else about the socio-econo-geo-political milieu.

I am not happy to hear the Witchvox editors repeating the same line all the news sources can't get enough of about how 'America is almost equally divided into one camp or the other.' Fritz and Wren are two of the most intelligent, driven, ass-kicking people around, but really, guys. America isn't divided into the Right and the Left this year. It's firmly united in the Center. It's not that voters split sharply on the candidates -- it's that we could hardly tell them apart.

Finally, the impact either President could have on the Pagan community is just about nil. America is sailing right along towards greater and greater spirito-religious freedom, at the grass-roots level, and the Supreme Court doesn't actually have that much to say about it. Even in the Reagan-Bush years -- hmm, how many of YOU out there were watching paganism & company grow and grow and grow? (I wasn't -- but I've done my homework and I know it did. Just off the top of my head, ADF and Keltria were born in the middle '80s. Starhawk's books were published in the '80s. Marija Gimbutas was drawing thousands of people to the idea of the Goddess I think she was sort of a crackpot, scientifically speaking, but her ideas had a wonderful effect on folks. Riane Eisler was writing in the '80s. Carol Christ was writing in the '80s. Margo Adler's 'DDTM' was published in 1979 and went into X-hundred number of reprints through the Evil Decade. The list goes on. If Bush gets the White House, so what? We're here, we're not going anywhere. He'll only get four years, maybe (BIG maybe) eight. Chin up, people, the sky is not falling.


I Voted As Did Many Other Americans And Like Them, Find Myslf... Nov 11th. at 12:46:00 am UTC

Ian Stuart (Tulsa, Oklahoma US) Age: 34 - Email


I voted as did many other Americans and like them, find myslf shocked by what is occuring. It is not, however, a shock stemming by the fact that the process is in turmoil but by hat the turmoil signifies. The country proves equally divided by the results yet more so, it is in danger of being polarized by the indecisive nature of there being neither a clear cut nor a decisive victo. What this means to pagans (as well as anyone else) is that a "you or me" mind set could very well dominate our country as a result of what has been called indecision 2000. It is a situation poised not just for a democrat - vs- Republican freeforall, but where the American people come to vehemently view all issues as black or white. Coming at a time when Paganism is becoming more and more viewed as a faith rather than a fad, what reversals might our movement as well as others face when the line is becoming clearly drawn between opposing forces on all levels?


Further Thoughts Come To Mind. If Things Really Do Get Genocidal In... Nov 11th. at 1:13:57 am UTC

Aedh Rua (Sterling, Illinois US) Age: 35 - Email


Further thoughts come to mind. If things really do get genocidal in the United States, we might consider a couple of possibilities:

a) Pagan self-defense organizations. I don't have running around in the woods in cammo in mind, here. As a small minority, the smart thing to do is to blend in, maintain a high degree of mobility, contacts with outside allies, and a lot of firepower. Something like the French resistance in World War II might work better than macho militias. Also, a lot of Pagans are hackers. The fundies might think twice about hurting us if they knew that it would bring about a close duplicate of what people feared the Y2K crisis would be like. Funny how the threat of the apocalyptic end of civilization works to keep even fanatics friendly and honest.

b) Mass-migration to somewhere else. Not too many countries are likely to take us, but some might. Canada or Australia might be moved enough by their sense of right and wrong to take in a million or so Pagan refugees. More likely, there is probably a third world country out there somewhere which would salivate at the thought of a million Westerners who just happen to know a whole lot about really lucerative high technology.

Then there is Alaska. Total population, not more than 700K or so. And, there is nothing that the locals can do to keep American and Canadian Pagans from migrating there in any numbers they want. If 700, 000 U.S. Pagans migrate there, we become half the population, probably more than enough to reduce any fundie persecution efforts to comical impotence. Add a few more of us (I think the 700K estimate of the U.S. Pagan population is rather low, and there are plenty of Canadian Pagans, as well), and we are the majority. I do not have secession in mind, here. Instead ask yourself this, how much effect would an anti-Mormon persecution have in Utah?

The American political system is Federalist. That means that localities, particularly states, have a LOT of power. And Republican fiscal policies are likely to make that more the case, and not less. The fact is that, even in the rather centralist American state of the present day, there is not a whole lot the Feds can do if the people of a state wish to quietly and discretely practise their own lifestyle. There are not enough Federal police, and probably not enough troops, to patrol somewhere the size of Alaska with very much efficiency. If we settle in, become local citizens, police, and town council members, the Feds will be in the weird position of needing to depend on Pagans to enforce their laws.

While some people have advocated a Pagan homeland, we are not really in a position to make that happen. But, it is possible to run a part of the United States as a de-facto separate country, even if we remain legally a part of the U.S.

To pull this off would require more than just getting into our cars and driving, of course. We would need to have Pagans on the ground in Alaska who would be willing to help other Pagans locate job leads and homes. We would need a good deal of money, once the migration got going, to establish Pagan businesses and settlements. But, the amount of money I am talking about is not in the billions of dollars. It could be done with donations, especially from, say, certain very wealthy Pagan female rock stars who live in England and dye their hair red (not that I have anyone in particular in mind, are you listening, Tori?). A certain amount of kaletia, a Gaulish word meaning approximately "endurance" or "guts", would also help. We may have to be cold and hungry for a while, but if things get really hot under Bush, I would suggest that it would be well worth it.

We are not a numerous people, and nobody loves us....except maybe the Gods, which is more than enough.


My Personal Feelings... Well, It's Depressing That So Many People I Know... Nov 11th. at 1:18:56 am UTC

Naomi Armitage (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania US) Age: 20 - Email


My personal feelings...

Well, it's depressing that so many people I know see voting for the two major parties as voting for the 'lesser of two evils'. That's not what I think our forefathers had in mind when creating a democracy. But our society seems to ignore the existence of multiple parties while b****ing about the lack of choice.
I think with so many people my age beginning to be aware of the government and politics as something that plays a huge part in our lives, there will be changes in the processes. Instead of 'bipartisan' things will be 'multipartisan', and more people will be making educated choices at the polls.
I voted Nader...I didn't care that people were saying "A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush." or that he didn't have a snowflake's chance in Hades...I know that my vote is going to help him have a better chance for their party next time.


As Someone Who Is Employed By A Company That Takes Public Opinion... Nov 11th. at 3:23:03 am UTC

Brandy (Lehigh Acres, Florida US) Age: 25 - Email


As someone who is employed by a company that takes public opinion surveys I knew the election was going to be very close. No one person in this country could have predicted this out come. At first I was amazed and thought how wonderfull it was to see democracy working at its finest. That changed quickly when the two candidates and their campaign advisors etcetera started acting more like preschoolers in bad need of naps.

I did vote, though I did not vote for a major party candidate. I voted for Harry Browne who was the Libertarian presidential candidate.Which most people would say is throwing my vote away, but to me as long as I vote my conscience its never a throw away vote.

The whole ballot issue in West Palm really disturbs me as well as makes me embarrassed to be a Floridian. Its plain and simple, you have a candidates name, you have a number with an arrow next to it. The arrow points to the hole, you take the pin and punch the hole next to the arrow next to the number next to your candidate. Why is this a problem ? If you believe in democracy and you are serious about voting then take the time to pay attention to what the heck you are doing. If you are unsure ask the people at your polling place who are paid to help you. The county I live in used the same form of ballot a few years ago and we had no problems with it. What the heck made some of these people think they could punch two holes and expect the counter to know what they meant? Not all of us can read your minds people.

This election has turned into a circus.The ring leaders are Gore and Bush and the clowns are the people who are swallowing this mess spewed by the two parties. In the end it will affect all communities not just the Pagan communities. The only solution I can think of that would solve this problem is to hold another election. Forget about Bush and Gore , lets get the candidates who lost the primaries and ALL the third party candidates together for a mega-debate and have a re-election based on those choices.Maybe , just maybe we can find a leader who is worthy of our country and our vote.


I Voted For Nader, Because For Once I Wanted To Vote *for... Nov 11th. at 3:37:38 am UTC

Secular Pagan (Minneapolis, Minnesota US) Age: 37 - Email


I voted for Nader, because for once I wanted to vote *for* someone I truly supported, rather than playing the two-party-system "lesser of two evils" game. And despite the Nader-voter scapegoating going on right now, I stand by that vote, and am glad that I cast it. Face it, both Bush and Gore are so desperately butt-kissing centrist "whichever way the wind is blowing to land me in the White House, " neither one is going to do anything too extremely anything. This has good as well as bad aspects, of course. ;-) But talk of either one causing revolution, whether a beneficial revolution or a scary revolution, just isn't in line with the primary fact about both of them: They are mainly about themselves, and winning votes.

As for the present mess, I would rather see it handled fairly (as fair as anyone can make it at this point) than have either one hurrying to concede the election or to start moving their bottle-cap collections and pet rocks into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Short-circuiting democracy in the name of expediency would *not* be "for the good of the country."


Should Bush End Up In The Oval Office, I Forsee A Supreme... Nov 11th. at 3:41:21 am UTC

icedancer (san diego, California US) Age: 30


Should Bush end up in the Oval Office, I forsee a Supreme Court that will move towards Conservatism (and not the nice environmental kind) - "Pro-life, " "Christian" values in schools, and pro-business versus protecting Gaea. Gore would not be like this and Nader ever less so - although Nader's administration would be feeble because he would have no Congressional support. Since listening to Brown, I have come to associate the Libertarians with the Anarchists of the 1880's and 1890's. In my mind's eye, Gore seems the most responsive the our community and more importantly, our ideals.


Yes I Voted For The Lesser Of 2 Evils. My Feeling Is... Nov 11th. at 9:20:36 am UTC

Linda (Dayton, Ohio US) Age: 45 - Email


Yes I voted for the lesser of 2 evils. My feeling is the ballots should have been straight-line ballots, thus there would have been no confusion. If any concession should be made, its Bush having enough honesty and intergety to admit something was screwy, even Buchnan did that! We are now a country divided--and Bush has his militia in place thru the NRA. As pagans, if Bush prevails, we as well as others of the non-Christian faiths can look foward to the burning times again. Shrub Jr. is another Hilter in action!


I Voted For Al Gore. The Poltical Wrangling Is A Demonstration Of... Nov 11th. at 10:15:31 am UTC

Walter (Chicago, Illinois US) Age: 37 - Email


I voted for Al Gore. The poltical wrangling is a demonstration of everything wrong with the political situation in this country. I don't think either candidate should concede until every vote has been counted since it is so close. Neither candidate will be able to bring this country together adn no matter who wins, the 43rd president of the United States will be a political "bastard" with an illegitimate administration. Because of this, I am now hoping George Bush wins. The best thing that could happen to the Pagan community would be for George Bush to declare Paganism an illegitimate religion and ban it from the military when his administration is illegitmate. Nothing could ever legitimze Pagan religions more! If Gore wins, we could be looking at a long dark religious right nightmare four years down the road.


Bush Based Alot Of His Platform On Being An Honest Man. If... Nov 11th. at 10:32:41 am UTC

Wolfpup (Yacolt, Washington US) Age: 36


Bush based alot of his platform on being an honest man. If this were true, he wouln't accept the office unless the election was truly won by him. The fact that he is calling Gore a sore loser sounds more like a playground argument instead of an election. Bush should call for a re-vote in Florida since 19, 000 votes were tossed out, so he could win HONESTLY like he has professed himself to be for the last year.


I Voted For Gore Because Of The Situtation On The Supreme Court... Nov 11th. at 10:40:25 am UTC

Sunshine (Denver, Colorado US) Age: 30


I voted for Gore because of the situtation on the supreme court. I am worried that if Bush gets in he will make the Supreme Court more conserative. With the possiblity of Roe v Wade, and Prayer in Church being under taken under a more conserative court would take those rights away or expand those rights to be included in the seperation of Church and State. I don't know what is going come out of the situation in Florida but, I do beleive an interesting windfall will come out of this situation in Florida. I do hope that Gore will come out on top but unfortunely I feel Bush will win. I do not know what will happen but I believe Gore is coming out on top in the "Gentlemen's" war.


As A Canadian, And Our Own Elections Running Right Now, It's Getting... Nov 11th. at 10:53:56 am UTC

Veshka Valkyrie (Sudbury, Ontario CA) Age: 22 - Email


As a Canadian, and our own elections running right now, it's getting really hard to try to keep up with our own political race with this going on in the States. Now, since I can't get my hands on all the information, tv programming, and other pieces of reference that the Americans can for their Presidential election, I don't have all the facts when it comes to this. But if there's anything I do know, is that both of the major candidates have their bad points and both of them are far from who I would want running my country. At least we have 3 major parties... So it's the lesser of three evils here. Doesn't help nonetheless come voting day.

But anti-Pagan and anti-gay statments, far from ecological views on raising the economy, and plans for cutting social programs with an oversided machette to "help us all"... Plus, their childishness with the recount (And I for one was astonished to hear Buchannan say "Yes, people probably voted for me by mistake and I don't feel good knowing I have votes that I didn't deserve")... In all honesty, I think I would have just moved to another country :)

If this is the kind of bs (excuse my French) that the Americans are going to be looking forward to for the next 4 years, which seems to be evidant with the actions since November 7th, I feel sorry for you all. It's not going to be good, for all of us, espcially those in communities where both of the major candidates have snubbed, turned away from or downright ignored. Even Canada will feel the impact. But, just keep telling yourself... It's only 4 years... 4 years isn't really a long time.


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