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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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| I Voted. There Was Never Any Question That I Would Not Vote... ||Nov 10th. at 4:02:15 am EST|
|Rich Ostorero (Sacramento, California US) ||Age: 41 - Email |
I voted. There was never any question that I would not vote. It is a matter of exercising a sacred right bought and paid for in blood. A right, incedentally, that a third of the world's population do not possess.
This time around, the choice was clear-cut: Al Gore. Why? because he is not G.W. Bush and because he has the best chance to beat Bush. While I feel that Ralph Nader best represents my spiritual and political beliefs, I could not vote for a candidate with no chance of being elected when Bush said he did not believe that Witchcraft was a real religion.
The political wrangling going on in Florida is fascinating drama, a memorable real-world cliffhanger. It is also a prime example of what I have come to call Gingrich's Postualte. The former House Speaker paraphrased Clauswitz's definition of war: Politics is war conducted by other means.
In this case, the battlefield will be the courts. I expect an expensive, possibly protracted legal battle in which neither candidate will relent until a final decision is rendered by the US Supreme Court. There will be no quarter, no retreat and no surrender.
I expect the vector sum of this struggle to be thus: protracted gridlock on issues important to the American people. The loser of this struggle will take advantage of the near-equal division of power evident by the vote and do anything it can to erase the winner's gains. However, there will be no gridlock on issues important to Corporate America: "free" trade will continue to be shoved down the throats of American working people, HMOs will continue to put profit over health, the environment will suffer while the bottom line prospers, corporations will be allowed to merge without limit.
The impact on the Pagan community can be summerized thusly: In the short term -- if Bush wins, Pagans lose. Military Pagans can expect Bush to prohibit the practice of Witchcraft on military bases. Gays in the military can expect the Bad Old Days to return. We can expect members of militant majority religions to be emboldened in the advancement of their agendas; we can expect court cases where members of majority religions feel they are unable to practice their religion freely because of the presence of Pagans among them. We can also expect Bush to appoint Supreme Court justices who may well change the legal landscape -- deciding that women no longer have a right to control their reporductive destiny or concluding that the Craft is not entitled to First Amendment protection. The Bill of Rights may well be rewritten to apply only to corporations and members of majority religions if Bush packs the courts with right-wing, corporatist activist jurists. Under a Bush Administration, we can expect environmental protections to be eroded in favor of the schemes of corporate quick-buck artists; we can expect consumer protection to have a lower proirity than corporate profits; the needs of global big business will outweigh the needs of the local communities' poor, sick and elderly.
Bush will usher in a new political Dark Age for Pagans.
If Gore wins, we can expect more of the same we got from Clinton. We will still have to fight against globalization; the Battle of Seattle is but a first in a long campaign. Gore won't be an easy President to support. However, I believe that our fundimental rights to worship will not be endangered.
In the long term, a second President Bush may be just the force necessary to catalyze the Pagan community into a hotbed of political activism. We will suffer losses and we will fight back.
| Yes, My Wife - Not A Pagan - And I Voted. We Both Bucked... ||Nov 10th. at 5:48:16 am EST|
|Shadowcatcher (Cincinnati, Ohio US) ||Age: 54 - Email |
Yes, my wife - not a pagan - and I voted. We both bucked the Ohio conservative tradition and went for Al Gore. Among the reasons we chose Gore; environmental concerns, greater sensitivity to health issues, stated goal of using the current budget surplus to pay down the debt rather than give a bonus to the rich and infamous, and the belief that Gore would name Supreme Court justices with a moderate to liberal outlook.
We both worry about official attitudes toward; racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, gays, pagans (Busch says witchcraft is not a religion and worship on military bases should end) and the environment.
Neither man should concede until there is a ballot-based resolution. This may require re-polling Floridians.
If Busch is the elctoral victor there should be no quibbling about electoralversus popular vote count--we know what the rules are. If we don't like the electoral college it should be eliminated legally, not by fiat.
The next four years will be unproductive -- neither presidential candidate has a mandate -- barely a majority-- and the congress -- both houses are nearly evenly divided which sets us up for massive gridlock and polarization.
| I Have Taken A Very Objective View Of This Entire Thing. I... ||Nov 10th. at 6:10:30 am EST|
|Maia BlackWolf (Milnesville, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I have taken a very objective view of this entire thing. I have basically sat back and watched the two major parties act like a bunch of undisciplined, spoiled children. Same thing that goes on every four years. That was due in part to the fact that my intention in this election was to vote with the hopes of getting a much needed third party in this country. So my hopes for this country went way beyond voting for Al Gore because "he's not George W. Bush". I'm sickened of voting for "the lesser of two evils". Knowing full well that we do indeed need to reform our election system, I think introducing more voting options is much more viable at this point than doing away with the electoral college. (There are a few very large states in this country who will not sit back and allow that to happen, ie. have their huge majority powers be taken away.)
I'm tired of people getting themselves into a tizzy over what they THINK Bush will do TO US once he gets in office. Is no one taking into account the fact that the House and Senate are now quite equally divided and that even if Bush does get into office he will have a very hard time accomplishing anything for the next four years? Al Gore would have an equally hard time due to the resentment of about 50% of the people in this country. The Republicans will not be in any sort of cooperative mood after having been "so close" then having it all taken away.
To the Republicans I would say: "Don't count your chickens...". To the Democrats: "What a bunch of sore losers.". The very spectacle of this entire thing tells me that there is an unbelievable amount of underlying resentment and dissatifaction in this country. I only hope that the two major parties will sit back and take good stock of all this and begin to adjust their positions to be more in favor of the people that vote them into office and away from all those big corporations who fund them.
| I Live In Denmark And (sorry If This Offends You) I Think... ||Nov 10th. at 6:12:57 am EST|
|Linda Laursen (Copenhagen, Denmark) ||Age: 23 |
I live in Denmark and (sorry if this offends you) I think the election is a bit ridicules. Last night I saw something on CNN where they were discussing what the world thinks of the US right now. One guy thought everybody was scared that the most powerful country in the world couldn't decide who is the new president. Please... if anything it's scary that the country is divided in two!!! Only half will want the president that gets elected.
| I Did Vote. I Voted For Gore. Both Of Our Candidates Are... ||Nov 10th. at 8:10:48 am EST|
|Steve Wright (Theresa, New York US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I did vote. I voted for Gore. Both of our candidates are cut from the same cloth, pathetic. Bush, however, has made the comment that Wicca is not a real religion and should not be supported by the military. I find that incredibly dangerous for us.
| My Vote Went To John Hagelin. Living In New York, I Wasn't... ||Nov 10th. at 8:18:03 am EST|
|Andrew Giamis (Binghamton, New York US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
My vote went to John Hagelin. Living in New York, I wasn't afraid of G.W.B. taking the state so I voted my heart. I was hoping for Gore to win.
I would much rather see 'dubbya' stay in Texas, but I am willing to give him a chance if he finally does gain Florida. Gore supporters may have to either accept disappointment or remain bitter. The Constitution is on the side of Wiccans in the military and Congress is so evenly split that 'dubbya' will not have the support to push such a ban. Besides, we have voices. The COG website estimates over 700, 000 witches in the US and growing. That's large enough to be seriously taken notice of. As for me, I plan on speaking out loudly against dubbya's school vouchers, or drilling for oil in the Alaskan wild life refuge. I am still concerned about the Supreme Court.
I am unsure of my feelings towards the Palm Beach issue. I feel that people should have paid closer attention to their ballots when punching the holes. The rules are clear: vote for one canadite. However, voter human error does not explain 19, 000 people making the same mistake. Perhaps a revote would be in order.
The next president had a chance to make a serious difference in the direction of the country. However, because of this election, the next president will probably go down in history as a flop. I have my own preference as to which canidate is most diserving of this 'honor'. Either way, the losing party in 2000 will probably be the winning party in 2004.
Either way, the issue must be resolved quickly or the entire country will suffer.
| To The Fury Of Many, I Voted For Nader. Granted, I Live... ||Nov 10th. at 9:00:21 am EST|
|Jeff (Aurora, Colorado US) ||Age: 30 |
To the fury of many, I voted for Nader. Granted, I live in the state which Jim Dobson's fascist ideology calls home, so there was never any question that Bush would win here. Even so, if I had been in a "swing state, " I still would have voted for Nader. I'm sick to death of hearing how voting for a non-Republicrat is "throwing my vote away." There's not a dime's difference between Bush and Gore; they both serve the same corporate masters. The Clinton/Gore presidency, despite their boasts, did nothing for civil rights. Clinton supported DOMA; Leonard Peltier is still imprisoned for crimes he did not commit; two final words: Efraim Baca. The fact is, the corporate world will dictate policy, whether they do it via Bush or via Gore.
That said, the one thing which concerns me about a Bush presidency (and, despite obvious election fraud in at least one county of his brother's state, Bush will likely be the next president) is the quality of the rhetoric we must endure over the next four years. While Bush will do what corporate America tells him to and little else, he will strut and bluster to impress the Religious Reich (with credit to Isaac for that phrase; gods bless that curmudgeon). I am concerned that this will only help to mobilise the theonazis even more on state and local levels, giving them a sense of empowerment which may well result in increased harassment and violence against minorities (especially minority religions and the LGBT community). Under a Bush presidency, there is a greater danger of Matthew Shephard being a trend-setter instead of a warning against ignorance and hostility. The petty squabbling in the pagan and other minority communities will have to stop, and a united front presented against the superstitious nightmare of fundamentalist empowerment.
| I Voted For Gore. I Feel Awful That So Many People Are... ||Nov 10th. at 9:20:07 am EST|
|Kiwi Carlisle (St. Louis, Missouri US) ||Age: 47 - Email |
I voted for Gore. I feel awful that so many people are
being virtually disenfranchised in Florida. I also feel
that we should wait for the absentee ballot count.
I also think that neither camp can claim a mandate,
which may bring us some moderation over the next two
years, until the mid-term elections.
If it's Shrub, I don't think he'll dare, with this
narrow vote margin, to try any of his more radical
plans, including messing with freedom of religion in
the military. Gore will just leave us alone.
| My Vote, As Stated Prior To The Election, Went To Gore. I... ||Nov 10th. at 9:21:02 am EST|
|Tony (Tampa, Florida US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
My vote, as stated prior to the election, went to Gore. I chose him to make my best effort to keep Bush out of the Oval Office. I haven't had opportunity to see the televised coverage or press conferences from either of the camps, so I don't know how they are behaving themselves as the recounts, re-recounts, and counts of absentees are unfolding. However, I do not see an obligation for either party to concede.
The writing of history will determine whether either candidate becomes a "bad guy" -- and I think it will hinge upon whether the movement to eliminate the Electoral College brings an amendment to fruition.
The thing I'm curious to see is actually a bit more personal. I'm neither "in the broom closet" nor "out" at work -- it's not really anyone's business. However, the rabid Christian who sits in the next cubicle is a rabid supporter of Bush (she's rabid about just about everything she does, even vegetarianism) and she has been loudly denouncing Gore as a liar, etc. At one point, I got fed up when she stated, "I don't want that liar in the White House." I responded, "I don't want that bigot in the White House." She looked at me stunned and said, "What do you mean?" I told her how Bush has gone on the record repeatedly against religious minorities, particularly Wicca. She responded, "Oh, those devil-worshippers?" "No, Wiccans don't believe in Satan." I could see the wheels turning, but the computer was citing an input/output error, "Does not compute." She started stammering around trying to fathom how anyone could not believe in the Judeo-Christian god. I'm curious to see whether she makes an issue out of it.
| I Did Vote, And I Voted For Gore. To Do Otherwise, In... ||Nov 10th. at 10:00:53 am EST|
|Meredith (Maplewood, New Jersey US) ||Age: 25 |
I DID vote, and I voted for Gore. To do otherwise, in any case, would have been a vote for Bush and I am unwilling to allow him to become president if I have a voice in the matter. I had much more respect for both the Bush and Gore campaigns before all this hoopla in Florida. It has become petty, turning a race for the presidency into the equivalent of a war over the last cookie in the jar. Worse, it is liike a high school election.
Despite this, I feel that a concession by either would do more damage than good. Both worked hard to get where they are, and it would be a shame to see them quit now. The Bush people are claiming that the Palm Beach voters should not be allowed to revote because they "should have known". I sincerely think that this statement directly opposes the whole idea behind voting: letting your voice be heard and making your opinion count. If people voted for someone they didn't intend to, then their voice was NOT heard. To not allow them a re-vote would be to effectively silence the voice of the people.
Finally, in direct relation to my last statement, I feel that a win for Bush would be a sad, sad day in the history of America. His ideals are unamerican, in my opinion. In spite of his position that my religion is not a real religion, his views on abortion and on social security and medicare freighten me. What this will mean for Pagans, I really don't know specifically. But I can say that our legal system will make a dramatic shift to the right-wing conservativism, and I am in fear that the rights and prevledges I have enjoyed thus far will become strained at the very least.
| Hi All. I Am Spanish And Live In Spain So I Hope... ||Nov 10th. at 10:07:13 am EST|
|Mar Calpena (Igrayne) (Barcelona, Spain) ||Age: 27 |
Hi all. I am Spanish and live in Spain so I hope I don't offend anyone by posting this.
1) First, for the electoral system. For the European onlooker, the American voting system ("first-past-the-post", as my high school Politics teacher used to call it) isn't at all that foreign. Countries like France or the United Kingdom have been using similar devices for a long time. In theory, this should stop "fringe" parties from getting a seat in the Congress. Italy's electoral system is the complete opposite, as it assigns seats in a direct proportion towards the total votes. Other countries, such as Spain, lie somewhere in between. You do have to receive a minimum number of votes to get a seat (this is calculated with a rule called "Ont's law", but I don't really remember how it works), but there's a fairly wide array of parties at the parlament. As you already know, the first system tends to end up in bipartidism. And the we go on to...
2) The candidates. I also hoped Gore would win the election, but having said that, I felt he was the lesser of two evils. I am no die-hard lefty, but he's closer to right wing parties in Europe than Bush is, and not to socialdemocracy as it is understood over here. Take the death penalty thing, for example. Basically, it was a non issue to both Bush and Gore. And whereas he seems to be interested in protecting certain civil rights (freedom of belief), there are things about that would be cause of laughter in Europe, such as the parental advisory tags in records implemented by mrs Gore. Again, I don't mean to offend anyone, but from outside it looks like the American campaign was too focused on economics and too little on real social issues. Also, around here no one expected Nader to win, but not because his message wouldn't have found followers, but for the fact the electoral system makes it difficult.
Another thing that strikes me out as weird is that only 50% of Americans decided to vote. It might have something to do with the fact you have to register beforehand, but it may be interpreted as sheer disinterest or mistrust. It looks like many people only care about politics on election day. Which is a pity, as the United States are an example to many countries. Please make it a worthwhile one.
Thank you again, and as I said, don't take this as an offence, but just as some food for thought.
| I Definatley Voted And I'm Glad I Did. After Hearing Some Unappealing... ||Nov 10th. at 10:27:21 am EST|
|"ambermoone" (newark , Delaware US) ||Age: 21 |
i definatley voted and i'm glad i did. after hearing some unappealing coments mr bush had to say about witch's i started to seriously oppose him...later i realised texas is one of the most pollutes states in the country...further more as a feminist and a close friend to many gay couples i seriously could not bring myself to fathom this man in the white house..he seems to be against everything i am...i do not agree with all of gore's policy's but he is definetly more moderate. so i voted for the first time and it felt good to take a stand. the florida problem is confusing..it is hard for me not to feel biased when i say that a recount should be done...the presidency should go to the one the people want, but hten again that just may be my personal bisases which i feel are justified due to my views and feelings. i also think that the electoral college has long over stayed its need in this country.
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