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: 1 - 8/7/2000
Who are you going to vote for and why?
Which political platform or candidate are you leaning towards? Do you think that a level of political involvement is important to pagans? Are you registered to vote, will you vote and who -if you don't mind telling the world- are you planning to vote for (or against)?
| Reponses: There are 233 responses posted to this question.
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| I Am Planning To "vote My Hopes, Not My Fears" And So... ||Aug 8th. at 4:58:13 am EDT|
|Tracey (New York, New York US) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I am planning to "vote my hopes, not my fears" and so I am voting for Nader/LaDuke. I have struggled with the decision a bit and not because I have any doubts about getting behind the Green Party platform. The principles of the Green party and the Nader candidacy are not simply the lesser of two evils but affirmatively express the principles I endorse - human rights, a strong labor and environmental stance, commitment to diversity, and feminism.
The part that has been difficult is the possibility of Bush winning and they danger his presidency would pose to reproductive rights, affirmative action, environmental protection as well as the rights of non-majority religious groups. As a close watcher of the Supreme Court, I am also concerned about the power that a conservative administration would have over that institution. While Gore is certainly a better choice than Bush, I fundamentally disagree with many of his policies, especially on the economic issues. I am also still resentful of the Clinton/Gore administration for shifting the entire political debate in this country to the right. I find it laughable that political commentators and the Bush camp keep describing Gore and the democrats as liberal. Would truly a liberal or progressive administration have signed those horrendous welfare and immigration laws in 1996?
So, I came to the decision that I would vote for Nader. Instead of hedging my bets and begrudgingly voting for someone whose policies and principles I don't believe in, I am choosing hope. I know that he can not win this election, and that some people say I am wasting my vote. However, in a way it is a form of magic -- visualization.
Change will not happen while we sit by and wait for it. We have make our move and stand up for what we believe in. There will only begin to be vital alternatives to the Republicrats when people are willing to vote for alternatives. I believe that we must visualize change and a better future, just as we visualize positive outcomes of spells, before it will begin to happen. Just as we then have to actively work towards the desired effects of our magic, we also have to take steps to effect change.
You may think that voting for Nader is a wasted vote. If we are short sighted and think only of a win, then perhaps it is. However, if we look to the future we can begin to make change - if Nader gets 5% of the National Vote, the Green Party will get matching funds in the next presidential election. We have begun and will continue to have a more open national discussion if we can simply get third party candidates into the debates. These are the steps that must be taken to begin to make change. Just as with magic, the effects may at times be slow but they will come if we can visualize the world we want to live in and then direct our energy towards it.
Whoever you choose to vote for, I think it is important for the pagan community to get out there and vote in the coming election.
To learn more about the Nader Campaign and the Green Party:
| After A Long While Of Being Dissatified With Both The Republicans And... ||Aug 8th. at 5:15:48 am EDT|
|Kevin Jenkins (Blaidd on the ND page of WotW) (Minot, North Dakota US) ||Age: 24 - Email |
After a long while of being dissatified with both the Republicans and Democrats, I finally found the party that fits my views. The Libertarian party basically paraphrases the Rede in it's political stance. While the Right values economic freedom but social controls, and the Left prefers social freedoms and government controls on the economy, Libertarians look to maximize freedoms in both of those areas and more. The government's only duty is to protect the lives and civil rights of it's citizens, basically protecting them from harm while allowing them to live as they will.
| Yes I Am Registered To Vote.(registered Repulican)but I Think I... ||Aug 8th. at 7:31:38 am EDT|
|Steve Winn (w.Babylon, New York US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Yes I am registered to vote.(registered repulican)But I think I might vote for Brown for the libertarion party. But I need to go over all the info on all the parties.
| In The Past I've Always Cast My Vote For A Multi-party System... ||Aug 8th. at 8:52:39 am EDT|
|Ivy (Rochester, Minnesota US) ||Age: 28 |
In the past I've always cast my vote for a multi-party system. That is, I vote Green simply because I'd like to see more supported choices on the ballot. But not this year. This year I'm deliberately voting against instead of voting for. I don't like it, but for me it's a necessary evil.
I'll be voting against Bush by voting for Gore. The irony is that on some fiscal issues, I'm actually more conservative (personal responsibility and all that). But socially I'm obviously, strongly liberal and from that perspective Bush is a dangerous candidate.
However, he's currently winning in the polls. Should Bush be elected in November, I will write the relevant Supreme Court Justices and ask -- no, beg --that if they plan on retiring, they consider retiring early (in December) so Clinton can select their replacements... Because if Bush is elected, it will be a bad four years for religious minorities...but if he appoints new justices as well I foresee many bad decades ahead.
| I Don't Think Witchcraft Is A Religion. I Would Hope The Military... ||Aug 8th. at 9:39:01 am EDT|
|Oriole (Milford, Connecticut US) ||Age: 44 |
"I don't think witchcraft is a religion. I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made." G.W. Bush (R), Governor of Texas. Interviewed on ABC's Good Morning America, 1999-JUN-24 by Peggy Wehmeyer. Comment relates to the rights of Wiccan soldiers to have the same religious rights as others in the military.
I am going to vote for whoever has the best chance to defeat this ignorant stooge.
| I Will Vote For Ralph Nader. He Has Been A Tireless Crusader... ||Aug 8th. at 10:22:12 am EDT|
|Peg Aloi (Medford, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
I will vote for Ralph Nader. He has been a tireless crusader for consumers' rights for many years and shows no sign of slowing down. He awakened the world to the fact that not every product we buy is always safe and that we should not alwqays trust advertising or corporate propaganda. Consumer advocacy, such as Mr. Nader has engaged in for the past several decades, is a way of empowering the people. Nader believes American citizens have a right to safe food, safe homes, safe automobiles and a clean environment, and that citizens have the right to insist their governemtn protect their rights to these things.
Nader has been encouraged to run for president before, and has had his name out there as a write-in candidate, but this is the first time he himself has agreed to do so officially. He is running under the Green Party affiliation: a political party which has much more intense activity and history in countries like Italy and Germany and France; but which has been sorely needed in the United Sattes for a long time. Mr. Nader drives a shitty car and wears cheap suits, because he gives all his extra money to charity. He is unmarried and as far as anyone can tell hasn't got much of a personal life because he works his butt off as an activist 24/7/365.
I had the pleasure hearing Mr. Nader speak at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst a number of years ago, and also got to meet and talk with him briefly about an issue I was working on at the time, the Humane Farming Initiative, which he also supported. The initiative was defeated because of a vast, expensive and fraudulant campaign mounted by the huge agribusiness concern, the American Farm Bureau, which claimed the bill--which sought humane treatment of farm animals such as battery cage hens and veal calves, and laws which would create healthier coditions for animals and healthier food for humans--was actually a conspiracy to turn the nation into a bunch of vegetarians and that it would hurt small family farms by placing undue burdens on them...The opposite was true, as small farms were just the sorts of operations that could produce animals products raised humanely and then sell them to consumers who have begun to demand safer food. When the bill was defeated, the big corporate farms continued to wipe out the small farmer, and do so to this day. Farming is a big issue with Nader, as it is directly connected to safe food for consumers, and these days there are bigger public safety problems connected to it, such as genetic engineering of crops and seeds, stronger pesticides, and things like mad cow disease...
I think our country needs a compassionate, discerning, hard-working human being like this who does not talk in huge platitudes, but sees the small and painful reality of what life in this country has become for many of us, and who sees that our connection to the natural world, to the most basic stuff of life, our food and our environment, are every bit as important, if not more so, than the economy or gun control or abortion or foreign policy.
I am distressed by the growing trend towards centrism in American politics. Gore chooses a moralist as a running mate, Bush tries to prop up all these women and minorities to show how compassionate he is. You can barely tell the difference between republicans and Democrats anymore. I was relatively happy with Clinton's position on many issues, particularly environmental preservation and reproductive rights, but he also did his part over the last eight years to move the country further to the center. Such that anyone espousing any view even slightly left of center is considered some sort of Commie pinko fanatic...the word "liberal" used to mean something good...
I think of the bits and pieces of what I know and what I suspet will happen if either of those jokers gets elected: George W. will pander to the Religious Right when he needs to. Gore is in favor of the death penalty. Cheney voted against the Head Start program. Lieberman thinks television and movies are violent and immoral. Bush is pro-life and pro-death penalty (explain THAT one to me...) Both Bush and Cheney have terrible records when it comes to environmental preservation. And whoever is elected will be appointing no fewer than THREE Supreme Court justices to the bench, possibly more.
To paraphrase documentary filmmaker and liberal smart-aleck, "Bush and Gore Make Me Wanna Ralph!"
I will vote for the man who really seems to care about what is important to me. Clean water and air, safe food, farming as a way of life, and the preservation of our natural resources. It is time to stop the ravishing of the landscape and the oceans. It is time to save this planet and treat its people with fairness and find some purpose to living beyond greed.
I am voting for Ralph Nader.
| Of Course I Will Be Voting For Al And Joe, In Fact... ||Aug 8th. at 10:58:49 am EDT|
|Steven E. Repko (Mays Landing, New Jersey US) ||Age: 43 - Email |
Of course I will be voting for Al and Joe, in fact I am pleased to see an Orthodox Jew on the ticket. In many parts of the country Jews are discriminated against as well, he may not be pagan, but heŐs close and that raises my comfort levels. They are not my idea of (political perfection) but very much the (lesser of two evils). Being an astrologer I already know what makes Al and George (tick) and although he does want to be President (too much), he has a good vision of where America should go next. HeŐs not perfect, but heŐs proactive.
LetŐs face it George and Company would like nothing better than to declare Christianity the (National Religion) and have the rest of us (not just pagans) worshipping in basements again. He is supported by a group of people that make millions of dollars a year by keeping everyone (thinking Jesus). I could almost respect them if it werenŐt all about money again. Perhaps they should put their faith in their god and (return to Caesar).
His other supporters make billions by enslaving the labor force. There is a twisted similarity there someplace. Anyone who truly believes this guy is good for America needs to have their prescription refilled.
| Merry Meet Sisters And Brothers! Being A Registered Voter, A Mother And... ||Aug 8th. at 11:10:38 am EDT|
|Lenore (Manchester, Connecticut US) ||Age: 31 - Email |
Merry Meet Sisters and Brothers!
Being a registered voter, a Mother and a Green Witch, I find it very important that Pagans be politically involved.
Who better to be a political force for the protection of the planet and its inhabitants?
While patriarchy, big buisness and profit margins have left deep scars on our Mother and all her children, there is a political party bold enough to step out side of the box, a party who's vision is clear, un-tainted by the "pocket lining" corporate power mongers, who controll the Republicans and Democrats.
The "Green Party", with ideals such as Ecological Wisdom - Social Justice - Grassroots Democracy - Nonviolence - Decentralization - Community Based Economics - Feminism - Respect For Diversity - Personal and Global Responsibility and Future Focus, their the one party worthy of our votes!
With Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke leading the "Green" campaign for deepend democracy, with an outlined vision where the interests of people are held above the demands of corporations, its an easy choice. The campaign will highlight universal health care, environmental and consumer protections, campaign finance reform, and strengthened labor rights as key policy issues.
Do not vote out of fear for the lessor of two evils! With that type of thinking you can be sure to *get* the lessor of two evils.
Find out more at http://www.votenader.com/ and http://www.greenparty.org/
| Everyone Is Spending A Lot Of Effort Getting Worked Up About National... ||Aug 8th. at 11:27:11 am EDT|
|Chris Chubb (Falls Church, Virginia US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Everyone is spending a lot of effort getting worked up about national elections. The focus is, and should remain, on local elections. The national media can only talk about national issues, but the truth is that local elected officials contribute more to your day-to-day life than the president or even senators.
If you want your circle to have access to local parks, call your town council. If your coven wants to use a community center in bad weather, you gotta have the mayor on your side. If you are lucky enough to build a permanant group area, the zoning comission may stand in your way without local government on your side. The chief of police is an invaluable ally in almost any case.
By being on a first name basis with your state representatives, your mayor or council, your local elected officials, you will pave the way for a smooth relationship between your circle and the local government. By the time a religious issue is elevated to the national level it is already lost by all sides.
That said, I have to raise my voice in the wilderness and call my self a conservative. The republicans can no more take away our religious freedoms than the liberals can take away our right to protect our selfs because we are all protected by the fairest, most powerful document in the history of self government, the Constitution of the United States of America. It is as close to a 'National Religion' as this country should ever come. Time and again, in the military, local and national governments, the court system, every branch of government, Witches of all paths have had to fall back on the Constitution to protect their rights and have won.
| 1. I'm Registered To Vote, And I Do Vote. I Vote As... ||Aug 8th. at 12:05:59 pm EDT|
|Carol (Columbus, Ohio US) ||Age: 41 |
1. I'm registered to vote, and I do vote. I vote as an independent, but my choices are mostly Democrats. IMO, if you don't make at least a six-figure salary, you're just cannon fodder if you vote Republican.
2. With increasing attempts by the Religious Right to co-opt politics for their own agenda, it is critical that we vote our consciences in order to reclaim/retain our basic rights. The biggest concern to me is the future appointments of Supreme Court justices, though there are local concerns like school board members and others.
3. I will be voting for Al Gore. Why? Because George Dubya declared Jesus Day on June 10. His state seems to have more violations of rights of religious minorities than any other state I hear about. The school prayer case came from Texas, and there was a near lynching and continued assaults of a Jewish middle school boy in that community accompanied by the usual hate speech. GW hasn't bothered to speak out against this. He tries to paint non-Christians as somehow less "American" than Christians. His efforts at inclusiveness are laughable, mere tokenism, and doesn't include non-Christians. Most of all, he said on Good Morning America last year that our religion isn't real or valid! Excuse me?! I am concerned for our First Amendment rights should he become president. This doesn't even include his environmental record, his education record, etc.!
I must commend Al Gore on picking Joseph Lieberman. Despite Lieberman's conservatism and interaction with conservative Christian groups, IMO this is a good choice. Ground breaking, different, a *non-Christian* as a running mate. The choice of Lieberman has effectively killed the Bush campaign efforts to paint the Gore ticket as one of moral dereliction. Gore is a Christian who is ecumenical and inclusive in his outlook. Because Jewish people are sometimes discriminated and oppressed as much as Pagans in this country, I'm sure Gore/Lieberman will be sensitive to our minority status. I personally follow the protests of the American Jewish Congress and other Jewish groups against oppression by the Religious Right. I consider Jewish people to be kin to Pagans in their minority status, and usually what's good for Jews politically is good for us, too.
We have a discount store here owned by a Jewish family that is very popular. They are always closed on the *Jewish* sabbath. In a homogeneous, mostly Christian city, it's great to have this little reminder to Christians that there are other people on this planet besides themselves, and that we all have to live together and breathe the same air. With Lieberman refusing to campaign on the Sabbath, I think the Gore/Lieberman ticket will do something similar for the country, and make life safer for us, and for all non-Christians in this country.
| I Really Don't See Anyone Wortth Going To The Polls To Vote... ||Aug 8th. at 12:50:51 pm EDT|
|Silver MayKitten (Springfield, Missouri US) ||Age: 55 - Email |
I really don't see anyone wortth going to the polls to vote for really. The only candidate I like that is running for national office is Marc Perkel, running to replace John Ashcroft in Congress. (see: www.perkel.com/nerds/nlm or www.perkel.com/pbl) Needless to say I know him personally and while I do not completely agree with him, for the most part he has his mind in the right place. While he claims to be a non-observent reformed Jew many of his viewpoints agree with Wiccan phillosophies.
The rest of the pack reminds me of the constant argument of which editor do you like best: emacs? vi? pico? It just doesn't matter to me, I prefer pico for news and mail and emacs for everything else; but I will use vi if it is all I have available. (Needless to say I don't do MS Whendoze.)
| I'll Be Voting For Gore/lieberman As The Lesser Of The Evils... ||Aug 8th. at 1:06:40 pm EDT|
|Mary A. Axford (Doraville, Georgia US) ||Age: 42 - Email |
I'll be voting for Gore/Lieberman as the lesser of the evils... would like to vote for Nader but it is too important to me to keep the Republicans out of the Presidency. I have several reasons for that; the Republicans still have anti-abortion and anti-gay planks in their platform, they support a litmus test of being anti-abortion for Federal Judges (and with the next President possibly naming as many as 3-4 Supreme Court Justices that is ample reason right there), Bush doesn't like reading policy as it bores him, he has not really accomplished that much, one of his major advisors is Ralph Reed who used to head the Christian Coalition (again a reason for pagans in particular to vote against him), and Bush seems to be so blinded by his religion that I doubt he would see some of the things pagans would consider religious discrimination to be so.
Corporations have bought all of the candidates who could possibly win (see Jim Hightower's book _If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would have Given Us Candidates_, which will shock you to the core). So given that limitation, I'll vote for the candidate who will in my opinion do the least harm to the fewest people, and hope that we can force a political revolution somehow - such as by reforming campaign financing drastically.
A level of involvement is important for everyone. Paganism is trendy right now, but we are still weak compared with the Religious Right, who specifically want to take away our religious rights. I would think that the fact that the Religious Right backs Bush is sufficient reason not to vote for him.
It is so difficult to find good information. One way is to find someone you trust who is knowledgeable. Right now Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower are sources I trust... but I also read news. There is a service called Backwire that sends out a daily newsletter called Today's Headlines that summarizes and links to articles in important sources such as the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, etc.
Molly Ivins: http://www.star-telegram.com/columnist/ivins2.htm
Jim Hightower: http://www.jimhightower.com/
Policy.com Issues Library: http://www.policy.com/issues/ (this site links to articles/news on important issues)
Center for Responsive Politics: http://www.opensecrets.org/home/index.asp (this site allows you to track who gives money to which politicians)
Political Information.com: http://www.politicalinformation.com/ (lots of political links)
I encourage you to be informed, and to vote!
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