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 Will Vote For Ralph Nader. He Has Been A Tireless Crusader... ||Aug 8th. at 10:22:12 am UTC|
|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 UTC|
|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 UTC|
|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 UTC|
|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 UTC|
|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 UTC|
|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 UTC|
|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!
| I Think A Basic Level Of Politicalinvolvement Or At Least Knowledge Is... ||Aug 8th. at 1:24:33 pm UTC|
|Dan Fireheart (Silver Spring, Maryland US) ||Age: 46 - Email |
I think a basic level of politicalinvolvement or at least knowledge is, for me, a vital, key part of a Pagan path. As we are all only too aware, there are those who would deny us and others our basic rights because we differ from their imagined majority.
But even beyond that, I think Pagans have a fundamental responsibility to make our voices heard in the political arena. To me, walking a Pagan path involves a values and a vision and perspective that is, sadly, not well represented in the political life of our nation. As someone who believes that the Earth is living and sacred and that all who dwell upon Her are interconnected and sacred, I feel a strong duty to oppose the policies of my government that rape the Earth and cheapen life, and to support policies of economic justice, sustainable development and genuine, participatory democracy. A primary litmus test for any program or government policy should be, "Does this enhance and respect Life, or demean and destroy it?" Forget about the stock market, nationalism, industrial development, or so called "welfare reform." Does it enhance and respect Life, or demean and destroy it?"
A Pagan path may not be for everyone, but I deeply believe that the nature and life affirming values of Paganism are vital if we're to have a future for ourselves and our progeny that would be worth living. Unlike other spiritual traditions, which have as their focus the attainment of an other worldly Heaven or Nirvana, Pagans are intensely focused on this world, believing that heaven is right here if we have the vision and courage to make it so. To opt out of political participation seem to me to be abandoning our finest ideals.
Right now I'm leaning strongly toward Ralph Nader and the Greens as the best representatives of my values in the Presidential race. I look forward to seeing the thoughts of others on these issues.
| On The Questions... I Am Personally Torn Between The Honestly Representative Platform... ||Aug 8th. at 1:25:08 pm UTC|
|Snorri Laurelsson (San Francisco, California US) ||Age: 31 - Email |
On the questions...
I am personally torn between the honestly representative platform of Ralph Nader and the Green Party, and the electable, but not very representative platform of Al Gore and the Democratic Party.
Political involvement is critical the survival of any minority group in a democracy. To be uninvolved is to risk the tyranny of the majority, and possibly persecution and extinction. Mind you, this is what CAN happen. I don't think it likely, but that's not a reason to avoid the task.
I am registered to vote, do so in every election, and (for once in my life) I haven't decided just who I'll give my vote this time around...
| Ok First Question - Yes I Am Absolutly Registered To Vote... A Wise... ||Aug 8th. at 1:27:33 pm UTC|
|Kyra St James (Radcliff, Kentucky US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
Ok first question - yes I am absolutly registered to vote... A wise man told me a long time ago that if you don't vote you don't have a right to bitch... and let's face it I like to complain...
Now as to WHO I'm for? To be totally honest I am Democrat however - that doesn't mean that if I honestly belived that the Republican canidate was a better choice I would blindly vote for the Democrat.
That said - I have to go with Gore, for several reasons...
First - Gore is for the enviorment and in the time he has been in office he has actually sought to do more then TALK about what could be done for our planet.
TWO - He keeps it real, he's not afraid to change his mind as he learns and grows (Fancy that a politican that learns and grows from past mistakes - and come to think of it oh mercy my one who can actually ADMIT he makes them.)
On the other hand is Bush...
The man strikes me as a puppet for the Colitian and groups like it. I honestly fear for seperation of church and state if he is elected... he has already gone on record as saying that he will destroy the seperation and that he will ban pagans from the military.
All in all I would say that this time out it is not only a responsability but an act of self defense to go to the polls and vote... before everything we hold sacred is trambled beneath a giant Elephant bearing a flameing cross.
| I'm Voting Democratic Because Social Issues Are Of Extreme Importance To Me... ||Aug 8th. at 1:28:19 pm UTC|
|Rebecca Bostick (Las Vegas, Nevada US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I'm voting Democratic because social issues are of extreme importance to me. I believe we should exercise our right to vote- I'm even a voter registrar who can register others to vote. Gore's position on environmental issues satisfies me and, though I'd like him to be more left, I'm willing to compromise and be pragmatic in order to get him elected.
I don't understand anyone in the pagan community voting for Bush, who clearly refuses to recognize witchcraft as a religion. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" is merely a thin veil for intolerance and promotion of his own ideals.
Quite frankly, Republicans like Bush scare me. I'll be voting for Gore and hoping others vote Gore, too!
| I Must Lean Toward The Democratic Party 99% Of The Time. I... ||Aug 8th. at 1:39:42 pm UTC|
|withheld (Kansas City, Missouri US) ||Age: 31 |
I must lean toward the Democratic party 99% of the time. I just can't ethically vote for a party that espouses a Christian way of life. While I aplaude their strong faith and confidence in their beliefs, I do not necessarily agree with them. I agree they have the right to believe as they will, but so do I.
Just as when women and blacks were finally "allowed" to vote, I believe that pagans must also vote so that our freedoms are not allowed to be eroded away.
I registered to vote the day after I turned 18 and have re-registered every time I've moved. I vote in every major election and I vote in most local elections
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