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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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| This Was The First Time I Was Able To Vote So Of... ||Nov 10th. at 11:52:17 am EST|
|L. M. C. F. (New York, New York US) ||Age: 19 |
This was the first time I was able to vote so of course I voted. And I voted a straight Democratic ticket: Gore/Lieberman and Hillary Clinton for the Senate. I also saw many people being turned away from my polling place... and the entire situation in Florida is *incredibly* shady.
There have been posts on here from non-Americans asking why not everyone votes. I offer you several reasons:
1. their vote won't make a difference (unless they live in Florida!)
2. the registration system is flawed- there was a HUGE problem at my university about allowing students to vote here in NY.
3. the candidates aren't talking to younger voters (the group that votes the least)
4. the electoral system does not necessarily have to vote what the people in their state vote. Sad but true.
5. voting is not made easy for people. I happened to have the day off, but that is only due to a university policy.
That said... anyone who voted for Nader screwed this election big time. While I agreed with the guy, it was apparent that the race was very close and that he could really mess it up (New Hampshire is a great example)
| As To The First Question, Yes I Did Vote. I Voted For... ||Nov 10th. at 12:05:35 pm EST|
|Michelle Brown (Missoula, Montana US) ||Age: 33 |
As to the first question, yes I did vote. I voted for Al Gore. I'm intrigued by the "political wrangling" in Florida. We are getting to watch a little history making in process. It's a wonderful opportunity and one day we'll be able to say "I remember when..." That aside, no, I don't think that one or the other candidate should concede for the "good of the country". How would that be for the good of the country? Just because folks may be too impatient to see the process through does not mean we should rush to stick someone in office just to get it done. A close race is always a possibility and we need to ride it out. If it goes to the House of Representatives - so be it. That's how the system works. If we would like to change it in the future that's wonderful. At this point however it is the existing framework and we should work within it.
It will be difficult for either candidate to pull the country together at this point. However, we have survived political divisions before and we will again. This is not the end of the world. Things will just be a bit ruffled for a while. Whoever becomes president will have to exercise great tact, intelligence and common sense. They will also have to be willing to compromise. Hopefully our internal conflicts will not draw so much attention as to jeopardize international policy.
With regards to the impacts on the Pagan community, I feel we could see some changes should Bush become the next president. We would be living in a more conservative atmosphere than that of the past 8 years. That's no surprise.
As I see it things could go two ways. Those politically and religiously conservative groups who have a negative view of Pagans could feel that their battle is over. Bush is in and they can stop their political fight and rest on the laurels for a while. On the other hand, perhaps they would see Bush's election as a sign to push harder to exclude Pagans from the mainstream. Some groups seem committed to removing Pagans from the positive public eye no matter what. Only time will tell. As always, we need to keep our eyes and ears open and be willing to stand up for our constitutional rights as well as basic human rights. Over the past few years we have received a considerable amount of positve press. In addition the ACLU has been very supportive of the Pagan community. They are not the only ones. We've established a positive base. Let's keep building upon it.
| I Voted For Ralph Nader Of The Green Party, Too Bad We... ||Nov 10th. at 12:06:10 pm EST|
|Chris (Kenosha, Wisconsin US) ||Age: 31 |
I voted for Ralph Nader of the Green Party, too bad we didn't get our 5%.
Florida just goes to show what a joke our system is for electing our President, maybe now it will get a review (should only cost us an addtional $100 million or so after all is said and done). It should turn out to be a long and painfull experience.
With the differences between the parties dwindeling every year, there will be no huge changes, just slight changes in focus and shifting of funds.
Although Bush actully spoke out against us, I get the feeling that his promise will be one of those that will get broken (at least I hope so). It sounded more like a rally cry to get undecided Christian voters on his side. For a US President to actually attack a recognized religion would be political suicide and cause an international media blitz.
| I Voted For Al Gore. The Candidates' Stances Re: Religious Liberty Was... ||Nov 10th. at 12:10:09 pm EST|
|Turok (Philadelphia area, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 54 - Email |
I voted for Al Gore. The candidates' stances re: religious liberty was a key deciding factor in my choice.
The political wrangling in Florida is a battle that will yield a Phyrric victory to whoever prevails. So I feel that Al Gore should concede and give that victory to Dubya.
I feel the results will have minimal impact on the Pagan community and our interests, given the closeness. Both sides of the aisle have a stalemate to deal with for the next two years, so they are not going to alienate the electorate nor polarize it too much.
| Yes, Of Course I Voted. As A Proud Pagan, I Would Be... ||Nov 10th. at 12:14:02 pm EST|
|Susan Hyatt (Boise, Idaho US) ||Age: 43 - Email |
Yes, of course I voted. As a proud pagan, I would be greatly ignoring my responsibility to myself and to my fellow human beings if I did not. I cast my vote for Gore because I knew that either he or Bush would be named the leader of the most powerful country in the world, and I wanted to help ensure that my rights were preserved. Gore is not the perfect choice, but he is definately the most enviornmentally concious, and supports a woman's right to choose. Bush is neither of those things. I realize the need for a third party, but I am very pragmatic, and I believe that this change can best be realized by taking logical steps. Bush as president is not a logical step. As an Idahoan, I would like to see the electoral collage abolished and the popular vote the deciding factor. And one more thing. I have talked to so many pagans who did not vote claiming fear of being bombarded my negativity, believing they were all liars, not knowing who was running or not caring. This is appalling. We of all people need to be aware of what is happening in this country, and need to have a voice in government. We are always talking about our rights and being a persecuted people. Then please, help preserne our rights! Apathy will be our undoing.
| Well, I Personally Voted Gore! I Could Not In Good Conscience Vote... ||Nov 10th. at 12:42:12 pm EST|
|Zandra Nightmoon (Tacoma, Washington US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
Well, I personally voted Gore! I could not in good conscience vote for Bush. Even though in the beginning I had leaned more towards Bush. But then he opened his mouth...whew! So, yes, I am a big Gore supporter.
I am divided on all of the squabbling that is going on right now. I have to say that I do respect Gore wanting to fight for fairness in this election, it is entirely to close. But I also feel that Gore could hurt his image and seem like a "sore loser if he persists for too long. Now, for Bush...He seems a bit to arrogant in his already appointing a cabinet and arranging his victory rally already. To me that seems ridiculous. He should have to wait this out like the rest of us, you know?
My personal opinion...Both candidates are now forever tainted. The country is very divided obviously. If Gore goes into office..he will be looked at as a cry baby...and if Bush goes into office he will be arrogant and illegitimate in the eyes of half the country. So, neitehr one will have full support of this country. And to me this seems sad! I voted for Gore and I support Gore all the way. I could never support Bush even if he goes into office...this squabbling has ruined it for me. It really makes me not want to vote in the future (roll eyes). Okay, these are some of my tormented thoughts on this whole Presidential debacle. Thank you for letting me be heard.
| I Voted For Ralph Nader Who I Felt Would Lead The Country... ||Nov 10th. at 12:48:13 pm EST|
|Kaylara Nightshade (ocean twp, New Jersey US) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I voted for Ralph Nader who I felt would lead the country best, not who I thought was going to win. I am absolutely repulsed by those people who say that by exercising my right and duty to vote that I "screwed things up". This is not a two party system! It's only by taking steps in real life that the magick of change can happen.
If we want changes to happen to the present legal system, we can not idly sit back and say... "let's vote for this (or that)party because we don't want this person to win."
This "Lesser of Two evils" mentallity is the problem. Why settle for that! Why not go for the best you can find, not just what the government and media spoon feed you. Funny though, even with out media and government backing, look at how many people voted for Nader. The media only mentioned him on Election day when they started to realize how many people voted for him.
So call this the "Nader Effect" so what? It's time this system changed. Question Authority, Question reality, Live free and Harm none!
Thanks for listening
| Yes, I Voted...i Voted For Ralph Because He Talks Sense About... ||Nov 10th. at 12:50:57 pm EST|
|Faintly Macbre (Turners Falls, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 38 |
Yes, I voted...I voted for Ralph because he talks sense about
things I care about and that directly affect me...and if everyone who's said "I
wanted to, but..." HAD, then the Green Party would've been
eligible for gov't funding right now and on it's toddling way
to being a viable third party AND there would've been negligible impact on the two "big guys'"knock-down-drag-out...Sigh. I'm afraid the two-party
system has, once again, managed to sell its bill of goods...
C'mon! We're Pagans!! We know all about the small workings that
create big change...nudge a little quark here...drift a little
nucleous there..and before you know it...you've got real change!!
| After All The Religico-political Posturing Of The Last Year, I Gave Up... ||Nov 10th. at 12:54:35 pm EST|
|Harmony (St. Petersburg, Florida US) ||Age: 37 |
After all the religico-political posturing of the last year, I gave up on either of the "mainstream" candidates (Bush and Lieberman were both making the hair on the back of my neck stand up), and voted for Nader. I've decided that the only "wasted" vote is the one made for a candidate I *don't* want to be president.
| I Voted For Vp Gore. I'm Not Quite Sure What To Make... ||Nov 10th. at 12:56:33 pm EST|
|Liz (White Lake, Michigan US) ||Age: 22 |
I voted for VP Gore. I'm not quite sure what to make of the current situation, other than to say that the "butterfly" ballots should not be used ever again. I think it's interesting that all this hoopla is happening in George W. Bush's brothers' state. While I am obviously biased on a recount (I did vote for Gore!), it still remains that Bush only won the state by an extremely narrow margin- and that mainly thanks to the tossed out ballots and possible misvotes in his favor towards Buchanan.
I do think that this should be fought out by the Gore campaign, and frankly, if it happened in the reverse (Bush winning the popular vote, but possibly losing by the electoral vote) I would expect no less from the Republican side. Unfortunately as it stands now, either candidate will most likely have a doomed presidency, simply because there will always be a large 'other side' that feels his stay in office is illegitimate.
As for how this will affect pagans, well, what self-respecting pagan would vote for Bush? Bush and Gore have totally different viewpoints....on everything from religion to abortion to the environment. On a not-so-serious note- why not just let Nader have the presidency and be done with it? Most people didn't vote for him, and if worse comes to worse, he'll at least be respective of the various issues that Gore supporters care about:)
| I Voted A Straight Libertarian Ticket...and While I Knew Harry Brwone... ||Nov 10th. at 1:05:09 pm EST|
|Amber Buck (Pasadena, Texas US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I voted a straight Libertarian ticket...and while I knew Harry Brwone would not be elected I felt voting my concience was more important than voting in such a way as to obstruct a candidate I disliked.
The Florida voting issue, doesn't seem that important to me. My candidate will not win the state either way. My only concern is over the possibility of a re-vote in which some voters may decide to change their 3rd party vote to one of Republican or Democratic vote in order to help make the ending vote numbers more decisive.
I seriously doubt that either Bush or Gore will let America go with out a total legal free for all over the ballots and the ending tally's. It seems the media overkill on this will go on and on. I can't picture either candidate doing what's best for the country by conceding. They both owe too many people favors for that to happen.
America is a house divided. The USA needed a powerful leader. Neither Bush nor Gore has the charisma or the willpower to pull the USA together. I see the next four years spent in near gridlock.
As for the effect on the pagan community , i'm unsure. I don't believe either candidate will be able to do the pagan community much harm in the next 2 years. A little equality in Democratic vs. Republican represenatives will prevent any President from doing much of anything.
It's a shame that this race ended the way it started....pointless.
| When I Decided To Start Voting My Conscience, I Started Voting Libertarian... ||Nov 10th. at 1:06:16 pm EST|
|Louie Verreault (Burleson, Texas US) ||Age: 42 - Email |
When I decided to start voting my conscience, I started voting Libertarian, and consequently voted for Harry Brown this year. I'd been through all of the "you're throwing your vote away", "we don't need so-and-so in office", etc. My belief is that my freedoms are self-limited by restricting myself to a candidate that is one of two that will definitely win.
I have voted in all presidential elections since 1976, and many other elections besides. Voting is one way for us to join our voices and express our desires. Mine is just one tiny, squeaky voice in this maelstrom. "The Libertarian way is a logically consistent approach to politics based on the moral principle of self-ownership. Each individual has the right to control his or her own body, action, speech, and property. Government's only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud" and "the Libertarian Party is for all who don't want to push other people around and don't want to be pushed around themselves. Live and let live is the Libertarian way" (quotes from the LP webpage). I don't want anyone in my business or life unless they have my permission to be there. By consistently sticking by my guns, I believe I can keep my conscience clear, especially when things wind up in the position they're in now.
Concerning Bush's "I don't think Wicca is a religion" statement; that's his opinion. Sure, it is a cause for concern! But he cannot dictate the way things will go, even though there may be some sabre-rattling by certain religious groups and attempts by those groups to curtail religious freedoms. There are too many people who are self-aware and will no longer tolerate intolerance.
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