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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 5,791,118  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 263

Lurker/Post Ratio: 124 to 1

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 


Which Candidate Did You Vote For? --gore How Do You Feel About... Nov 10th. at 2:48:45 pm UTC

Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (Penngrove, California US) Age: 58 - Email


Which candidate did you vote for?
--Gore

How do you feel about the political wrangling going on right now in Florida?
--This is the state where the Republican candidate's brother is governor. It is the state where all the ex-Cuban Mafia and CIA dudes ended up. The backroom politics in Florida is probably comprable to Las Vegas, Chicago, or New Orleans.

Will/Should either candidate concede for the good of the country-or should either/both fight it out until we all scream for mercy?
--I think there should be a revote in the "butterfly ballot" counties, with a regular linear ballot, this time. This is what the people in those counties want, and I think we should support them in this.

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?
--If Bush wins, potentially the same result that the election of Adolf Hitler had on the Jewish communities...
--If Gore wins, having someone in the White House who at least understands who we really are, and has written a very insightful book essentially championing paractically everything we feel is important. A book which we will be able to quote from as we appeal to the White House on these issues.


How Do You Feel About The Political Wrangling Going On Right > Now... Nov 10th. at 2:38:57 pm UTC

Coyote (Boston, Massachusetts US) Age: 34 - Email


> How do you feel about the political wrangling going on right
> now in Florida?

It is troubling. While I would have prefered Gore to have won, I still find this horribly disappointing. Both of them are looking somewhat less than presidential as spokespeople for both sides wrangle back and forth.

> Will/Should either candidate concede for the good of the
> country-or should either/both fight it out until we all scream
> for mercy?

I would like to see this end with the recount (when it finally ends properly on the 17ths) and not go to litigation. Bush would be the president with a tainted presidency and a slim majority in the house. In four years, the democrats would be a strong position to take back the White House.

I doubt that will happen, as I find both men have larger than healthy egos and both are being pushed closer and closer to a position where they don't feel that they can't backdown.

> 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?

I think it would be difficult. JFK was able to do with with his force of his charisma, even though he won a narrow victory over Nixon. Neither of the current candidates is a Jack Kennedy.

The next four years will be uglier and more partison than the
last.

> And the BIG question-What, if any, impact will the final
> results have on the Pagan communities?

If Bush is in charge, he has a lot of promises to keep to the right wing of his party. That can't be good for pagans or anyone that doesn't agree with their views of the world.


Yes, I Did Vote. It's Almost Been Bred Into Me To Vote... Nov 10th. at 2:28:22 pm UTC

Diana Rajchel Olsen (Mankato, Minnesota US) Age: 25 - Email


Yes, I did vote. It's almost been bred into me to vote -- I'm one of those rare Wiccan DAR members out there, and if civic duty had a deity, that would likely be one of my patrons! I did vote for Gore, not as a vote for GORE, but as a vote against Bush. Bush terrifies me. Anyone who goes so far as to change his driver's license number so people can't trace his records has far too much to hide, and his statement that the first amendment does not apply to witchcraft suggests that he doesn't have a good enough understanding of the Constitution to serve as President. That and the whole witch-hunt situation makes me very nervous, as I'd be a good target. I'm younger with less resources, public and an "up and comer". And our country tends to repeat the McCarthy paranoia.

The other thing that really disturbs me is the sheer number of votes that were thrown out or misapplied! 19, 000 voters had their ballots tossed out
on the assumption that if they hit two holes, they weren't smart enough to
vote. I don't believe that, no matter what party they voted for -- our country has a long history of interfering with voters rights' to control the outcome.
This is a classic example... I'm irate, and if Bush is elected, I'm moving
to Canada. That's it. I will not stay in a country run by that sociopath...


Yes, I Voted.... And I Voted For Gore. Not Out Of Any... Nov 10th. at 2:11:57 pm UTC

Seabhac (Concord, California US) Age: 28 - Email


Yes, I voted....

And I voted for Gore. Not out of any real sense of loyalty to the candidate or what he stands for, but for one very dear reason to me - religious acceptance. I reviewed what I could of Nader's information, and found *nothing* on his stance on religion. At least Gore (and his handlers) would probably not push religious conservatism (yes, I know he's a Southern Baptist, and Lieberman's Orthodox - both conservative). But as far as I can tell, the "Democrats" don't raise a hullabaloo about religion. If I had known for certain what Nader's stance was/is on the subject, I could have made my decision in better conscience. As it was, I said to my friends afterwards, "If I voted, why don't I feel good about it?" To me, I was choosing the lesser of two evils that actually would be elected.

As for the Florida question, we have laws in our country, and in that state, that supposedly cover sitations like this. No matter how absurd those laws are at this point in time, we should follow them. Then, as soon as the dust settles, we (meaning all of us who are disgusted with the system) need to get out and work as hard as we can to change the way our 'leader' is elected. Frankly, I don't believe we'll all revert to the Reagan/Bush era over then next few years, but everything that happens will ripple outwards, and affect all of us. This simply means that the Pagan community will need to be more active politically - as much as we might like to stay in the broom closet. Without being active, we might as well hang our besoms out to dry, close our eyes and pray to God and Goddess that everything works out.

If Shrub Jr. wins, it may prove a great motivator to those Pagans who consider themselves more liberal. If Gorebot wins, we may sigh in relief, and consider ourselves lucky until the next challenge to our beliefs comes along. In either case, it seems necessary to not freeze in fear, or relax our guard. Everything we believe in comes down to this point - Are we witches, with the power to change the world, or are we simply waiting for the world to change around us?


Who I Voted For Is No One's Business But My Own. I... Nov 10th. at 1:57:59 pm UTC

Tinnekke (South Bend, Indiana US) Age: 33 - Email


Who I voted for is no one's business but my own. I haven't even told my husband, though I'm sure he has a good idea. To me, this election has shown exactly how much the individual vote can count. That is the most important fact from this election as we're talking about a margin of victory either way that might up ending being a few hundred votes. If you don't vote, you have no right to complain about how the government gets run, and that's all there is to it. Let's all take some important lessons from what has happened, let the Florida people get on with their job, and realize no matter who wins, we have Congressional gridlock for the next two years, so not much is going to happen.


Yes I Did Vote, And Feel That The Recount Should Be Stoped... Nov 10th. at 1:55:49 pm UTC

David Griffin (Land O' Lakes, Florida US) Age: 40 - Email


Yes I did vote, and feel that the recount should be stoped and a new florida vote be taken (just in Florida) so much is riding on this State that we can't afford to let anything stand in the way of a Fair Election.


I Voted For Ralph Nader And Winona Laduke. Though I Appreciate Gore's... Nov 10th. at 1:46:18 pm UTC

Peg Aloi (Medford, Massachusetts US) Age: 37


I voted for Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke.

Though I appreciate Gore's stance on many issues, especially the environment and reproductive rights, he is in favor of the death penalty and that is an important issue to me. I also find his reluctance to admit to his previous marijuana use, in light of his tendency to think marijuana possession should be punishable with jail time, to be very hypocritical.

I live in Massachusetts where Nader was a pretty "safe" vote, as Bush had little or no chance to carry this state (hello to whoever that is in Turners' Falls, BTW! I used to live out in that area and it is lovely).

I also felt a need to vote with my conscience and not out of fear, and I have certainly felt like a pariah among liberal Democrats who have accused Nader voters of being selfish and not in touch with reality.

To me, the reality is that there is very little difference between the two major parties and that a Third Party (or more!) is sorely needed which is not in the back pocket of big corporations. The influence of corporate America upon government has grown more insidious with each passing year and I feel it adversely affects the democratic system of voting we have in this country.

This election cost just about THREE BILLION DOLLARS. I think that is obscene.

That sort of money could feed starving children in America or elsewhere. It could buy sorely needed renovations and supplies for schoolchildren and teachers. It could clean up toxic waste dump sites that large corporations, though they have been sued for making these messes and legally ordered to make such repearations, have refused to do.

This money could purchase national nature preserves and protect them from development. It could assist the elderly in paying for their prescription medications which are outrageously expensive in this country (many seniors charter bus trips to Canada where they purchase their drugs for less than half what they cost here!)

This money could fund drug treatment programs for incarcerated non-violent drug offenders, who are crowding our prisons and not receiving the medical treatment they need for their addictions. It could assist the millions of people who do not currently have health insurance.

This money could be allocated for urban renewal in run-down neighborhoods where people live in squalor amid crime and ruined tenements. It could fund after-school programs for kids whose parents both work and can't be home after school.

and on and on...

But instead this obscene amount of money is used to fund campaigns for candidates who are nearly indistinguishable from each other.

Mr. Nader and Ms. LaDuke are not perfect, nor is The Green Party. But I was willing to risk four years of the evil Dubya in order to help effect change that may take some years to achieve. If we do not make a beginning, if we do not trust our instincts, if we continue to cast votes against candidates we hate insetad of for candidates we love, how on earth will we ever move forward?

The Earth needs us. As pagans we have a responsibility to make our worship of the Earth manifest every day: we are her protectors and stewards, and it falls to us to undo the damage and harm that has been done to her.

Ralph and Winona call her Mother Earth, as I do. That one detail speaks volumes to me. That is why I voted Green.


I Voted For Gore. I Think The Current Situation Was Bound To... Nov 10th. at 1:40:22 pm UTC

Terri (South Bend, Indiana US) Age: 36


I voted for Gore. I think the current situation was bound to happen sooner or later. Let's work with it. I don't feel that the electorial college should be eliminated. If it wasn't for the college then the politicains would only focus on the highly populated areas of the country and the rest of us would get left out of the mix. I do think that we need to find a better way to represent the popular vote however. My take on this would be to follow Main and Nebraskas example, but take it even a bit further. Split the electorial vote according to the regions of the state. In otherwords, if one representives' area holds the popular vote for say, Democrats, then that representitive should be held responsible to cast their vote to that party. This should follow through out each region of the state, with each rep voting the electorial in favor of the popular vote of that area. Then give an additional 2 electorial votes for the over all state popular vote. I believe that's the most effective way to get a true reading of the peoples choice while still maintaining an organized structure. I do find it rather amusing that in the event of a tie, the decision goes to the House. If the House ties it goes to the Senate. If the Senate ties the Vice President gets the decideing vote. Wouldn't that be a kick?! Today's Headlines, "Al Gore votes himself into office." To me, the worst idea of Bush ending up in office, is that the 3 Supreme Court positions that could open up would be filled by major conservitives under his direction. This carries with it implications for the Pagan community that goes way beyond a 4 or 8 year term in office. After all those positions are held for a lifetime. They could end up with the power to lead this nation down a conservitive right winged path if they so choose. Then we're really taking about how the lives of our chlidren will be effected. I think if Bush gets in there and names the judges, we'll all have to fight much harder to make sure our children have the right to worship as they see fit.


The Shameful Oversights And Possible Vote Tampering That Such A Big Deal... Nov 10th. at 1:38:34 pm UTC

Isis Macnamara (Greenville, South Carolina US) Age: 22 - Email


The shameful oversights and possible vote tampering that such a big deal is being made over are sadly probably pretty common place. I am willing to bet if you scrutinized every state the way we are scrutinizing Florida, the same kinds of problems would turn up. I strongly dislike Buchanan but I have to give him props for one thing. He has come out and said that he does not believe that the 3000 votes he recieved in the Palm Springs area were really for him, beccause it does not stand to reason that he should recieve so large a percentage of votes in one small area of Florida that he didn't even campaign in. Mad props also to the Bush supporters who are critisizing his behavior in just sitting back and saying nothing about the votes that were thrown out due to possible double voting, when we all know damn well if that had happened in a strongly Bush supporting area instead of the Gore supporting area that it did, Bush would be raising an unholy stink about it. The fact is, I don't really like either of them or their tactics and behavior during this entire mess.I voted for Nader. In fact, I wrote him in as he was not even on the ballot in SC. I did
this because I don't like feeling like I am forced to choose between two candidates who I dislike. The two party system is antiquated and I beleive the Nader supporters saw his widespread grassroots campaign as exactly what he was quoted as saying after the election "This marks the begining of the end of the two party system". I don't want Bush as president, but frankly, I'm not real thrilled with the idea of Gore as president either. I think that this election has taught us two important things. One, the American people want more choice in government matters. Why couldn't Nader be in the debates? Why can't any and all of the approx. 8 candidates who stood any chance of gaining a measureable percentage of votes be allowed in the debates? So let them be 4 hours long,
let them be 6. I'd be more likely to watch them at all in that case because they'd be really interesting. I know what people will say, "so you're willing to let Pat Buchanan spew his garbage on national TV?" Yes. If we are to have freedom in this, then he must too. That is the long and the short of it. It can't be freedom for some and if we want to silence him because of his beliefs, then we are no better than he and his ilk. Two I think this election has spectacularly demonstrated the weaknesses and failings of the electoral college. This is not the first time that a president has won the popular vote
and lost the electoral college. No wonder the average american feels that their vote doesn't count.
In the end, I won't apologize for voting for Nader and I don't think many of his
supporters will. Politics is kind of like gambling and I don't think those that gambled on Naders getting 5% of the popular vote (and therefore the Green Party getting federal election help next election) feel that they have lost. He got 4% and while they won't get federal funding next time, the good showing that they made will undoubtedly get them larger and better private sponsers next time around. I think the country is ready to make some major changes and I am ready to be a part of them.


I Have A Lot Of Different Thoughts On This Situation. First And... Nov 10th. at 1:35:19 pm UTC

Jennifer (Costa Mesa, California US) Age: 28 - Email


I have a lot of different thoughts on this situation. First and foremost, I'm a democrat and voted for Gore. I haven't seen exact numbers in each state, but U do wonder exactly how Nader affected the outcome of the electoral votes in states other than Florida. If Gore had just won one more state--any other state, Bush would not have been able to have the 270 electoral votes he needed, even if Bush had Florida. If Bush gets in office, I don't want to hear people who voted for Nader complaining about Bushes conservative stance on ANYTHING!

The Republicans are saying Gore should just bow out gracefully. I can't help but think if the situation were reversed, and the ballots had people so confused that they voted for Nader when they intended to vote for Bush, the Republican party would be screaming and making accusations of vote-fixing. This is the party that spent 50 million dollars and five years investigating one single land deal in Arkansas. When the shoe is on the other foot, it's different.

The numbers I've heard today have Bush with 327 more votes than Gore. However, there were 1900 votes thrown out, and 3500 that went to Buchannan in a heavily democratic area. Even Buchannan says that's off. That makes 5400 votes in question. If they split them in half, that's 2700 more votes for Gore, which obviously puts him in the lead.

At this point, I'd worry for whoever gets the Presidency. Congress is split very closely, as is the American public. Whoever ends up in office will not get anything done and will only be a one-term President. Think about the hard time the Republicans gave Clinton, and that's just because they didn't like him. There was not this type of controversy surrounding his right to be in
office.

I hate to say it, but I almost want Bush to keep his tiny lead. I worry about the Supreme Court issue, but any nominee has to be approved by Congress and that will be really difficult. And with Bush being such a moron, at least Jay Leno, Bill Maher, Dave Letterman and company will have great material for the next few years......


I Voted For Vice President Gore. The Next President Will Have A... Nov 10th. at 1:08:28 pm UTC

Larry Hyatt (Boise, Idaho US) Age: 58 - Email


I voted for Vice President Gore. The next president will have a great impact on the supreme court with probable appointment of two or three justices. People tend to be impatient and want results immediately after an election. A hundred years ago it took 4 to 6 weeks to count all the votes and be sure they had it right. We must take our time and be sure that the voice of the people is fairly represented. Remember, the press is trying to make us angry so it will be a bigger story. Whether we like it or not we are a part of humanity, America, Your State, your town, as well as your pagan community. We all make a difference with our vote as well as our energy.


When I Decided To Start Voting My Conscience, I Started Voting Libertarian... Nov 10th. at 1:06:16 pm UTC

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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