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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Question of the Week: 83 - 10/27/2002
Time to Talk Politics and Elections…
Eek! It’s the silly season again.
For U.S. Pagans/Heathens: The U.S. is holding mid-term elections Nov. 5th. Will you be voting? What are the issues that are most important to you? Do you vote by issue or by party? Do you have any thoughts on how it will turn out?
Non-U.S. Pagans/Heathens: The U.S. is woefully ignorant about your political processes. Please enlighten us. How many parties do you have? What are the names of the parties and what platforms do they represent? Do you have 'liberals' and 'conservatives'? How often do you vote? Do you elect representatives? How do you contact these representatives about your issues?
As always while talking politics, discussions can become heated. Please stay on the issues and do not resort to personal attacks. Further discussions should be taken to e-mail.
| Reponses: There are 109 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| Lilith ||Nov 6th. at 3:56:20 pm EST|
|Aedh Rua UiMhorrigu (New Richmond, WI) ||Age: 36 - Email |
it's not a matter of freaking out and running. I have been thinking about leaving this country for more than a decade, now. For most of my adult life I have felt like a foreigner in the United States, a country which just doesn't share my basic values. Over and over, my friends have prevailed on me, saying things like "it isn't perfect anywhere else, either", and "there is hope; things will get better".
Well, things aren't going to get better. This election reflects the fact that the American people have chosen the values of right-wing morons, and this is a sincere choice. To stay is to attempt to make the American people into what they aren't.
I don't want to keep beating my head against the wall of the American national character. Better to take my skills, my knowledge, and as many other people as I can, and put them at the service of some nation which is closer in its basic national soul to myself. I tried political activism. I tried voting. I have tried arguing with people, and pretending to agree with them in hopes of gradually reaching them. Well, there ain't nothing to reach. So, now, I'll try voting with my feet. It isn't much, but it is all that I have.
| The Real Point Is... ||Nov 6th. at 3:52:00 pm EST|
|Sati (Westminster, MD) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I didn't vote yesterday. I was working. I might have beenable to get up early and go before work, but I wouldn't have a clue who to vote for. I want to vote for someone that will protect my right to worship as a pagan. I want to vote for someone that will stand up for me even if they don't agree with me. NOt many ppl fit that description in the whole world, fewer in politics.
But the point is, we all want to vote for someone that will stand up for our rights as pagans. We all want to vote for someone that will protect our right to worship... and the heathens' right to worship, and the rastafarians'. This is what we all want. But too many pagans are afraid of coming out of the closet. They want to know they are protected before they come out. They want to know that they won't lose their family, their jobs, etc. It's not gonna happen. Until we all stand up, until we make ourselves known, we will never have the protection we want.
Yes, yes, it's hard to come out. YOu're afraid. DO it anyway. Do you really enjoy living a double life? or Living a flat out lie? I came out yrs ago. My birth family won't speak to me. Family members are born and die and no one lets me know. I can't speak to my brother, to my nephews, to my cousins. I've lost 2 jobs. I've lost friends. I've had threats made against me (including being hunted by deprogrammers). But I did it. Others do it. And everytime one of us stands up and says "I'm Pagan, I vote, I live in your community," we make it easier for the next person. How many pagans are really out? 5 or 10%? IF everyone that reads this would come out tomorrow, more ppl would have the courage to come out. If 10,000 ppl came out this month, do you think that would give 10,000 more the strength to do it next month?
Our rights will never be protected until we stop hiding.
| Ok, Phallic Phirearms Phanatics ||Nov 6th. at 3:10:38 pm EST|
|Irusan (Bastrop, TX) ||Age: 53 - Email |
Yes, I think there is something nutty about someone obsessed with
guns. I think there is something paranoic about someone who
stockpiles weapons to overthrow the government. I doubt I will
ever be able to change minds over this emotional - no, more
than emotional, this psychosexual issue. And I am no stranger to
the culture. Hell, I live in Texas. I used to live right on the
border, highest crime area in the U.S., drive by shootings all the
time, I'm the only anglo around. Never owned a gun. Never remotely
had any reason for using one, though I did chase some gang members
off my property a couple of times. I think America is just plain
insane when it comes to guns. Michael Moore's movie "Bowling for
Columbine" says it better than I can in this short space. Other
countries are free from this societal mental disease. I know I will
never convince those of you who will still be clutching your piece
in your cold dead fingers, but I am afraid guns do more harm than good.
Would that we could simply reject the temptation of firearms, as feudal
Japan did, but that will never happen. But you gunslingers sure seem
crazy to me.
| Oh Boy. ||Nov 6th. at 2:58:40 pm EST|
|lilith (still los angeles [goddess help me]) ||Age: 33 - Email |
so here we are the morning after smoking in bed feeling really really dirty and hungover and i for one am a big fan of the second ammendment and am loading my pistol for a little target practice later but if i voted for only one issue i would be a fool. and so sitting in front of the television last night watching the country go to hell, or rather even furthur into hell, or something, i thought about a little trip i took not long ago to mexico and okay, so that was hell, and my little trek to the former soviet union, and that was pretty hellish too, and i read some of the post-election posts here and thought wow, so we either rejoice because one single solitary constitutional ammendment may or may not be safe and yet everything else can go schtupp itself, or we freak out and run to canada?
these are the options?
i've quoted Dylan before and i'll quote him again
im not sorry for nothing ive done
im glad i fought i only wish we'd won.
stay cool, everyone.
| Why I Did Not Vote ||Nov 6th. at 2:31:59 pm EST|
|Confused missourian (Saint Joseph Missouri) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I realy realy realy hate to say it,but I didtn vote. Why? because I saw VERRY little coverage on the elections, so I didnt know anything about ANYONE running. They all seamed the same. ANd considering that all the adds I saw on TV where just a bunch of mud slinging, There wasnt much to know even about them being the same. I simply didnt know who to vote for. There wasnt enough information that I saw to give me a good enough idea. Quite simply, by the time that election regestration time came about, not knowing anything, I decided not to vote. My decission would have counted more perhaps being that the small number of pepole means each gets a larger peace of pie, But if you dont know ANYTHING about those running, its almost who do you want to vote for? B1 or B2? When it comes down to it, you look and realise, atleast during this election for this state from what I was able to see, It Dosnt Matter Who You Vote For. They arent going to change a damn thing. I will vote in the next election. But this one? There realy wasnt any point. I was originaly going to write about how uncomfterble I am by a republican majority in the white house, but you know what? since I didnt vote, I have verry little room to gripe. In the end though, It dosnt matter. Had I voted, The elections would have still all turned out the same. I think, THIS is why pepole dont vote anymore. I didnt vote in this election because for my state, there was no point, no usefull information, and because I truly felt that my vote dosnt matter. I almost am tempted to take a trip up to canada like the guy who posted last suggests. Not because of how the election turned out primarily (though it dose have something to do with it) but because I feal like I dont matter to this country, and that the polititans who run it, dont give a damn about the issues and only about power and getting elected. There was no one touching on issues. just vote for me because so and so uses this company to throw there trash out. It made me sick. Also, I got the fealing that there answer to trying to win the election was, throw more money at it and I will win. I heard nothing about issues. Just amount of money each runner spent on campagning, and she uses bounty paper towls instead of brawny. It was rediculous.
| Time To Leave ||Nov 6th. at 1:16:47 pm EST|
|Aedh Rua UiMhorrigu (New Richmond, WI) ||Age: 36 - Email |
Tink thanked the founding fathers of the US for bringing the world out of the dark ages. Well, the long night has returned, and there is no dawn coming. At least, not for America. For twenty years I have watched the American people gradually chose bigotry, hatred, and fundamentalism over their better values. Now, that process is complete and America has fallen.
There may well be genocide against Pagans and other non-Christians. There is precious little to stop it. Even if there isn't, Pagans will be living as they once did -- marignalized, hidden, poor, and hated. More important than the fate of our own community, is that America will now be a poorer, filthier, more ignorant, and generally more dysfunctional place. I have lived in a number of rustbelt shitholes over the years, places where a quarter of the population was illiterate, where toxic waste was in the water, where driving in the country meant enduring the stink of factory farms. I knew a Jewish Black lady in one of these towns. People used to throw garbage at her from their car windows as they drove past. This is how America will be from now on.
Frankly, I don't see any need to stay and watch this happen. I know a sinking ship when I see one, and the American ship is sinking. This rat is leaving. I have already contacted my local Canadian consulate to ask about looking for work in Canada, and whether Canada will be a safe destination. They were surprisingly supportive, but then I am a highly qualified professional whose loss to the U.S. will be another country's gain.
I recommend that all Pagans who can do the same. The United States doesn't want us, and quite frankly, I don't want America anymore, either. Like I said before, even if there is no persecution of Pagans under fundie rule, I don't want to live in a country which stands for the values I hate. If we are smart, we will pick some single country to go to en masse. The Pagan community, however, has never been that well-organized, so I suppose that I and my tuath will save ourselves as best we can, and wish eveyone else good luck.
To Pagans from other countries, I say this: the new America is not the America you once knew. America was once a great country, which saved the world from totalitarianism twice, and which stood for the common people everywhere. America was once a generous country, which worked to build up the world. America was once the freeest of nations. No more. The new America is a heartless, possibly totalitarian, out-of-control giant that wants to enslave you, to degrade your culture, to impose on you 17th century Protestantism, and to pollute the entire world. It is no longer a part of the Western world, but has chosen a fundamentalist Christianity which is every bit as repulsive as fundamentalist Islam. Resist this America with everything you have, even with military force, even _strategic_ force if need be. Resist it as you would the old Soviet Union, as you would Nazi Germany. Resist the new America as your way of remembering the older, better America which once was. Once America was the hope of the world. Now, the hope of the world is in Europe.
| Rather Pleased.......and Not So Pleased ||Nov 6th. at 1:08:08 pm EST|
|Myrddin (Wisconsin) ||Age: 55 - Email |
I am rather pleased to see some posts by folks who realize the connection between the 2nd Ammendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights. I am displeased to see the "right wing gun nuts" liberal patois still being used though. Further down, one poster apparently thinks because the Republicans win that alone is enough to consider forcible overturning of government. Interesting.
Had the Dems won across the board and a Republican said that here, most all would jump on him and call him one of those "right wing gun nut militia" types. It does prove my point about the general liberal slant and mentality though...........what's good for me is good for me and the hell with everybody else mentality. If you are Republican and fear your government, and desperately want to keep the 2nd Ammendment intact, you are a "right wing gun nut". If you are a democrat and say the same thing.........well, suddenly you AREN'T? yeah, that seems a fair and unbiased evaluation *being sarcastic*. Thing is, folks, with all the talk of gun control and the expressed desire by many in this forum for taking them away..........HOW are you going to recapture your country from any government should that time come if you let them take away your means to do so in nibbles and bites? Duh. Finally figuring it out, are we? That's what the "right wing gun nuts" have been saying for years. It's a pity you only figure it out when it comes around to biting YOU in the ass for the first time.
What's really sad? A fellow from Germany has to tell you how important the 2nd Ammendment is.
All that being said.......I am not comfortable with the outcomes of the elections this go around.
I am VERY glad to see Daschle and Gephardt likely to be gone. I am not real happy with the thought of Trent Lott taking over control. However.......thus far.......at least the 2nd Ammendment might remain no further infringed so if you folks do come to the point of having to fight for your religious freedoms due to your perceived Republican persecution, you will have the means to do so. However, as one enlightened person already pointed out, WITH the 2nd Ammendment in place, that kind of persecution is not likely to happen. Please tell me you are now GLAD you didnt allow the Dems to completely destroy that important Right? And will refuse to let them infringe on it any further in future?
Here in Wisconsin we just got a very anti-2nd Ammendment Governor and a very anti-2nd Ammendment Attorney General elected. I fear what will happen in this state far more than I do what will happen in the country as a whole. Wanna place any bets that these two bozos try to push outright bans on firearms and ammuntion as they have in the past.....only to be discovered and overturned?
Fortunately it appears we might have a Republican controlled assembly and Senate to keep those two in check.
Folks, no matter what happens do yourselves a favor. When ANYBODY from ANY party talks about taking away your full rights under the 2nd Ammendment.......SAY NO loud and clear. Maybe now, with the recent elections results.....you will get a clue why that is SO important.
And those who think so are not "right wing gun nuts". They are lovers of freedom. Real freedom.
And are prepared to keep it free through their sacrifice if necessary. The Dems have cast 2nd Ammendment rights folks as "gun nuts" who would assault your other freedoms of religion, etc. That is just not true. They tell you that so that you allow them to destroy the very part of the Bill of Rights which ensures the rest remain in play. Fear them. Fear any government. But keep your rights intact so they also fear YOU.
I would take up arms against an abusive government who trampled on the rights of its citizens wholesale no matter WHO was in power. But I can't do that if you well-meaning but dim folks allow the power elite to convince you that giving up your last means of guaranteeing freedom is "for the children". It ain't. It's "for the future oppression" they have in mind.
Thank God some of you are finally figuring it out. Now, when the Dems take back control, please remember that.
| Let's Keep Track ||Nov 6th. at 12:32:23 pm EST|
|Irusan (Bastrop, TX) ||Age: 53 - Email |
I believe one useful thing to do, in light of the Republicans gaining even more power, is
to keep careful recording of the measures they take to limit our religious rights. I am sorry that I did not point out earlier that GW Bush, while still governor of Texas, came out and said clearly that he did not believe Witchcraft is a religion and witches have no protection of their religion under the Constitution. He said this in the context of the Fort Hood Wiccan controversy of 1999.
Check it out if you doubt me. Republican Bob Barr was very zealous about denying Wiccans the right of worship. It would be good to have a website to record all such statements, plus voting records of the various political parties as regards to religious rights. There was so much incredible misinformation this time around, like the person who actually thought that the Bush administration was instrumental in bringing down Enron - don't you realize they did all they could to obstruct that
investigation? Anyway, let the Republicans show what they can do, but watch and keep records, for
next time. By the way, I am committed totally to nonviolent resistance - it is the only way to
insure real lasting change. Otherwise it is just eternal blood-feuding - the right wing gun nuts
are really following Chairman Mao's philosophy, that all power comes from the barrel of a gun.
| Anyone Else Feel The Scales Of Balance Gone Haywire? ||Nov 6th. at 12:16:44 pm EST|
|Stephanie Stanton (New Orleans) ||Age: 47 - Email |
I've horrified. And I would be nearly as horrified by a Democratic President, Senate and House. Any semblence of balance is gone. What checks and balances will we have? I doubt that I will ever see a W/P/W in the White House in my lifetime, but we must insist on having a voice. We must insist that the Constitution remains in tact. We must demand of our elected officials that they adhere to that Constitution. Hold onto your Witchhats folks, because it's going to be a bumpy ride.
| Well....crap. ||Nov 6th. at 9:29:35 am EST|
|Morrighan (Heading for a ship to the moon) ||Age: 24 - Email |
The GOP has taken control, as I'm sure most of you have already learned. What next? Have we lost our say in government? I believe so, and it's all due to the GOP party's rhetoric, what their agenda is, in other words. I don't believe they are going to listen to the masses, because for them, the "masses" have spoken and put them all into power.
How do we deal with this? In the Constitution, we are given the right to remove the government officials, forceably if necessary, to reinstate a government that best suits the idea of America. Who is going to pull together and do this? I'm afraid, we've come too far to retaliate now.
Tink, I like you admonitions. You've got a valid point. What happened in Germany can happen anywhere at anytime. I think it is happening here, slowly, but surely. It frightens me. It frightens me, but not into hiding. I say stay afloat, stay active, scream, kick, and shout, if you've got to. Let's not let them take us down without a little something.
This is not my usual post-type. I suppose it is because I'm worried for us all. There has been so much anger directed at others with this question. I feel like that anger should be directed elsewhere, because we aren't being represented. I think Tink is also right, when saying that anger and hatred are not something to be feared, as we aren't Christians. I know, I know, it's harsh, but so are our times. I'm not suggesting, of course, that we launch full scale violence. I just think it's okay to be really ticked, really disgusted with our political system, and want to kick something. This is our lives and the lives of our children. We can get mad. *She* won't mind.
| Glad We Can Agree To Disagree ||Nov 5th. at 11:11:18 pm EST|
|Tink (Germany) ||Age: 31 - Email |
Well I'm glad you to Gentalmen decided to talk more civilized. That shows your intelligence and maturity.
Observation from Outside (the US scene):
An effective Green party is helpfull to both the planet and the government. Ours is 8% of the seats in Parliment and that is enough to get many ecological measures passed without being too many so that the ecoterrorists get what they want, wich would destroy the economie. I suggest Voteing Green in your land. You won't see a Green President, but you will see more Green influance, wich can't hurt.
Not only does the American right to "Keep and Bear Arms" keep Americans free, it also keeps the rest of us free. I shutter to think of an America, with it's might, under a Bush or Gore with tottal control and no fear of the nations citizens. German citizens have been stipped of their rights before by a powerfull few, useing "anger and hatred" to catapult them to power. Don't beleive it can't happen in your country to. Ambitious people will stop at nothing to get ALL the marbles.
I believe it is a Witch's Right to hate if they want to. to hate and be angery and cuss and swear. We are not Christians. We don't Have To "love" everyone". We don't even have to Bless people we don't want to. Stop being hypocritical. Please don't say (our wright) words you don't mean. We've all had enough of that with the Christians.
I hope that things work out well over there. We are not too happy with what we got. But that is the way of Democracy. It's far better then any system that has come before it. I salute the Founding Fathers (and Mothers) of the USA for the backbone and courage it took to stand up to tyrants and in doing so lift the world out of the dark ages.
| Recycling Cans ||Nov 5th. at 5:28:09 pm EST|
|lilith (los angeles) ||Age: 33 - Email |
like i've said before, in other posts and possibly on this thread, voting is like recycling cans. aint gonna save the planet, but its something one should do. so this morning i went to the polls and voted green across the board except for one office, lieut gov, and in that case i went libertarian. i said to my mother last night that i sure as hell hope bill simon doesnt win the governor's office, but by the same token i'll be damned if i vote for an incompetant f**k like gray davis again no matter how much i want simon as far away from any political office as heaven and earth will allow.
i dont know how other states work [or dont work] but here in california when the people [stupidly] decided on severe term limits for elected officials the result has been that absolutely nothing gets done in sacramento, and the people end up with a gajillion ballot measures on things that really we should not have to deal with. for example, why should a bunch of people who in most cases know nothing about the intricacies of how the medical industry works [or doesnt work] be voting on how to control that? these are the things our legislators have abandoned to us. they are seriously overpaid for the little that they do, and the little that they do is oftentimes the WORST anyone could do.
then of course there are all the city and county measures, which are exciting, and if anyone out there cares about things like "should the san fernando valley secede from the city of los angeles" type questions, there is a hilarious historical "reenactment" floating around out there done History Channel style and i think you can find it on the NPR site, possibly the Studio 51 series-- anyway. thought i'd just rant now that i've gone and done the whole dutiful-citizen thing.
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