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Posted: Nov. 17, 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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| Yes, I Did Vote. For Nader, Much To The Chagrin Of Loyal... ||Nov 14th. at 2:23:07 pm EST|
|Trina Burke (Tallahassee, Florida US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
Yes, I did vote. For Nader, much to the chagrin of loyal Democrats everywhere, many of whom have taken great pains to let me know that my vote has single-handedly flushed our country down the toilet (I'm not sure how they've worked that out in their minds, but whatever). I voted for Nader because I feel that the current two party system isn't working and I was hoping that the Greens would get their 5% so that they could have federal matching funds in future elections. I also agree with the Green Party's environmental stance and find Nader to be a refreshingly independent candidate--he does not allow the party that backs him to define his platform. He is a candidate in his own right rather than simply a representative of a party. I find that representatives of the big two parties are better at representing the interest of their parties rather than the interests of the people.
The constitutionally sanctioned recounts (in Florida) will be over tonight. Whoever gets the most votes, even if the candidate only wins by two votes, is entitled to Florida's electoral votes and will be the winner. After 5 pm tonight we should know who that is. Only then, and not until then, do I expect concession.
I don't think any president has the power to bring this country together. It's up to the people to unite. There are many more divisions in the U.S. than simply Democrat/Republican that will be there to distract people once the election is decided.
What impact will the results have on Pagan communities? Depends on who wins and on how vocal Pagan communities are. If Bush wins, well, we all know how he feels about Wicca. But if he (or his cronies/fundraisers) don't perceive Paganism as a threat to his lifestyle or the lifestyle of his supporters, then I'm sure he won't waste the time to do anything detrimental. If he does perceive it as a threat, I'm sure he will allow his supporters to run hogwild with the anti Pagan propaganda. It's a scary prospect, and one that none of us should take lightly.
| I Held My Nose And Voted For Gore. I Don't Like Either... ||Nov 13th. at 9:06:16 pm EST|
|Christopher Bingham (Seatt;e, Washington US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
I held my nose and voted for Gore. I don't like either of the major parties, and I'm ashamed to be an American when the best we can come up with are the spoiled brat sons of of the monied aristocracy. At least Al Gore speaks in complete sentences. On the other hand GW shows that anyone with money, regardless of IQ, can make it to the presidency. What a country we live in! The least of us can make it to the top...
As for the Electoral College, and the oft quoted phrase that we're a "Republic, not a Democracy" that's true - and eliminating the electoral college would be a great step toward making us a more democratic republic. We're electing the president of the ENTIRE country - not a 50 member politburo. If people think that adding an extra level of beauracracy to the election process adds some balance or fairness to the distribution of votes, or somehaow makes folks in the less populous states "heard" think again - my vote - and the votes of about 900, 000 other folks who constitute the difference between Gore and GW may have our votes trumped by 390 disputed votes in state where the cops were giving tickets to blacks to keep them from the polls. I would say the same thing if Bush was in Gore's shoes (though maybe not as loudly) - the electoral college must go!
Also just to add to the scariness - GW, should he take office, will put forward not only the 4 possible Supremes, but (I've been told) a possible 800 judges across the entire federal bench. Imagine 800 Clarence Thomass' making decisions about police brutality, basic human rights, a woman's right to choose and we have reason to be afraid indeed.
See ya at the barricades....
| No I Haven't Voted Since I Tyrn 18. And For 22 Years... ||Nov 13th. at 8:19:08 pm EST|
|Tj. Blackhawk (Seattle, Washington US) ||Age: 44 - Email |
No I haven't voted since I tyrn 18. And for 22 years I have not noticed anything from D.C. or locally that has caused me any grief. i truely believe in the "James T. Kirk school of thought" "I hate the no win senario" Choosing between two bad choices is no choice at all. I would start voting if. they put
None of the above, as a choice.. even if it was not counted. It would show the real feeling of people in this country. Tj. Blackhawk
| We The Voters Of The Great State Of Florida, Being Of Sound... ||Nov 13th. at 7:17:43 pm EST|
|Democrat-4-Fair-Count Eli (Fort Lauderdale, Florida US) ||Age: 18 |
We the voters of the Great State of Florida, being of sound mind and judgement, did go into...
the polling centers largely unaware of the phenomenon of hanging chads, of the horrible possibility of mechanical errors, of a ballot that illegally and for no logical reason places a third party between one of the main two and in a wholly confusing manner that even some law students have admitted having trouble figuring out. The black voters of Florida did go to the polls expecting their rights to be protected, and instead finding illegal action by police officers and poll workers, and are currently staging a massive sit-in in Tallahasee I invite everyone to join in if you can, and do not deserve to be turned away because everyone knows they vote 8-1 Democrat. Elderly people are subject to intimidation and often have vision and mind problems that place them at a discriminatory disadvantage with the ballot setups, and their voting right shall be protected, because no one in their right mind can tell me that holocaust survivors in Palm Beach County voted for Pat Buchanan. The ballot was illegal, and according with the law there will be reparations. Turning away and intimidating and denying help to the elderly and black because you know who they vote for will not be tolerated, whatever little brother Jeb Bush or his Communist Secretary of State may want. A vote will never be legally called before the results are in, and we the American people will make Governor Bush and his entire party sorry for this course of action he has pursued which is clearly against the law and flies in the face of deceny. Whatever they may feel, we the American people know that voting rights of black and elderly people shall be protected as everyone's rights are protected, and that anyone involved in criminal activity will be prosecuted to the utmost fullest extent of the law, up to and including either of the candidates themselves. We the voters of the Great State of Florida officially demand that our voting rights be protected as our Constitution guarantees and that anyone attempting to subverting that right be publically persecuted (let King George II have a piece of your mind). Here and all over our great nation, wherever it happened and whyever it happened, whoever it hurt and whoever it benefitted, any misconduct in the voting process shall be retroactively corrected, and the proper winner inaugurated only when that process is absolutely complete, because we the American people need a full taste of the fraudulency of our voting system up to and including having a lame duck President serve past his term if that's what it takes to motivate us enough for election conduct reform including a Federal ballot standard. These things will be fulfilled pursuant to that grand and wonderful, magickal word Democracy, which shall never be taken for granted or allowed to flounder in the eyes of the world.
| Yes, I Voted. I Should Have Voted For Browne, But I Choked... ||Nov 13th. at 6:05:25 pm EST|
|Sprite (Portland, Oregon US) ||Age: 25 |
Yes, I voted. I should have voted for Browne, but I choked at the last minute and voted for Bush. The Democratic Party has just made one too many attacks on personal responsibility and personal liberty for me to stomach it any longer. Not that the Republican Party exactly shines on those issues, but they seem less interested in trying to take care of me or conscripting me to take care of someone else. I like helping people out, I would just rather do it directly than have the federal government orchestrate it by force.
The situation in Florida is a mess. Both candidates missed the opportunity to try and bring the nation together. Instead they are both as divisive as ever. Had they just acknowledged that it was important that an accurate count be tallied, agreed together on a fair manner of achieving that and to stand by the results, we would all probably have a little more faith in both of them. Instead it seems that they will both keep recounting and litigating until the results come out in their favor. And here's a scary thought...if they can't get this thing worked out by inauguration day, Strom Thurmond is next in line.
Whatever happens the president-elect's first year will be a bumpy one.
As far as how either candidate will affect the pagan community if he holds office, my honest opinion of Mr. Gore is that he would sell any one of us up the river if he thought it would get him two votes in the next election. Mr. Bush is misinformed. Although I do not see him ever being a champion for the pagan cause, I do see him as being able to admit he's wrong if the pagan community will attempt to educate him in a civilized manner. I also think that he is a man who will be able to discern the boundaries between his personal beliefs and what is legally permissable under our constitution.
Which brings me to my next point, and I'm climbing up on a soapbox here, so just skip over if you aren't interested. I've got to put my two cents in about the electoral college. Our country was designed as a Republic not a Democracy, for one reason--to protect the least of us from the most of us...that includes protecting pagans from the sect of christians who would see us silenced. The electoral college is part of that designed. It was recognized that different regions would have different needs, hold different values, and harbor different concerns. The electoral college is an effort to give each of those regions (states) a voice. Do away with the electoral college and New York, Illinois, California, Texas, and Florida will decide the elections. Not only that, but minority groups can consolidate within a state and potentially sway that states vote for president. Their voices are heard and their concerns are noticed. Do away with the electoral college and you effectively weaken the minority voice.
Okay, I'm off the soapbox now.
| Oh, Man! I Don't Want George Dubyah In The White House, But... ||Nov 13th. at 5:57:08 pm EST|
|Shayla (Phoenix, Arizona US) ||Age: 34 |
Oh, man! I don't want George Dubyah in the White House, but I certainly don't like what's going on. I think what's happening reflects badly on the Democratic party. This needs to be resolved as soon as possible.
| I Voted For Al Gore, Because I Believe In His Ability To... ||Nov 13th. at 5:42:50 pm EST|
|Romy (Los Angeles, California US) ||Age: 24 |
I voted for Al Gore, because I believe in his ability to fairly and intelligently represent our country on an international level. Both George Bush and Ralph Nader lacked this crucial experience in my opinion, although I hope to see more from the Green Party in the future. Personally I see real changes happening on levels closer to home, so I am not in great fear about our country being divided, or power moving too far to any side. I feel that the president holds most of his power in the words he chooses, and in thsi respect I think Gore would serve us well.
I do not understand the amount of furor people feel about the election results being delayed. No matter what happened, we would not have a new president until January anyway. People need to practice a little patience-- it is more important that we resolve the issues in Florida carefully rather than speedily. And I can certainly understand both parties being unwilling to concede-- why give up when the answer is so unclear, even the media is unwilling to call it?
| I Am Proud To Say "i Voted!" I Am Equally Proud To... ||Nov 13th. at 5:06:58 pm EST|
|Jenny Dowding (Sacramento, California US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I am proud to say "I voted!" I am equally proud to say that I voted for Al Gore. I've been holding my breath through these recounts hoping that the results would swing for Gore, but more importantly, I want to know WHO WON. If George W. won, then so be it, I'm not going to riot in the streets. I just want to know that, after all votes were counted, the man who moves into the Whitehouse is the one that was chosen by the people. This hissy-fit being thrown by the Republican Party finally reached the point of ridiculousness when they threatend to call for recounts in states where the margin of votes was 5, 000 - 6, 000. Whoever becomes President knows that half the country didn't want them in office. At the very least, we need to be absolutely certain that the right man takes office.
| Did I Vote? You Bet I Did. I Voted For The Socialist... ||Nov 13th. at 5:04:20 pm EST|
|Adelandaya BirchGrove (DeKalb, Illinois US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
Did I vote? You bet I did. I voted for the Socialist candidate McReynolds because I believed he'd do the best job in office of any of those running. If I hadn't written him in, I would probably have voted for Nader. I make my choices based not upon "keeping bad people out of office, " which seems to be how most people made their decision this election year, but on voting for "good people who will do a good job in office." My conscience would never let me vote for the lesser of two evils...which by definition is still evil.
I think that what the two candidates and their parties are doing right now is just great! It's showing the country that (a) we need to disband the Electoral College, which is ensuring that our votes don't count both within our states and nationally; (b) both parties are greedy vote grubbers who will do anything to win; (c) both parties don't really care about issues but about winning and making the other look bad, and thus may well (d) lead to the abolition of the College and the establishment of third parties as a viable alternative to the Big Two...who look more like One Party with Two Slightly Different Faces to me.
Oh, the politician who wins won't do anything to bring the country together. They'll spout a lot of words about "working bipartisan" and "ensuring all perspectives are represented" -- especially if Gore wins because most Democrats pay at least a little attention to diversity -- but then they'll do whatever their parties and PACs tell them to. This will hopefully enrage even more of the country so we can have a real two party system...where the Greens or Socialists or Libertarians make a real second party alternative to the Republicrats and Dumbublicans.
The final results will almost certainly be neutral to bad for Pagans in general. Bosh and Bore have no reason to like or respect our religious faith; Bosh already said it isn't a religion, and Bore chose Lieberman who is at least as conservative as Bosh on religion. However, we're organized, more and more of us are "out, " one of the new articles on WitchVox says we're at least 13-14 million strong, and we're WINNING lawsuits against those who think they can trash us with impunity. I, for one, won't be forced into a closet by the unConstitutional actions of our next President.
And I urge my fellow Pagans to be as out, yet as networked with others of different faiths as possible. Remember, our faith won't be the only one on the chopping block. If Paganism isn't a real religion, what about Hinduism? It also has karma concepts, beliefs in diversity as acceptable, etc...and Buddhism also has Karma, no? Not to mention Unitarian Universalists and other liberal religionists in general. Americans United is mainly organized by Christians who want to keep our churches separate from state oppression. The ACLU has defended us often, yet I'd bet a majority of members aren't Pagan. If we stick together with sympathizers and stay "out" and ready to fight, we'll make it through anything.
Never again the Burning Times. Never again the closet. There's no room for all my nice ritual tools in the closet anyhow! ;)
| Yes, I Voted In This Election. I Cast My Vote For Al... ||Nov 13th. at 3:46:17 pm EST|
|Rhiannon SummerMoon (Radcliff, Kentucky US) ||Age: 48 |
Yes, I voted in this election. I cast my vote for Al Gore, for no other reason than he seemed to be the lesser of two evils. I do not think that either candidate should concede; if there's been some tampering with the ballots, then we need to know it so we can prevent it from happening again.
| I Voted. And Yes, I Cast My Vote For The Lesser Of... ||Nov 13th. at 2:10:23 pm EST|
|Lasairchroidhe (The Flaming Heart) (Cedar Rapids, Iowa US) ||Age: 35 |
I voted. And yes, I cast my vote for the lesser of 2 evils. I think the stalemate needs to go on for a while yet to really let the message sink in - "Not enough of us liked either one of you enough to elect you. Most of us don't trust either of the 2 parties that think they're in charge enough to even BOTHER coming out to vote."
What Brother Isaac says in his essay on supporting Pagan enterprises is absolutely correct. I'm not going to quote him here, because I want you to read it - but what applies here is this: If we want political change we have to work for it. If we want political security, we have to fight for it. And if we want our political voices to be heard, we have to PAY for it. We have to start putting our monies where our mouths are, and making financial sacrifices to ensure that we as a spiritual community can be a force for positive changes in this world. Did you volunteer your time or pledge your dollars to support the political candidates that were most likely to support the things you hold dear? Did that person get elected, or even make a dent? Do you support your local public radio station? Pagan artists are NOT getting airplay on commercial radio but they will get airplay on NPR and APR stations. Do you support local alternative/independent publications? They're the newspapers that are most likely to look to our viewpoints and take us seriously and portray us as SMART people instead of as curiosities.
As a musician working outside the mainstream I see this all the time. If everybody who told me I was wonderful or that I'd changed their life or whatever else had bought one of my CDs, I'd not have to work for a living anymore. If everyone who gave me a standing ovation at the end of the night bought a CD on their way out the door, I'd be able to devote myself entirely to my work. And my work gets airplay all over the country, and it's got a strong Pagan message, so supporting me gets our message out there.
The really wonderful thing about this is, if we start taking ourselves seriously and supporting the artists and the writers and the people that make our community thrive and grow, WE THRIVE AND GROW. To borrow a cliche from every public radio or TV fundraiser in the history of broadcasting, for the price of a cup of coffee a day we can make a HUGE difference in not just our own lives but in the life of our community, whether those dollars go to support political candidates, go to buy books or music from Pagan authors and musical artists, or go to support newsletters and websites maintained by our our brothers and sisters for our benefit. GIVE of yourself so that we may all grow. You want to change the world? It takes action, and it takes money.
| Yes I Voted And I Voted For Democrats On The National Level... ||Nov 13th. at 2:08:30 pm EST|
|michel a. burkhart (st. louis , Missouri US) ||Age: 47 |
yes i voted and i voted for democrats on the national level feeling that another bush in the white house would not be a good thing and i just have a hard time voting republican for anything, although i feel both parties have there own agenda's and they are not neccesarily mine, on the local level i voted for as many of the alternate party canidates as i could, the ones who's goals and objectives most closely matched, mine, mostly green party canidates..as much as i would have liked to voted for all alternate party canidates across the board i think what has happened in this election is that those 3rd party votes took away the decisive win we usually see.. iam torn between thinking if more of us had voted our concience instead of the "lesser evil" this might not have happened and the thought that maybe voting for the "lesser" when you know the alternative is the "greater" is the way to go..
i don't know the answer, but we have 4 years to puzzle it out before next time.
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