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: Nov. 17, 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 First Of All Will Not Vote For Bush. His Views On... ||Aug 11th. at 2:02:55 am EDT|
|Kim Hunter (Spring City, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I first of all will not vote for Bush. His views on any religion scare me. I personally feel it is not the goverment's job to tell me who to worship. They have more serious things to worry about.
| I'm Heather, Age 40, A Coven Member, Pagan, And Getting More Hedgewitch-y... ||Aug 11th. at 1:53:18 am EDT|
|Heather Y. (Brooklyn , New York US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
(I'm Heather, age 40, a coven member, Pagan, and getting more hedgewitch-y by the minute!
I am number 157 to respond, and the first thing I have to say is that this gives me a huge thrill. We are talking- and we are talking real world issues! Yes!!! Maybe we have a chance to pull out of the bad habit of being obsessed with the little stupid stuff like "witch wars" ( My priestess can out-hex your preistess nyah nyah nyah!)
On to that, then. I always vote.I must preserve my right to COMPLAIN!Seriosly I am only the second generation in the direct female line born with the right to vote-born 1960, and Mom born in 1920, the year American women got suffrage. Recent studies in history have convinced me that a lot of legislators who were rather rascist decided to let White women have the vote, despite the fact that Black women would then have that right! Not too noble, is it? No, it ain't!
My points here are two-
1. Dealmaking, compromise, and constituency politics are they only way thingss get done. As citzens with one vote apiece we myust all try to keep it as clean as possible, but it still has to be done.
2. If you give one disenfranchised group rights, everyone will want them! ;-)!
Election strategy-work for the Greens to put the fear of the Gods into Gore. Vote straight Green on all local ballots, to build the party- and al l third parties.
Candidates and issues:
Point number 2 is the exact message that all us alt releigion folks should work hard on getting to Sen Lieberman whether you support him or not. We don't dare let him think the religious tolerance work is over just because he got nominated. Not hardly. My fave quote of last week is some Democratis commentator crowing over Lieberman said
"I don't care where he goes to church on Sunday!"
Actually, I feel the same basic way. I don't care if he's an Orthodox Satanist, so long as he understands that in America we separate church and state! Look at places around the world that do not- they are *still* having nasty brutal religious wars.On religion we have aggreed not to disagree.
(Happy Lughnassa, Heather. Thanks, Father Murphy- happy St. Micheal's day to you.)(Isn't that a nice little fantasy? I so want that!)
Another thing the candidates all need to have reinforced is the fact that religion, family values, and morality are all very private matters, not real political issues. "Focus on the Family" and pals should focus on their own darn families!
Bush scares me. He thinks we should institute "charitable choice"- government funding for religious charities to feed, house, heal and maybe, someday soon educate people in need. Whose religion? Ours? Ha! think about not bieng able to get an abortion or even birth control because the hospitals and clinics are run by Monotheist sects who don't approve. Think about our kids being taught "sex, pleasure, and your bodies are SINFUL!" in schools theat get public money.
Gore is a politician. He will lean out the safe center in a good way only if leaned upon. He needs to be terrorized into getting back in line with the values he expressed in Earth in the Balance. If he meant that it is time to prove it. Let every government office use only recycled materials. Get extractive indusrty (timber, mining, oil) off of the government dole, and let them make thier way in the cruel capitalist world!They never could have gotten off the ground without government funding (see your history books)
but now it is renwable tech's turn.
Gore could get behind these ideas and more.
Pat Buchanan says he will end abortion, homosexuality, and make this country "Godly" again. Gods keep him-FAR AWAY FROM WASHINGTON, that is!
The Natural Law guy's basic premise strikes me as utterly flaky - just meditate and it will all be great. 2-4-6-8, let's all sit and meditate!
Ralph Nadar is the only candidate taking a genuinely populist position. If you think, like me, that we need SOME government to keep on top of SOME things- like environmental regulation, enforcing tolerance ( as in:leave that minority ALONE!)and other complications of post-industrial life. I think the Libertarians would rescue us from intrusive government only to see our liberties, communities, our earth, air and water, our souls and imaginations stolen from us by corporations, who will sell them back at a profit. Disney Corp is already working on this!
OLD DOGGEREL: They hang the man and flog the woman / Who steals the goose from off the Common, Yet turn the greater felon loose / Who steals the common from the goose!
| At This Point In Time, I Am Currently Leaning Towards Gore. Do... ||Aug 11th. at 1:15:31 am EDT|
|Starchild (Arlington, Texas US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
At this point in time, I am currently leaning towards Gore. Do I think that a level of political involvment is important for pagans? Why of course I do! I think everyone should be involved in politics in one way or another. I am registered to vote, I most definitely will vote (I've never missed a chance to vote, and it's my very first presidential election). Right now, I think that I might vote for Gore. However, even though I do greatly dislike my govenor, and would hate to see him in the Oval office, he might be able to change my mind before November. Or maybe I'll vote third party. We will just have to see.
| The Lesser Of Two Evils Places Me As A Republican. Only Other... ||Aug 10th. at 11:28:03 pm EDT|
|Frank Scheubel (Artesia, New Mexico US) ||Age: 49 - Email |
The lesser of two evils places me as a Republican. Only other choice would be to abstain. Pagan involvement is essential, however due to the misconception by the general public I believe the most significan impact will have to occur under the disquise of religious neutality. Unfortunately, I live in the buckle of the 'bible-belt' and to openly profess ones pagan values no matter how similar to Christianity would bring on the rotten tomato. They just don't seem to understand diversilty here and would immediately reject something so foreign.
I am a registered Rep. and I'm a tree hugging geologist who works in the oil patch. Believe me when I tell you that I don't know a geologist ( I worked for Exxon for 14 years, and and independent for 6) who likes to see mother earth plundered for her riches. The industry has had its fair share of screw-ups, and I believe that they should pay for their transgressions. However, we do have a capitalistic society, we all can't raise families and walk 50 miles to work. Sorry for the rant......I've been hitting your site for over 2 years and love it... Still a closet solitary.... keep up the good work
| I Have Generally And Historically Voted For Those Running Under The Green... ||Aug 10th. at 11:16:51 pm EDT|
|Nelli (Carmel, California US) ||Age: 23 |
I have generally and historically voted for those running under the Green platform, because the political philosophies of that party march most closely with my own. This year, however, I find myself in the position of truly voting *against* someone - Bush - which means that I will have to vote for Gore. It's not that I've got anything against Gore; he's just not what I'd have for president if I could help it. He is, first and foremost, a politician - he will promise, cajole, bribe, lie and ride the fence, just like his predecessor (hopefully with a little more personal discretion, if not morality) if he manages to get elected. Darling George W., on the other hand... the idea of him in office at the same time as the current congress makes me want to either scream in rage, weep in terror, or pack up and move to a remote and isolated island in the middle of nowhere that is far out of reach of any politics. The man is stupid - really. Don't you think that a World Leader ought to be able to name at least most of the countries in the world? Stupidity in itself, of course, is not a crime. Declaring Jesus Day should be, at least for a governor (that whole separation of church and state thing...). But he looks to be a figurehead and a mouthpiece for the religious right, for anti-abortion groups, and for far right conservatives in general. He has reinforced that position by his choice of Vice-president... and the less said about *that* gentleman, the better. Maybe it will all come to nothing, but I am deeply and sincerely afraid that if G.W. is elected, we will face severely restricted freedoms of speech and religion, increased and profound environmental destruction, the loss of public lands schools, and a much higher rate of execution. Perhaps he could not do that much with only two years working with a republican congress - I devoutly hope so, because at this point, I'm pretty sure he's going to win. But I will vote, not so much for Gore, but againt Bush.
Now this is an interesting thought - what if we had the option on our ballots not only to vote for people, but against people. Each person could choose to vote for one person and against one person. So each final vote would be tallied by adding up the "for" votes, subtracting the "against" votes, and seeing who came out with the most points in the end. With a system like that, we might actually end up with a president like Nader...
I do think that pagans in this time need to be politically active, not necessarily as pagan activists per se, but as defenders of religious freedom. For me personally, environmental issues and social justice issues are close to the heart of my morality and spirituality, and so I am an activist in those realms as well. It seems to me that most pagans pride themselves in being open-minded, environmentally conscious, compassionate and thoughtful people, and I believe that anyone who sees themselves as these should be politically active in some way, as a matter of course. Political activity, of course, has become as simple as pointing and clicking, in many cases. For instance, you can go to workingforchange.com and get updates on environmental and social justice issues, and have them send an email petition in your name to the various companies, individuals and groups who are participating in harmful, unethical or dubious activities. I am sure there are many similar sites out there, so it's not like you even have to sit down at a keyboard anymore, or use up stamps and envelopes, or make up your own letters.
I encourage everyone to vote for someone, if only to excersise your rights - rights, like muscles, tend to weaken if not used. I am profoundly grateful that the pagan community has a resource like The Witches Voice, to remind us that we are part of a community, that we do matter, and that we are not alone in the world.
| I Think That Voting For A Ticket That Has A Orthodox Jew... ||Aug 10th. at 11:14:18 pm EDT|
|Oriole (Milford, Connecticut US) ||Age: 44 |
I think that voting for a ticket that has a Orthodox Jew on it greatly decreases the chances that your children will be forced to recite the" Lords Prayer", and otherwise made to bend to THIER religion, every day in school.
| As Both A Veteran And A Pagan I Feel That The Right... ||Aug 10th. at 9:51:33 pm EDT|
|Chris Kadish (Raleigh, North Carolina US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
As both a Veteran and a Pagan I feel that the right to exercise ones choice by voting to be very important. I believe that being aware of the current political climate is important to pagans as it is to any citizen Involvement wether direct or indirect beyond voting is something that I feel has yet to be explored. I would like to see a Politician who openly admits to a pagan belief and then we'll see how truly free and open America is. If this country still stands for it's citizens then I feel this will be a positive change, if not.....well I don't like to think about the outcome.
As both a Veteran and a Pagan I am registered to vote and have to look at candidates based on my concerns from both Vets and pagans. Politicians have been sadly lacking in adressing both groups needs and I think we all should get together and somehow remind them that there are more citizens than the moral majority out there.
I have not settled on a candidate yet but I am still debating their points with others around me. I will intend on voting for whomever I think will serve the publics interests the best.
| I Am Probably Going To Be Completely Lambasted For This, But I... ||Aug 10th. at 9:39:41 pm EDT|
|StormDancer (Madison, Wisconsin US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I am probably going to be completely lambasted for this, but I cannot for the life of me muster up ANY interest in this election. Gore is an idiot , Bush...appears to be his father ---IT'S SO BORING!!!
I KNOW that I need to care, that it's my life and my country, and my religious freedom at stake, but I just can't bring myself to watch more than 2 mintues on TV or read more than a few paragraphs. At least Clinton is interesting. On general principal, the lesser of two evils, I will probably vote for Gore. I like the idea of a religious "minority" as VP, and when all else fails, I usually go Democratic. But I feel like I have to choose between burned at the stake or being tied to a huge hill of fire ants--perhaps that's a bit too dramatic, but I really don't feel there IS a good choice here.
Venting over, let the slinging of dung and rotten vegetable commence....
| Yes, I Think That Some Degree Of Political Involvement Is Important. Democracy... ||Aug 10th. at 9:33:30 pm EDT|
|Pitch (Concord, California US) ||Age: 50 |
Yes, I think that some degree of political involvement is important. Democracy works things out a little better when citizens participate. Alternatively, if plenty of voters aren't turning out, then every pagan vote gets a multiplier. Every pagan vote counts for the X voters who didn't.
I am registered to vote as a member of the California Greens. I always vote in every election for which I'm elegible.
I never decide on how I'll vote until the election.
| I Am Registered To Vote In Georgia, And I'm Planning To Vote... ||Aug 10th. at 6:23:20 pm EDT|
|Megan (Athens, Georgia US) ||Age: 28 |
I am registered to vote in Georgia, and I'm planning to vote Green Party. I think Pagans should definitely get out there and vote, and vote from the heart.
| I Am Leaning Towards The Gore/leiberman Ticket At This Point. Since... ||Aug 10th. at 6:08:57 pm EDT|
|Thomas D. Van Hook - aka "Elf" (Lewisville, Texas US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I am leaning towards the Gore/Leiberman ticket at this point. Since McCain did not get the nomination, the candidate I would have preferred is not available. However, being a resident of Texas - I've watched the inept nature of Gov. Bush's hand in governmental workings. Therefore, Gore gets my vote by default. It's truly a shame that a wonderful candidate such as McCain, who speaks directly to the American public rather than above it, cannot get past the political machinations that have been set forth by both the Republican and Democratic parties.
However, if Gore fails to inspire me enough to vote for him....well, then'ts time to vote for the greater of two evils instead of the lesser...it will be time to cast my vote once again for Cthulu...
| Think Globally, Act Locally, The Rrr Has Learned To Twist To Abuse... ||Aug 10th. at 6:01:07 pm EDT|
|Terry Smith (.., Connecticut US) ||Age: 43 - Email |
Think globally, act locally, the RRR has learned to twist
to abuse civil rights rather than protect them, while trying to hide from the press as they try to pressure us all into their Procrustean bed. The importance of that concept applies at least as much to those of us interested in preventing discrimination via zoning ordinances, school boards, and local park regulations. That noted, it's a lot easier to discuss more distant national issues online.
As a constituent of Joe Lieberman, I have a collection of position letters from him over some years. He's forthright enough to state his views more directly than Bush lite or AlGore, but skillful enough at political weasel games to claim to support rights enumerated in the 1st, 2nd, or other Constitutional Amendments, but then prove that he actually strongly opposes actually protecting civil rights in real practice. Make flag burning a Federal crime more serious than aggravated assault. Reclassify all firearms as Class III NFA items, and call that "reasonable" rather than a Constitutional end run. On local discussion forums, many Bush supporters think Lieberman is suited for their ticket, due to his pro-censorship conservative Judaic notions of imposed social order, even when he attempts to temper some of them with an awareness of the importance of tolerance for diversity from the other side of his mouth.
Strange as it may sound, history suggests we might be better off with Bush Supreme Court nominations than Gore ones. Gore is no protector of the 1st Amendment, and has been an active advocate of the hate speech and discrimination against minority religionists embedded in censorship of art, religion, and politics. While Bush has failings with respect to the 2nd Am., Gore is onerous in that respect. Even though Bush gives a party line cowtowing to the Robertson RRR agenda, his family history rooted in ME, CT, and TX suggests ethical connections to judicial appointments like Souter, one of the more honest and aware of the present Justices, and not just hypocrites like Thomas. Too bad we can't elect NOTA (none of the above) if our only real choices are the different sects of the Republocrat Party. As minority religionists, regardless of our individual preferences, it helps to remember that trouncing any one civil right opens the door to treating all such rights as if mere arbitrary privileges open to regulation, including those most dear to us personally.
Hagelin of the Natural Law Party (also in Reform) is an interesting character. He fronts Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Americanized commercialized, secularized pseudo-Hindu-Buddhist Transcendental Meditation as a solution to most social ills. Their ideas might even work, if widely adopted voluntarily and without government involvement to corrupt them.
Nader seems to be attracting the attention of a lot of pagans. The Green Party hasn't done the consistent work of party building to even ballot qualify for a potential 270 Electoral College votes in past elections. The party platform includes anti-civil rights planks alongside some attractive environmental stances. It includes some proposals for social meddling by government which are impossible to implement without at least de facto religious discrimination. If we can't advocate moving government the other way, out of social programs and their inherent and unavoidable biases, we don't accomplish respecting and protecting that precious commodity of liberty which is essential to be able to do as one will if it harms none.
That leaves the one party which has accomplished ballot status in all 50 states in recent elections, plus lower offices with real candidates in hundreds of real offices, to an extent unseen since the early 1900's. That leaves the one party which recognizes that for any of us to have liberty to live out the Rede or equivalent ethics, it takes less invasive government to preserve more freedom for individuals. That points to the party which uses no tax funding of its convention, where it debates idealistic versus pragmatic compromise approaches to legal and societal issues with a common goal of government operating within Constitutional bounds, always.
That's the Libertarian party, whose slates are headed by best selling author and financial consultant Harry Browne. www.lp.org
The LP actually does have a strong pro-environment stance, though it may be confusing to people who don't study the quirks of civil law instead of invasive government regulation. The LP is the only party to broadly oppose malum prohibitums, victimless crime laws often used to badger social and religious values such as speech, nudity, sexuality, and our rights to our own bodies and minds. The LP is the only party to oppose the discrimination against solitary and small coven pagans via systems of taxes and bureaucracy that some pagans jump into, but which oppress anyone not willing or able to do the work of 6 paper pushers just to qualify. The LP supports pagans not by taking postures to make public spectacles of us and shoot photo op's, but by leaving us alone to choose and shape our own paths, at home, work, or around town.
Election law is a complex subject, where the rules and not just the vote shape the winners. Depending on local demographics, state and Federal laws, some voters will have little to no likely influence if they vote for a Republocrat, on a state by state basis. On the other hand, voting for a third party can have substantial impact on future ease of ballot qualification, and on future media coverage. It takes work to learn those local quirks, but the rumor that third party votes are thrown away is false. In some states they have much more influence with an established party like the Libertarians, and somewhat more influence with the Greens or Natural Law, than they do with either Republocrat. As to those important lower offices, different rules apply within the same ballot and slate.
It's probably pretty clear where my leanings fall. I won't suggest that all pagans are close to agreeing on political goals. I will suggest that to truly exercise our influence responsibly, it is important to go beyond the media and learn enough about election law to make considered choices, knowing that the same vote from 5 states for major or minor parties has different impact on current and future elections.
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