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November 8th, 2005


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07:35 am - Get out and vote, you bastards.
May the gods of my people hear my prayers;
as we go to the polls to choose our leaders,
may it be with wisdom.

       -Ceisiwr Serith, A Book of Pagan Prayer

It is always very nice to know that there's a book of Pagan prayer out there that's got some useful stuff in it. I took mine to the polls this morning, and prayed before I began voting. I prayed aloud, but in the confines of my booth, where no one else needed to hear me. It's interesting: I was praying for all of us, but didn't want to disturb my fellow voters. Not that more than five people would have heard me. . . turnout is shockingly low this year.

These "gods of my people," today's Teutates, are Ladies Liberty and Democracy, I think. If I've learned anything from my Paganism, it's that it can be a truly patriotic religion, on occasion deifying those things that we hold most sacred as Americans. Our concepts of freedom and equality are deeply rooted, and we believe firmly in them. We may consider dissent patriotic, along with the belief that tolerance should be held as a high standard (despite my problems with the word "tolerance"), but we are certain that our voice is important and that it will be heard.

Sometimes, I am disturbed by the serious lack of constructive criticism I hear from my Pagan peers, but then, it's about the level that I hear from everywhere else, too. Heck, no one is perfect.

After that short prayer I pulled out my candidate cheat sheet (giving political parties and other fun facts) and went to town.

I voted on the things that were important to me, and I'm happy with my choices. I also voted against my least favourite candidate on the ballot, Eddie Pauline, who quite literally stole my email address and keeps sending me crap.

As for issues? Well, I made my decision in the booth, as I always do. I voted for some things I didn't expect to and against things I expected to vote for. The funny thing is, I have a tendancy to forget what I voted for which issue when I leave.

Hell, I have trouble remembering which presidential candidate I voted for in 2000, and if I didn't know the precise issue that changed my mind while I was in the booth, I probably wouldn't even know who got my vote that year.

But I'm sure that I made the right choices for me. It's probably the longest I ever spent in the voting booth, reading through issues. But the thing about going to cast your vote? It feels empowering. It feels right. It feels good. (Even if, like me, you're unsure if your vote was counted in the last election.)

Yes, I expect my friends to have voted today. At least, if your voting day is today, as it is if you live in Ohio.

You cannot complain if you did not vote. And I really do feel that it is your civic duty. Some days, I figure regular trips to the polls should be a requirement for citizenship.
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: "Trouble on the Horizon", -JB

(46 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:tanrinia
Date:November 8th, 2005 03:43 pm (UTC)
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bah! where did you get cheat sheet????? i looked for one this year and couldn't find it!
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 8th, 2005 03:46 pm (UTC)
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They sent me one. Probably because I'm one of those problem children: someone who votes his conscience.

Being a registered independent with a listed phone number and address is like the mark of death. We had 6 calls on our answering machine last night about various issues and candidates.
From:tanrinia
Date:November 8th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)
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"they" who?

i believe i am actually registered as 'independent' as well. (although i am thinking of applying to be a poll worker, and you have to declare something, so i may have declared democrat...i can probably check that somewhere).

last election (2004) i could go to the www.ohiodems.org and get a list of endorsements. i assume ohiogop or whatever it is had/has a similar list. i didn't follow them all but at least i knew which ones in case party DID matter to me.
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 8th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
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My half doesn't say who "they" are. I presume the Dems. Who knows, though? Tina's half, I'm sure has the "paid for by" data.

*nods* It's not overly important to me what party a person is, generally. But it's a nice thing to have, really. Which is why I dragged this bit along with me when I went to vote. I've already gotten rid of my master list, abandoning it to the office shredder (my parents instilled a strong "your vote is your business, no one else's" ethic in me about candidates).
From:tanrinia
Date:November 8th, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
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usually i don't care about party, as i have precious little trust in any of them :) however, given the 'state of the state' and who's been in control at the state level pretty consistently for the past 25 years or so, on the state races (of which there are none today) i've tended to vote strict party lines the past couple of times.

oh, and judges who use the phrase "legislate from the bench" get an immediate "no" vote. if they want latch on to buzz phrases, fine, but at least latch on to one that shows you have a modicum of comprehension of how the separation of powers work...grr.
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 8th, 2005 06:13 pm (UTC)
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*nods*

It astounds me that the right can constantly come up with terms such as "legislating from the bench" and "judicial activism". I mean, the ability of the right to market such phrases to Americans is astounding to me. Absolutely astounding.
From:ceolnamara
Date:November 8th, 2005 05:01 pm (UTC)
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Hmm. I registered as a Republican when I was 19. Minus the social policy, it's not too far off.

Yes, I am admitting to my evil!
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From:rfunk
Date:November 8th, 2005 05:40 pm (UTC)

minus the social policy

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These days, "minus the social policy" doesn't really seem to leave much beyond invading other countries and consolidating power.
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From:qorinda
Date:November 8th, 2005 05:53 pm (UTC)

Re: minus the social policy

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How true.
From:ceolnamara
Date:November 8th, 2005 09:33 pm (UTC)

Re: minus the social policy

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Well, I meant financial stuff ... I'm still under my father's wing and Republican financial policy is better for him. I am nothing if not loyal.

That, and it'd be foolish to vote for my father to get more taxes.

But, I think we had this conversation last fall ;-)
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From:rfunk
Date:November 8th, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC)

Re: minus the social policy

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I know you meant financial stuff. Thing is, Republicans in office just keep throwing out the fiscal conservatism in favor of appealing to the social conservatives. In the old days, fiscal conservatism meant not putting the government deeper into debt (inevitably increasing the eventual tax burden on later generations), but anymore it seems that philosophy has moved to the other side of the aisle.

I'll say only one thing about the stuff related to our earlier conversation: Could it be that Republican policies are making it harder for you to get out from under your father's wing?
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From:smithing_chick
Date:November 9th, 2005 09:11 am (UTC)
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Funny- when I first registered back when I turned 18, my Mom talked me out of registering as a Socialist. I'm still listed as Independant.

Social issues have always mattered far more to me than money, I guess. Maybe because I was poor in the Reagan era & saw first-hand how just much trickle-down economics & tax cuts didn't work.

And the only tax break that's ever done me any good was one put in place by Clinton- being able to claim school tuition & student loan interest.
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From:rfunk
Date:November 8th, 2005 06:44 pm (UTC)

conscience

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I've always voted my conscience, it's just that I quickly noticed that the people who agreed with my conscience overwhelmingly tended to be of one party. So I finally gave in and admitted to being of that party. (With occasional flirtations with Greens and even Natural Law.)

Unfortunately, in North Canton almost every race is a choice between two Republicans, so it comes down to trying to intuit which one is the sane Republican and which one is the scary Republican.
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 8th, 2005 06:50 pm (UTC)

Re: conscience

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It's tough trying to sort the crazies from the sanes, isn't it?

One day, they may yet perfect a mathematical formula for them.

I should try mapping political campaigns out onto the Tree of Life and see if that helps. . .
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From:rfunk
Date:November 8th, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC)

crazies from the sanes

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The best way I've found to sort the crazies from the sanes is that the crazies put "family values" as their top priority. Bonus crazy points if they have more kids than fingers.

But these days it seems that their strategy is to only be direct and honest about their views to the people they already know agree with them, and not let the rest of us hear about it except via coded phrases that are only supposed to be noticed by fellow crazies.

Sometimes I've had to resort to guilt-by-association: If I'm pretty sure someone's a crazy, anyone who endorses them must be a crazy, therefore anyone endorsed alongside them is also likely to be a crazy. Not totally reliable, but it helps in the absence of better detection methods.

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