Philosophy with Attitude

From Wed Nov  8 12:32:29 2000
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 12:32:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Voted for Nader?  Didn't vote at all?        

Warning: This message contains a Jan Rant. Do not read if you do not wish to be potentially upset.

Voted for Nader?

Hope you enjoyed voting your conscience; it's the last time you'll get that feeling for the next four years. From now until the next election, the Christian Coalition, the NRA, the pro-lifers, Big Tobacco, and big oil will be calling the shots. Time to bend over and spread 'em, because we're all going to get screwed. Hard.

I'm sure it was easy to vote for Nader, thinking you would send a message to the Big Politicians, resting easy in the comfort of the Middle Class. Guess what? He didn't make the difference he wanted to: the Green Party still doesn't get Federal matching funds in the next election. What he did do was pull votes away from Al Gore -- in New Hampshire, Gore lost to Bush by less than 8,000 votes. If 1/3 the people who had voted for Nader had voted for Gore instead (and I don't think that's unreasonable), Gore would have won the national election by one electoral vote.

Unfortunately, the people Gore would have represented don't have middle class comforts. They are the children who may now sit silent in public schools while a prayer is read over the intercom, or worse, in schools bankrupted by vouchers. They are the women who may face medical danger in surgical abortions, instead of being allowed the safer alternative of RU-486, or even of access to good contraceptives. They are the kids in Head Start who will miss all the good that the program had done, but which is in danger of being overhauled by Dubya. They are the millions of uninsured (including myself) who will definitely not be seeing relief under a Republican administration.

Maybe you're lucky, and none of these things apply to you. But I know that somewhere along the line, something that Bush does *will* affect you personally. Whether it is the appointment of one or several conservative justices to the Supreme Court, or the mandates given by the Surgeon or Attorney General, there will be ramifications. Think the presidency is just a figurehead position? Think again. There were many times in the past eight years that Clinton vetoed legislation by the Republican-led congress. Bush is certain not to do that, being that he is one of them. Remember the so-called "Religious Freedom Amendment?" That had the potential to affect every non-Judeo-Christian in the nation. It will come back, I promise you, and this time, it might just pass.

You may claim that the Democrats and the Republicans are just two sides of the same coin. In some respects, that may be true. But on issues like religious freedom, a woman's right to control her reproductive destiny, fair taxation, medical coverage (for all, not just an elite few), and the place of governmental controls on big business, there are clear and frightening differences.

Didn't vote at all?

I don't mean if you couldn't vote; that's something else entirely, and probably not under your control. I mean if you just couldn't be bothered to go to the polls. Nevermind the fact that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have died wishing for the right that you took so completely for granted. It's just one day out of 1461, but if your leisure time was more important to you than the future of the country, I guess that's your prerogative. But don't EVER let me hear you complain, not even once, about the political climate in the next four years. If the president, his cabinet, his appointees, the Senate, or the House do anything you don't like, keep it to yourself in my presence, because if you didn't make your voice heard in this election, you have absolutely no right to complain. Not even a little bit. You had your chance, and you blew it.

Words cannot express how pissed off I am about this election. So few votes could have made such a huge difference. The race in Florida is being won by Bush by a margin of less than 2000 votes (as of noon on Wednesday). If even a tiny proportion of people who didn't vote or voted for Nader had voted for Gore, we would be seeing a very different future.

For myself and my child, I fear the next four years. I am glad I had planned to homeschool Stephen, because I don't want him stuck in public schools that have to bow to the Religious Right, as they will in a Republican-controlled country. I hope that Bush doesn't do for national health care, including New Hampshire Healthy Kids (which is run on federal funds), what he did to the Texas health care system, because Stephen is covered by NHHK, and his parents, not at all. I am glad we don't face the prospect of becoming homeless, and having to seek shelter in a proselytizing church instead of a state-sponsored program, because Bush has decreed that "faith-based" charities are more worthy of taking care of those in need.

Most of all, I hope that those of you who fell into the two categories above, and that may be a lot of you, can sleep at night when the first challenges to our freedom are presented. When Roe v. Wade is negated by the Congress, when a flag-burning amendment passes and is not vetoed, when any of these things come to pass, you can look in the mirror when you want to know who to blame.

Disgusted (but with love),

****************** ******************
*  Jan Andrea * Better a bleeding heart than none at all.  *
*  aka *  Religious freedom means ANY religion.  *
****** Proud Atheist since 1974 *** Dare to think for yourself! ******

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