bunt sign

Thursday, September 5, 2002

Today's Chronicle has an article proclaiming that voter dissatisfaction with the major party candidates for governor is "unprecedented." Why, then, will most Californians continue to mark the box for the Democrat or the Republican?

Here's the choice they think they have: We can reelect the incumbent Democrat, who is working to defeat a personal privacy bill in the legislature, so that he doesn't have to choose between signing and vetoing it. Or we can elect a Republican who caves in to right wing pressure and recants his support for gay rights, and who also claims to know nothing about the mismanagement of the company that he uses in his résumé to prove he's a successful business manager.

They're wrong, these cynical California voters who believe it's forever inevitable that the dregs rise to the top in politics. It's not inevitable if there's a real alternative, and this year there is. Actually, there are several alternatives, but most of them are at least as scary as the two big guys.

Still, I wouldn't mind seeing the Libertarian candidate, Gary Copeland, take some votes away from them, even though he wants to privatize education. You also have my permission to vote for Iris Adam of the Natural Law Party, even if Transcendental Meditation is part of its foreign policy platform. (Well, why not?)

Personally, I'm voting for the Green Party candidate, Peter Camejo, and I implore anyone who can find it in their conscience to do the same. The party's ideology involves more than ecological principles. It also embraces feminism, diversity, social justice and nonviolence. That's why I feel I'm making a positive statement by voting for Camejo (as well as a negative statement by voting against the "mainstream" candidates who the common wisdom would like me to believe have the only real chance to win).

Wasted vote? Hardly. This might be the most satisfying ballot I've ever cast in my life, because to me there's a clear difference, a huge gap in integrity and credibility, and I'm on the right side of it. Well, the left side, actually, but you know what I mean.

Over the past year, we've had to defend ourselves. We were attacked. Thousands of our citizens were murdered simply because the way we live and what we believe are repugnant to a fringe sect. These people got our attention, and the attention of the world, by committing unthinkable atrocities. Some people thought we deserved to be attacked, and we've had to defend ourselves against that way of thinking, too.

The reaction to the attacks has included an insidious trend toward narrowing the scope of our liberty, and we've defended ourselves against that as well. The very aspect of our life that was attacked from the outside has also been attacked from the inside. We can't stop resisting all attempts to limit free speech and free thought. We will not react out of fear, and we definitely won't vote out of fear. The chance to move in a more progressive direction should be seized at every opportunity.

That's why I'm proud to vote Green this November. I'm proud that this country provides me with a choice, and proud that if enough of my fellow citizens make the choice with me, no agency of government or military force will prevent my candidate from taking office and enacting the will of voters more open to the needs of all the people, all over the world.

under the oak

Standing under the old oak, looking out at the fields and trees beyond my yard.

This is just a step in a process toward a more responsive, responsible government. There's a presidential election in 2004, and I'm starting to look forward to it with keen interest. Bring it on.

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Latest recommendation:

Jill, Mighty Like a Rose, September 5, Menace On The Streets

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One year ago: Stand Down
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