Here in the United States, Election Day is looming. It’s what we call an “off year,” which makes it more important than ever for Pagans to come out in force and vote according to their values. Why? Because most of the offices up for grabs in an off year are local, and it’s by winning seats in local government that we begin the process of changing the political discourse.
How else would minority religions like fundamentalist Christianity wield influence so disproportionate to their numbers? It’s because their adherents are regular voters, and get behind one candidate. Pagans, since we range from hunters who put magical sigils on their rifles to committed vegans who would never take a life, might have a harder time getting behind one candidate, but I’m less concerned with the big picture and moreso with the small one: you, in a voting booth, on the fifth of November.
Vote like a Pagan, I say, knowing full well that Pagans probably hold even more widely diverse political views than Christians do. Vote like a Pagan, I say, because I believe that we despite the differences we love to discuss, we have more in common with each other than we do with the rest of the world. Vote like a Pagan, I say, because local elections frequently hinge on a handful of votes, and your vote can start someone off on a promising political career, or stop an evil person in their tracks.
It can be frustrating to decide on candidates at this late hour, but your quality of life is impacted every day by those in office, so it’s worth the effort. If you’re unsatisfied with the choices, we can talk about how to identify strong candidates for next time around. But voting is powerful — not only do you participate in democracy directly by casting a ballot, you also become more noticed if you vote more often. Candidates sift through voter rolls, seeking “super voters,” those who vote more often than every four years, and bend their ears. Voting makes you part of the process.
Get out there and vote this November 5. Vote like a Pagan, whatever that means to you, but by the gods, vote!