On Voting

Wed, 07 Oct 1992 05:50:56 -0700 (PDT)


The recent messages posted on voting have reminded me of some items I wish to
relate to you.

There is an anecdotal story, "The Power of One Vote", about a New England
farmer who, because he had an ailing farm animal, skipped out on voting. His
choice of candidate for congress, a dove in modern terms, lost by one vote.
The fellow who went in his place voted to go to war with Mexico, which passed
--- by one vote.

Discouraged by presidential politics in 1980, I wrote Barry Commoner onto my
ballot. It just so happened that Ronald Reagan won my county over Jimmy
Carter --- by one vote.

Recently I read about the Grover Cleveland/James Blaine election of 1884. A
single state, New York, had enough electoral votes to swing the election
either way, and Cleveland won it by about 1700 votes. In 1960, John F.
Kennedy won over Richard Nixon by about 118,550 votes. Keep in mind that the
number of folks who have attended Rainbow Gatherings must be well in excess
of 118,550, and that even individual regional gatherings have exceeded 1700
in number. A small number of votes can make a big difference.

I also ask you to keep in mind the following:

In 1980, liaisons from the Rainbow Gathering met with Vice President
Mondale's office. Would that happen today with Dan Quayle?

The Reagan/Bush administration has been selling lumber off the National
Forests at below cost and allowing cattle to graze on environmentally
sensitive lands while at the same time proposing user fees so that us
citizens would be charged money to use our own land.

Except for the '72 & '80 Gatherings, the Gatherings which have received the
most opposition from the Forest Service, the most surveillance from federal
law officials, the most legal challenges and the most people turned away at
the border, took place during the Reagan/Bush years.

The only political stand the Gathering takes is in support of the rights of
expression. In light of the Reagan/Bush record on these rights, is it not
time for a change?

The act of voting in a winner-take-all election may be foreign to those of us
accustomed to consensus, when a single objection may stop the whole for
further reflection and contemplation of an issue. To those of you used to
this mode, even though you may not like any other candidate, I ask that you
just say "NO" to four more years of Bush/Quayle by voting for someone else.

Thanks for your time...

Love & Light

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