Tuesday, March 06, 2007

On Clout, or the Lack Thereof

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Illogical, irreverent, and ill-conceived since 2005!

What do the following have in common?

1. The United Auto Workers
2. The American Civil Liberties Union
3. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
4. Mothers against Drunk Driving
5. The Sierra Club

Not a whole hell of a lot, you say. How about this group?

1. The Westboro Baptist Church
2. Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids
3. Daughters of 1812
4. Hannidate
5. Green Party

Even less, right?

Sorry, wrong. The first group has an important cache (accent acute). They have clout. The outfits in column two, by virtue of numbers, cash on hand, and distribution over the general population, have no clout whatsoever.

Oh yeah, you may see those dunderheads in the Westboro Baptist Church on t.v. from time to time. The overwhelming majority of Americans watch the t.v. and say, "God, are those people morons." And then WBC is forgotten instantly.

Whoever heard of the Daughters of 1812? Trust me, they exist. They have a national society. The youngest member is probably about 62.

I wonder who has more members, the U.S. Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, or the Daughters of 1812? Thank goodness both of them have more members than WBC, which seems to consist of one family that retains a great deal of Australopithecus DNA.

The point I'm after here is this: Pagans are not going to be taken seriously, no matter what they wear. In order to be taken seriously in America you need to be numerous, well-heeled, and organized. As far as I've seen, the whole point of Pagan worship is to be independent of central organization. The idea of a Southern Pagan Leadership Conference doesn't appeal, savvy?

I don't have any ready solution for this dilemma, because of course your average Pagan would like to see some social change. Oh, say, like the end of this moronic inferno in Iraq. Or state recognition of same-sex marriage. But in order to get those things done, Pagans would have to organize.

Then they would bicker. Have you ever known a large group that didn't erupt regularly with well-publicized bouts of bickering? Look at these mainstream Christian yearly conventions and see how they're resolving the burning issue of gay clergypeople. Yuck. Ack. Who wants that?

But if those same conventions want a big-name politician to come greet them and give a rousing speech, you can best bet they'll get whoever they call. I'm not going to hold my breath until Candidate Clinton addresses the Daughters of 1812.

Suppose Pagans suddenly exploded in the population, until they could actually have significant political clout? Suppose those same Pagans could vote into office candidates who would enact laws respecting same-sex marriage, a drastic program to curtail CO2 emissions, and massive preservation of wild lands, including the end to Mountaintop Removal? Okay, how would that make Pagans different from the fundies, except in philosophy?

Oooooooo. Annie gonna get in some deep buzzard droppings here.

Earlier I said I didn't have a solution for this problem. Actually I do. It's called Separation of Church and State. Suppose all existing Pagans, and all Pagans to come (of which I predict there will be many more than D of 1812), joined the Green Party?

Aren't you fed up with politics as usual? I know I am. Let's take our minimal clout and try to maximize it.

Before you scold me by saying that Ralph Nader caused Al Gore to lose the 2000 election, let me answer. I hear you. Al Gore would make a splendid candidate for the Green Party.

Okay, swing away. I'm wearing 100 pounds of fake vulture feathers. I won't feel a damn thing.



Photo: Communications Workers of America, Labor Day 2006


BBC said...



But to have clout all the 'pagans' have to band together.

Na, that won't work either.

They have as many different views as the stupid christians and muslims.

Give up, all is lost. Just enjoy the rest of your life the best you can.

BBC said...


That makes you

Part of the problem

In trying to honor all these different things

Think about it.

indifferent children said...

I discourage voting for a third-party (like the Green Party). Voting for a third party doesn't convince the Democrats that they must become more liberal. It just tells them that you are unwilling to compromise at all, and if their platform is not 100% in line with your preferences, then you will not vote for them. Since they know that a 100% left platform will result in perpetual losses in national races, you have made yourself a non-entity in their eyes.

Vote far-left in the primaries, to show the party which way to turn, but hold your nose and vote for the centrist come election time. The alternative is more neo-cons (or worse).

Doesn't Nader's "There's no difference between Bush and Gore" line seem really, incredibly, abysmally stupid from our current vantage point?

Rosie said...

I was wondering if you were with the OBOD. I was with them when I lived in the UK. That was pre-internet.

I'm not sure if the nature of neo-Pagan belief is condusive to unification. I have a feeling it would end up like all of the fractured sects of Baptists we have here in Appalachia, with everyone bickering about whose Goddess was better.

I love Al Gore. He actually was the Green Party candidate...we just didn't realize it at the time.

buddy don said...

the best idee is one we aint lackly ever to git in this cuntry, witch that wood be to git rid of the two-party (either/or thankin!) in favor of a parliamentarian system.

indifferent children sed it purty good. ifn ye vote third party, ye vote fer losers n let the better oranized other party win.

taint a easy problem to solve or address. tiz good to be discussin it.

BBC said...

Democracy gives us the government we deserve. Just saying.

Tennessee Jed said...

In our country there is no God or gods, only cash. Power is money, money is power therefore money is god. The leaders have no interest in what is right or wrong for humans, only what nets the best return for the biggest players. I have said this many times in comments and blogging that the best educated minds are still doomed to make the same greedy mistakes in their leadership after studying eons of examples. It must be etched deep into the dna of every alpha human.

I will most likely vote third party as I always do (except for Kerry because I thought it was too important to get Bush Junior out) this time as well. Persistence will prevail.

indifferent children said...

> In our country there is no God or gods, only cash.

You mean the Bored Gods: Plutus, Dis Pater, Mammon, etc.? One would think that they would get more direct recognition, seeing as how so many people worship them in all but name.

> Persistence will prevail.

That's what Sisyphus thought for the first 3,000 years or so.

Morgaine said...

Hmmm... One could say the same thing about living in community. Great idea, badly executed here in the US (where I was once told by a whole list of pagans that "community" is nothing more than people living in coincidental proximity). In my observation, bickering is worse in US groups than elsewhere -- and for one simple reason. We have confused several key concepts: "independence" with "isolation", "community" with "corporation", "duty" with "slavery", and "individual identity" with "ego". When we come to some clarity on these issues, perhaps we can learn to be individuals living cooperatively in community. And once we can do that, then we can think about "changing the world."