My parents don’t vote. They could if they chose to, but don’t. Their reasoning is one of complete pessimism and disregard for anything being achieved by the act. As far as they are concerned, the system is rigged and voting thus is pointless. Growing up the only person I ever saw vote was my paternal side Grandmother. Without fail she would make her voice known at every election, and then proudly wear her “I Voted” sticker with a big peach in the background (it’s what they give/gave out in Georgia) for the rest of the day no matter where or what she did.
What I find most interesting about all of this is that though voting and republics are age old Pagan institutions I was raised by Contemporary Pagans not to participate, and my only real influence family-wise for voting came from my Grandmother, whom is certainly not a Contemporary Pagan by any means. Please don’t misunderstand me; I am not trying to say that I am surprised by Christians, or other religion’s practitioners, involvement in voting or championing the ideals of a republic as a system of government. What I do find peculiar is that there are some Contemporary Pagans, whose vote is direly needed in the conversation of governance, who choose not to use them.
As a religious, social, and civil movement (cause we are all three and some more) our voice as a group is important. This doesn’t mean that Contemporary Pagans everywhere agree on every issue our country faces and how to steer our collective/individual course of action; not at all. I know personally Contemporary Pagans that are Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independent, or members of the Green Party. However, the voice that is overwhelming across this spectrum, regardless of the other issues at hand, is rhetoric of virtue and values. There may not be consensus on fiscal, foreign, or domestic policies, but there is a fairly unified discourse in regards to respect, tolerance, compassion, honesty, ethics, kindness, and a whole host of other morals emphasized by our spiritual and religious focus. Regardless of any political affiliation, I feel that by participating in the process and the system by taking the brief and minimum effort needed to cast a vote each of us through our collective effort of individually informed choices makes the moral values that are our community’s commonality expressed both within political parties and the electoral process.
So register to vote and make sure to follow up come election day, it is a very Pagan thing to do.
"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."