I recently asked my fellow contributors at The Adversarialist if any of them would be willing to join me in offering a brief commentary, reflection, or response related to the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. Below is the result of their willingness to share their thoughts on the subject. The goal here is not to politicize Satanism or to make U.S. politics into a Satanic issue. It is rather to create a platform that provides a variety of perspectives on U.S. politics following the recent elections from a variety of everyday Satanists. We do not agree on everything (or sometimes anything), and that’s okay. We rarely change our minds on things that we feel strongly (or apathetically) about, and that’s okay, too. The point is that individualism is not only important, but it is also strengthened, if not dependent upon the presence of opposing opinions and the large variety of experiences that we each claim as our own. We are Satanists. We are humans being. And what we have to say matters.
Note: More commentary is to come and will be added to the original post.
THE MESSIANIC MACHIAVEL
Voting is Hell.
A few months ago, I heard a knock on my door. I didn’t recognize the guy, but he looked nice enough, so I opened the door. “Hi,” he said, as he extended his hand, “I’m candidate running for office.” (I’m leaving out his name to protect our identities). He told me that he was a Republican, and that he lived down the road from me. Normally, I wouldn’t consider voting Republican, as I’m a Classical Liberal (commonly called “Libertarian” but that name carries a lot of baggage these days). He seemed like a cool guy though, so we kept talking. I asked him about some of the issues of the day, and while we tended to disagree, he listened to my perspective, and he respectfully explained his. Our state, Michigan, recently legalized marijuana, but at the time, it was still a proposal. Being a Classical Liberal, I was pro-legalization, of course, though I’m not a user of the substance. Being a Republican, it turns out, a fairly conservative Republican, he was voting against it, but he said that issues like that should be decided by voters, and if passed, he would support the people’s decision. That sort of thing came up a lot: we disagreed on issues, but agreed on the process. While he didn’t exactly represent me in every way, he seemed like a good man, and I felt he did represent my view of government. When he left, I wasn’t sure if I’d vote for him, abstain, or vote for someone else.
I really wrestled with this for a while. I’d see him in the neighborhood, he’d wave; I’d go to the local bar, they’d mention how nice a guy he was; I’d see his signs all over town. Then I saw an article on Facebook about him. He was at a revival of sorts, talking about how Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I know a lot of people are Christian to some degree, but most just pay lip service, do Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, maybe buy a cross once in a while. This guy, however, seemed to really believe that a dead man 2000 years ago had died to save us all, then got back up again, disappeared and would come back in a terrible war. That’s a lot of baggage to process. I still liked him, and I felt like I’d continue waving, and if we ran into each other, I’d buy him a drink. Voting for him, however? I didn’t think I could do that.
Now that I’d decided, I was faced with another dilemma. Is that what people do to us? Do they disregard our merits because we have different religious beliefs? Is that really fair or just? Election day came, and I voted on most issues and for most offices. The Libertarians lost, but my preferences on the proposals and for local candidates did pretty well. I live in a fairly split area, about 55% Republican to 45% with 10% something else (Libertarians and Greens. I abstained from voting for that office, but I figured he’d win, and he did. He’s off to the capital, and he seems eager to get started. I’m happy for him, and I think I made the right choice, but I’m not sure. What should a Satanist do on Election Day?
THE HELL PRIEST, XUL
Found this on my memories newsfeed from two years ago. Fuck all has changed.
The Electoralial College decides where America eats for the next four years; it’s the vestiges of an America where they don’t want “everyones” vote to be counted the same (i.e.- women and slaves). A system where the rich get to veto all. Chew on that fa(c)t for a bit…
I hate politicians. I dislike the government. And capitalism is the cancer of our humanity.
Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for a U.S. Senate seat from Texas, ran an incredibly inspiring and progressive campaign during the 2018 midterm elections. He also raised more than 70 million dollars in donations for his losing bid for office. Seventy. Fucking. Million. Dollars. That total combined with the amount of money raised by his victorious opponent, Republican Ted “#notmyzodiackiller” Cruz, equaled to over 100 million.  One. Hundred. Fucking. Million. Dollars.
I thought the cost of healthcare in this country was outrageous. But this? This is the price tag for two handfuls of opposing ideas?
Wait. Let’s put this into perspective.
O’Rourke and Cruz weren’t the only two politicians running campaigns during the midterm elections. Local governments, state governments, and the federal government all had positions up for grabs this year. They all had candidates on their respective campaign trails who were raising money from people willing to gamble their earnings on a handful of ideas.
Hundreds of millions of fistfuls of dollars thrown onto the pyre.
And for what? So that the person holding a handful of ideas (assuming that our gamble pays off) can say, “YES! You’re right! Abortion IS murder!” or, “YES! You’re right! A woman DOES have bodily autonomy!”? And not just for the confirmation (or vindication?) that YES, we are right, but does our gamble won also guarantee that the people who gambled and lost must now concede and agree by law that YES, we are right and that THEY ARE WRONG? Or that for the next two years, at least, after which we will gamble even more money to either keep or gain the right to tell other people how to live their lives?
I voted in the 2018 midterms. Straight Democratic Party ballot in El Paso, Texas. That means that, yes, I voted for Beto. It means that, yes, I died a little inside on Tuesday (and a little bit more on Wednesday). It means that, yes, I am conflicted: I hate politicians, I dislike the government, and capitalism is the cancer of our humanity. But I still cast my vote for a group of politicians, for the government, for capitalism.
I’m hoping that I won’t feel conflicted by the time the next election rolls around. I’m hoping that I won’t have to. I’m hoping that, by then, the streets in my neighborhood will be fixed (Fucking. Billions.), that students in my city’s schools will have the proper resources to ensure their academic and professional success (Fucking. Billions.), that I won’t have to spend so much on my daughter’s monthly asthma medication (Fucking. Billions.), and that racism and misogyny won’t be as prevalent, fascists won’t be in the streets (or in government offices), the threat of living in a theocracy won’t be as looming, and people will be able to peacefully say “We’re right” without feeling compelled to also say “You’re wrong.”