Steve G.

Gravel announces Libertarian presidential run

In Congress, Global Warming, Guantanamo, Health, Iran, Libertarian Party-US, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Science, Taxation, Torture, US Government, Veterans, War on March 26, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Mike Gravel

A Personal Message from Mike

I wanted to update you on my latest plans before news gets out. Today, I am announcing my plan to join the Libertarian Party, because the Democratic Party no longer represents my vision for our great country. I wanted my supporters to get this news first, because you have been the ones who have kept my campaign alive since I first declared my candidacy on April 17, 2006.

The fact is, the Democratic Party today is no longer the party of FDR. It is a party that continues to sustain war, the military-industrial complex and imperialism — all of which I find anathema to my views.

By and large, I have been repeatedly marginalized in both national debates and in media exposure by the Democratic leadership, which works in tandem with the corporate interests that control what we read and hear in the media.

I look forward to advancing my presidential candidacy within the Libertarian Party, which is considerably closer to my values, my foreign policy views and my domestic views.

Please take a moment to make your most generous donation to my presidential campaign today. $10, $20, $50 — whatever you feel you can afford.

I want to thank you all for your continued support.

_______________________________

So, what are Gravel’s views on the issues? Here are some issue statements from his website:

The War in Iraq Senator Gravel’s position on Iraq remains clear and consistent: to commence an immediate and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. troops that will have them home within 120 days. The sooner U.S. troops are withdrawn, the sooner we can pursue aggressive diplomacy to bring an end to the civil war that currently consumes Iraq. Senator Gravel seeks to work with neighboring countries to lead a collective effort to bring peace to Iraq.

One of the leading opponents of the Vietnam War, Senator Gravel was one of the first current or former elected officials to publicly oppose the planned invasion of Iraq in 2002. He appeared on MSNBC prior to the invasion insisting that intelligence showed that there were indeed no weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq posed no threat to the United States and that invading Iraq was against America’s national interests and would result in a disaster of epic proportions for both the United States and the Iraqi people.

Today, more than four years into the invasion, the death toll of U.S. troops has climbed over 3,300 with over 50,000 more permanently maimed, some having lost limbs, others their sight. Tens of thousands more are afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and urgently need psychological care. The Iraqi civilian death toll nears three-quarters of a million, and still there remains no end in sight to the bloodshed.

As President, Senator Gravel will call for a U.S. corporate withdrawal from Iraq and hand over reconstruction contracts to Iraqi businesses which will empower Iraqi nationals to reconstruct their own country.

The National Initiative for Democracy Mike fully supports the National Initiative for Democracy. The NI4D is a way to bring legislative power back to the people. In many states, citizens can put measures on the ballot and Mike believes as citizens of the United States we should all have that power.

Iran and Syria Senator Gravel opposes a military confrontation with Iran and Syria and advocates a diplomatic solution to the current situation.

Global Warming/Climate Change Senator Gravel believes that global climate change is a matter of national security and survivability of the plant. As President, he will act swiftly to reduce America’s carbon footprint in the world by initiating legislation to tax carbon at the source and cap carbon emissions. he is also committed to leading the fight against global deforestation, which today is second only to the energy sector as a source of greenhouse gases. However, any legislation will have little impact on the global environment if we do not work together with other global polluters. China, India, and under-developed nations all work together fighting climate change can only be effective if it is a collective global effort. As President, Senator Gravel will see that the U.S. launches and leads a massive global scientific effort, integrating the world’s scientific and engineering community, to end energy dependence on oil and integrate the world scientific community in this task.

Progressive Taxes – A fair Tax Senator Gravel’s Progressive Fair Tax proposal calls for eliminating the IRS and the income tax and replacing it with a national sales tax on new products and services. To compensate for the tax on necessities, such as food, lodging, transportation and clothing, there would be a “rebate” to reimburse taxpayers. This would be paid in a monthly check from the government to all citizens. The focus on taxing new goods would also help tackle the global climate change problem.

Healthcare Senator Gravel advocates a universal healthcare system that provides equal medical services to all citizens, paid for by a retail sales tax (a portion of the Progressive Fair tax). Citizens would pay nothing for health benefits.

Reproductive Rights Senator Mike Gravel supports a woman’s right to decide if and when to have children. He also supports a woman’s right to make the difficult decision about abortion without interference by government authorities. Comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education, including accurate information about contraception, can always be provided in order to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions. Parity in health insurance and access to specialized family health care services, including family planning education, would also benefit the health and welfare of infants and children, who need and deserve to be wanted and loved.

Immigration Senator Gravel favors protecting our borders and monitoring the flow of immigrants into our country. He also favors a guest worker program and setting up naturalization procedures that would fairly bring immigrants into legal status. America must address the root cause of illegal immigration. Any discussion of immigration must include NAFTA and the concept of “free trade.” The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been a disaster for the working class of both the U.S. and Mexico and a boon to the international corporate interests. A study by the Economic Policy Institute found that over 1 million U.S. jobs were lost as a result of NAFTA, a third of them manufacturing jobs. In Mexico, 1.3 million farm workers lost their jobs in the same period. This has led to a wave of immigrants looking for work in the U.S. Reforming unfair trade policies spawned by measures like NAFTA will stimulate job growth on both sides of the border.

LGBT Rights Senator Gravel supports same-sex marriage and opposes the Defense of Marriage Act. He supports expanding hate-crime legislation and opposes laws that allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or one’s gender identity or expression. Senator Gravel strongly opposes the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” legislation on the grounds that it is unconstitutional, as it restricts the rights of gay Americans. He opposes any state or national constitutional amendment that restricts the rights of the gay community.

Social Security Senator Gravel wants to put real money, rather than borrowed money, in the Social Security Trust Fund. He advocates investing it properly and identifying the interests of individual beneficiaries so they can know what their retirement fund is and leave surplus funds to heirs.

Education Access to public education is a bedrock American value. Why is it then that the United States ranks 49th in literacy and that an estimated 30% of our students don’t graduate from high school? Investing in education provides a pathway to a thriving national economy, to individual and family economic opportunity, and to the reduction of poverty. A successful education system requires the commitment of families, the community, and government. It’s time to re-order our national budget priorities in order to improve the American education system. Parent education and access to preschool programs such as Head Start need to be expanded so that children from low income families are equally ready to benefit from elementary school. Universal pre-kindergarten would also enhance readiness. Encouraging our students to be the best they can be will require flexibility from the federal and state governments, within school systems, and from groups with a stake in educational success. Flexibility may mean extended school days and summer learning opportunities or extended school years. It may mean online and broadcast courses to provide access to highly qualified teachers. It may mean charter schools to address the needs of local communities, smaller classes, enrichment programs for students at risk, and vocational options. One thing we know for sure: No Child Left Behind has left too many children behind. It needs to be reformed and adequately funded. It needs to acknowledge the need for a fuller curriculum that encourages critical thinking-not just math and science test-taking. A high school diploma should be the minimum goal for all students; without it, our children will be condemned to a substandard economic existence.

Veteran’s Affairs As President, Senator Gravel would ensure that veterans receive full funding for their most important needs, including healthcare that is indexed to the increasing cost of care and medicine. He would make sure that all soldiers receive a full medical diagnosis to assess what their individual needs would be. He would also make sure that the VA system is fully financed and has sufficient well-trained personnel to provide the finest care that is available. As the Senator says, “We can do no less and we will do much more.” Mike Gravel is the only military veteran in the democratic race.

The War on Drugs The War on Drugs has been a failure. It is time to end prohibition and start treating addiction as a public health problem. This has ravaged our inner cities, and we are losing an entire generation of men and women to prisons. We must regulate hard drugs for the purpose of treating addicts, which would emphasize rehabilitation and prevention over incarceration. We must decriminalize minor drug offenses and increase the availability and visibility of substance abuse treatment in our communities as well as in jails and prisons. The United States incarcerates more people and at a higher rate than any other industrialized nation in the world. Some 2.3 million Americans are now behind bars. This tragedy must end.

Net Neutrality Net Neutrality aims to keep the Internet free from large companies, which are trying to limit the number of web sites their customers can view and the speed at which they can view them. Senator Gravel guarantees a free and open Internet with unlimited access to all sites. He will do this by supporting legislation and regulation that keeps you in control of your Internet usage and promotes free speech.

Human Rights Senator Gravel is adamantly opposed to torture, indefinite detention, and the deprivation of lawyers/speedy trials. He opposes the Military Commissions Act, flagrant ignorance of the Geneva convention, and Guantanamo.

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  1. Great. First Barr infiltrates the LP and now we have Gravel the Lefty. Does he seriously think that issues like Universal Health Rationing and carbon taxation are viable libertarian issues? He’s just using the LP as a vehicle for his already doomed run. Who let this nutcase in the door?

  2. What I find funny is, Ron Paul had many “differences” with what a Libertarian is suppose to be as well, but nobody complains about that. His immigration stance was a joke from a Libertarian point of view, but nobody took him to task over that.

    I welcome Gravel and this just made who I’m supporting pretty tough. Its between Ruwart & Gravel.

    MRJarrell, from the local level to the national level, the LP is FILLED TO THE BRING with people 10 TIMES NUTTIER THAN MIKE GRAVEL. Where have you been?

  3. meant to say “brim” not “bring”

  4. “Jason Gatties Says:

    March 27, 2008 at 1:59 am
    What I find funny is, Ron Paul had many “differences” with what a Libertarian is suppose to be as well, but nobody complains about that. His immigration stance was a joke from a Libertarian point of view, but nobody took him to task over that.”

    Ron Paul is FAR more libertarian than Mike Gravel. And as for Ron’s stance on immigration, he is not anti-immigrants despite the propaganda that is being spouted by some of his detrators. Ron opposes people who are criminals and welfare recipients entering the country. These people should be called what they are, invaders! A person that you invited into your front door and who respects your property is a guest, a person who broke in through your window, raped your wife, and steals your valuables should NOT be regaurded as a guest.

    Ron Paul also opposes the North American Union (as does candidate for the LP Vice Presidential nomination and Last Free Voice blogger, Chris Bennett). He knows that part of the reason for mass immigration and the Rockefeller & Ford Foundation funding of La Raza and MECHA is to merge the USA with Mexico and Canada into a North American Union which will be a socialist superstate.

    To act as though Ron Paul always votes against immigrants is flat out distorting his record. Check out THESE Ron Paul votes…

    (1) Paul consistently voted every year since 1999 against putting the military on the border: 2006: H. Amdt. 206 to H.R. 1815 2004: Goode Amendment to H.R. 4200 2003: Goode Amendment to H.R. 1588 2002: H. Amdt. 479 to H.R. 4546 2001: Traficant amendment to HR 2586 2000: Traficant amendment to H.R.4205 1999: Trafficant Amendment to H.R. 1401. (2) Paul voted in 1997, 2001( H.R. 1885) and 2002 (H RES 365) to grant, extend or continue Section 245-i amnesties for illegal aliens. (3) Paul voted NO on extending the voluntary Basic Pilot Workplace Verification Program (H.R. 2359), (4) Paul voted NO on the border fence in 2005 (Hunter Amendment to HR 4437 – “Enforcement Only” Bill). (5) Paul voted YES to increase H2-B (HR 763 in 2005) and H-1B visas (HR 3736 in 1998). In 1998, he voted to allow US firms to lay off Americans to replace them with foreigners.

  5. Having gone through the immigration process with my wife, I can assure you that Ron Paul’s immigration stance sucks, as does the current system. To speak to me about what is right or wrong about immigration until you give up 5 years of your life and thousands of dollars going through the process.

  6. Jason, some of them may be nutty, but at least they’re more libertarian than that guy. If the LP is that desperate then things are worse than they seem.

  7. Thank you for taking the time to outline where this candidate stands. I really don’t understand what he is saying [The fact is, the Democratic Party today is no longer the party of FDR] I am pretty sure I remember my history and politics. FDR was not a Libertarian. Rooseveltian Democrats do not uphold the values of the Libertarian Party. While they did believe Americans were capable of having a unique vision for their life and future, they do not beleive that individual Americans are responsible for nurturing that vision. The state does. [I have been repeatedly marginalized in both national debates and in media exposure by the Democratic leadership] So, he is switching parties, but he has not in any way changed his political ideology ~

    I have no idea who I will vote for in this election. I am glad November is a long, long way away.

  8. Hi,

    Can you please place a link on your website / or blog; to this Take Back Our Country Song it’s a patriotic song that is very inspiring, and truthful. I wrote this song after being fed up with what I see happening in my neighborhood and to our country daily on the news.

    I am just an ordinary citizen that went away to serve at age 19. And I am sick and tired of the lies and chaos our ELECTED SELLOUT OFFICIALS has put this country into. So I wanted to do my part, as a soldier of the USANG, I wrote this song and put it on this video.

    My state Louisiana was hit hard by hurricane Katrina and hundreds of illegal aliens moved into our community took away jobs that we Americans were ready to do, and now crime has gone thru the roof. I am sick and tired of these people in my neighborhood and hanging out on our street corners. WE MUST DO SOMETHING TO PUT A STOP TO THIS!

    Please check out my video Take Back Our Country Song on YouTube.com here’s the link. And FORWARD it to everyone on your email list. This is my way of fighting back and giving back to my country.

    Please, I served my country in the US Army National Guards, and I hate what’s happening to our country. We must do all we can to Take Her Back!

    Thank you,
    Richie Collins
    http://FalseArguments.net

    Take Back Our Country

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