Recently I wrote a comment here at Innermost Parts about Mike Gravel’s upcoming visit to Brandeis, saying that I am excited for him to come but that I’m disappointed he left the Democratic Party for the Libertarians.

A writer from the Brandeis Hoot contacted me about the comment and had two questions:

1. What do you think of Mike Gravel coming to Brandeis? Are you going
to hear him speak? If yes, why?

2. Also, you mentioned in your post that you were disappointed in
Gravel‘s switch to the Libertarian party, could you elaborate further
on this?

I thought I’d share my responses with you, and ask for your opinions on the former Senator. The following was my reply

On Mike Gravel, I’m very excited that he will be coming to campus. I enjoyed his different point of view during the Democratic Primary debates. I think that many of us have felt cynical about politics and where our country is headed, just like he has since he left the U.S. Senate in 1981. Considering that he played an instrumental role in ending the draft during the Vietnam War and releasing the Penon Papers, and that after all of his accomplishments he felt disillusioned by our government, I believe his experience says something about our political system. While he was still in the race for the Democratic nomination, I was particularly moved by his argument that the Democrats, who were essentially given a mandate in 2006 to end the war in Iraq, could put the war to an end by calling for a vote in Congress every single day in order to reveal who is obstructing the will of the majority of Americans who oppose this war and force those Congressmen into voting to end it. I also found it interesting that he was the only candidate willing to address the problem of America’s dependence on the military to keep our economy going–I find it disturbing that we spend as much on military expenditures as the rest of the world combined.

I’m disappointed in Mike Gravel‘s switch to the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party does not support universal healthcare, the social safety net, the rights of gays and lesbians, or reasonable gun laws; I support all of these and I thought that Mike Gravel did as well. I stand by the Democratic Party and stand behind Barack Obama for President because I believe he can unite our country. The Democratic Party has room for Mike Gravel‘s views–we’re a large party of diverse interests. I believe that Gravel was a valuable member to the party for many years advocating for peace, the environment, and government transparency.

How do you feel about Mike Gravel’s former candidacy for the Democratic Nominee for President? What do you think about his history in government, and also about his somewhat embellished tales of accomplishment (i.e. “I personally ended the draft”)? What does Mike Gravel’s departure say about the future of the Democratic party, if anything?

7 comments on “Thoughts on Mike Gravel”

  1. Ryan Says:

    What do I think about Gravel? I think he’s barely lucid, a traitor to the party and mighty high on himself. I also think many of his policy positions would be an utter disaster for the country (especially a national sales tax). I’m glad he’s joining the libertarians: good riddens. But he’s a self entitled twat for thinking he deserved any special privileges running for President: he never ran a serious compaign, that’s why he didn’t go anywhere and that’s why he ended up being prevented from going to some of the last debates (and I say last, because he was invited to a great many before the race became close). He’s endangering the election by giving yet another choice that could get .5% of the electorate, along with the equally deranged and self-important Ralph Nader, and potentially the two of them could single handidly make sure McCain becomes our next President. But, then again, maybe that’s what the two of them want?

  2. Twitter Spam Gets Political at Blog P.I. Says:

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  3. Sahar Says:

    After 2000, I doubt we’ll see the return of the Nader effect.

  4. More thoughts about Mike Gravel | Innermost Parts Says:

    […] thoughts about Mike Gravel April 2, 2008 12:54 am Sahar Honesty, Sahar Like Phil, I was contacted by the Brandeis Hoot, who asked me some questions on Mike Gravel. Here’s […]

  5. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    Phil,

    Are you retarded? The LP supports gay/lesbian marriages, open borders, is against gun control, against war on drugs.

    I hope you one day realize that your universal healthcare thought is garbage. What we need is competition in a true free market, not this elitist crap that we currently have.

    You sound utterly stupid on the LP platform. And you are a brainwashed socialist

    seeya

  6. Phil Says:

    Joseph,

    I did my research on the LP before writing this post. Perhaps you should visit their issues page: http://www.lp.org/issues/issues.shtml

    Equal rights for gays and lesbians is not listed as an issue.

    I didn’t say anything about immigration or the war on drugs.

    I said that they are opposed to reasonable gun laws, and that’s true. They call politicians and police “foolish” for seeking to reinstate the assault weapons ban. Many of my family members are hunters, and I respect their right to firearms. However, assault rifles have no legitimate use.

    A free market will always leave some citizens without healthcare. Even my father, an executive for an HMO, supports Massachusetts’ plan for universal healthcare. Did you notice that we’re the only industrialized nation who doesn’t care enough for its citizens to care for their health and provide universal healthcare?

  7. Bret Says:

    I have a feeling that Joseph has never really had money trouble in his life. Otherwise he might understand how lots of people can;t afford healthcare.

    Like the free market so much Joseph? Thats what we have now. free market works for a lot of things, but healthcare isn’t one of them. All the companies are just out to make money, they couldn’t care less if we get treated. Do you know how many people are denied healthcare even when they have insurance?

    Although I have to say its nice to know ignorant neocons are reading innermost parts. I guess you could say we’re “diverse”.