RRS Supportive President? What are your thoughts on Mike Gravel for Pres?

kellym78's picture

The Rational Response Squad has just received an interesting email. Adam Abeles, Chief Biological Science Advisor for Mike Gravel (former Senator running for President) has written us and vocalized respect for our efforts, along with the request of some exposure due to the congruence of his goals with ours. This includes not only intensified promotion of science in all realms, particularly education, but the elimination of creation science in any classroom, and an open dialogue about the dangers of religion. We are reluctant to throw public support in for any particular candidate as it makes a potential conversion to a 501c3 much more difficult. We are able to convey the facts to you and present you with an area in which to discuss them. We want to know what you think of Mike Gravel. For one minute focus on your ideal candidate, and not the person you have to pick because you can't stand the other leading candidate. Let’s not focus on the chances of victory, but rather the potential groundswell of support that could be generated online and the potential repercussions in future elections.

 

LINK TO MIKE GRAVEL PLAYLIST ON RATIONALTUBE

Highlights from letter to RRS:

"To date, Mike Gravel is the ONLY Presidential candidate running to declare publicly his total support for Evolution, Science as well as recognizing the oppressive nature of Religion."

"Mike is also running on a platform of increased funding for Science, (half of the United States Budget under his economic plan) and totally discarding any notion of Creationism whatsoever in the public education system. Mike believes education comes first before anything."

"It would be... beneficial for everyone to see that they do in fact have a choice of a candidate who not only shares your views on the current status of Science but also feels the same about Religion."

 

FROM WIKIPEDIA:

Quote:
At the start of 2006, Gravel decided the best way he could promote direct democracy and the National Initiative was to run for president. On April 17, 2006, Gravel became the first candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2008 election, announcing his run in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Short on campaign cash, he took public transportation to get to his announcement. Other principal issues for Gravel were a progressive retail sales tax, which he saw as removing tax loopholes for the rich, relieving tax burdens on the middle class and the poor, and allowing abolition of the Internal Revenue Service; withdrawal from the war in Iraq within 120 days; a single payer national health care system; and term limits.

Due to his time in the Senate, Gravel was invited to many of the Democratic debates. On April 26, 2007, he took part in the first Democratic presidential debate at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. During the debate he suggested a Democratic bill requiring the president to withdraw from Iraq on pain of criminal penalties. He also advocated positions such as opposing preemptive nuclear war. He stated that the Iraq War had the effect of creating more terrorists and that the "war was lost the day that George Bush invaded Iraq on a fraudulent basis." Regarding his fellow candidates, he said, "I got to tell you, after standing up with them, some of these people frighten me — they frighten me."

 

Thought provoking questions...

Are you willing to send the message that candidates need to start standing up for science even if it takes votes away from a candidate with a better chance of winning? (ie Nader/Gore/Bush)

Will voting for someone, even if he isn't successful at winning the Presidency, set the tone for future elections?

Libertarian aims of minimalist government almost seem more difficult to achieve than the goal of improving scientific literacy within our society. Since Libertarians are noncommittal on the issue of religion and science, would you be willing to put those ideals aside in favor of the promotion of scientific advancement?

Gravel has exposed the war as based on lies and how much would a swift end to the Iraq War influence your vote? Do you feel that it would be a viable option at this point?

How important is a candidate’s stance on science compared to the rest of their platform?

Do you feel that allocating 50% of our budget to scientific education and research improvements is too much?

Mike Gravel purports to not accept any money or gifts from lobbyists. Is this an important issue and how might it impact his ability to campaign effectively? Do you feel that a citizen driven movement would be sufficient?

 

And finally... Mike Gravel for President of the United States? Why? Why not?

Let the madness begin,

Sapient and Kelly

 

P.S. Ron Paul thinks evolution is "just a theory." (proudly not hosted on Rational Tube) He seems to have no clue that the "theory" behind it is comprised of hundreds of thousands of facts. He apparently also knows a creator! How the hell did he become a physician? No biology class for physicians these days? Has science education gotten so bad that it sucks at the doctorate level as well? Mike Gravel for scientific literacy in America?

 

Atheist Books

I don't know enough about

I don't know enough about his platform, and I'm not American so I can't actually vote, but I love him coming out in such strong support of secularism and science.  I really wish that some of the mainstream candidates had such obvious views on secularism.

Thanks for the posting Kelly.  Also interesting to see that they would contact the RRS asking for support. 

Sapient's picture

If anyone raises the issue

If anyone raises the issue of my age in this campaign, I think you should remind them that Washington needs adult supervision. - Gravel

"Anyone who voted for the war on October 11 based upon what President Bush presented to them, is not qualified to hold the Presidency of the United States." <applause>  - Mike Gravel

 

- Brian Sapient


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I just read some of

I just read some of his stands on the issues.  I have to say I really like him.

For everyone frustrated enough by the current candidates that they just don't plan on voting, this is definitely another option.

I'm tired of every candidate using "it's time for a change" in their campaign only to see them follow pretty much the same road as the last candidate.  Clearly Mike Gravel would be actual change.

And a President who makes Science & Education a huge priority.. Can u imagine ?  A whole country of smart people.  I can almost smell the progress !

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell

Blackthorn's picture

Absolutely I'm voting for

Absolutely I'm voting for him!  I didn't even know his views on religion and science, but now that I do I like him even more.  I've been a supporter of Gravel since the first time I saw him in one of the Democratic debates, and I can proudly say I'll be voting for him.  If he were elected president I'm certain we would see much progress and positive change, much more so than with any other candidate currently running.

shelley's picture

kellym78 wrote:

kellym78 wrote:

Are you willing to send the message that candidates need to start standing up for science even if it takes votes away from a candidate with a better chance of winning? (ie Nader/Gore/Bush)

What would be entailed in "sending the message?" I do not see a fundamental problem in casting my vote for someone that is unlikely to win. I would be disappointed to see the RRS endorse any political canidate though.

Quote:

Will voting for someone, even if he isn't successful at winning the Presidency, set the tone for future elections?

Yes, I think it would.

Quote:

Libertarian aims of minimalist government almost seem more difficult to achieve than the goal of improving scientific literacy within our society. Since Libertarians are noncommittal on the issue of religion and science, would you be willing to put those ideals aside in favor of the promotion of scientific advancement?

No comment.

Quote:

Gravel has exposed the war as based on lies and how much would a swift end to the Iraq War influence your vote? Do you feel that it would be a viable option at this point?

Yes. Yes.

Quote:

How important is a candidate’s stance on science compared to the rest of their platform?

9 on a scale of 10.

Quote:

Do you feel that allocating 50% of our budget to scientific education and research improvements is too much?

No.

Quote:

Mike Gravel purports to not accept any money or gifts from lobbyists. Is this an important issue and how might it impact his ability to campaign effectively? Do you feel that a citizen driven movement would be sufficient?

I find this to be a poor strategic decision in a presidential campaign.

The problem is, in the

The problem is, in the debates all he does is rant and rave and come across as a lunatic. He seems quite rational in that video, and I agree with him 100% (in terms of what he said in the video), but I couldn't support him because every chance he's had to impress me, he's just frightened me with incoherent rants and yelling.

Evolved Morality's picture

i like this guy

i like what he has to say and has a very sound  and plausable plan 

 

support of evolution and denounceing the joke called creationism is a big bonus lol  

Evolved Morality

ShaunPhilly's picture

I've liked Mike Gravel since

I've liked Mike Gravel since I first heard him speak.  I like him more now, and would very much support him in any run for any office.

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.

darth_josh's picture

Forbes had this to say

Forbes had this to say about him:

Forbes on Mike Gravel 

"Gravel calls for an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq, to be completed within 120 days of his becoming president. He proposes aggressive diplomacy and cooperation with regional powers to return stability to Iraq.

Gravel is pro-choice, supports gay marriage, believes global warming is a threat to America’s national security and proposes the elimination of the income tax, arguing that a progressive national sales tax is fairer. The national sales tax would raise money for universal health care vouchers and educational benefits for training doctors and nurses. He believes in government regulation of hard drugs and expanded rehabilitation for addicts."

Sure. Since Kucinich is gone, I need someone to at least like instead of hate less.

Can anyone tell me why Kucinich didn't throw support to Gravel? I can't seem to find a reason for not endorsing anyone else. 

 

 

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Zombie's picture

From what I have seen of

From what I have seen of him i have to say I like him, although since i'm in canada i can't really vote.

I'm not sure if he'll ever get into office BUT if he grabs the large non-voting apathetic middlle, who knows? 

Morte alla tyrannus et dei

kellym78's picture

I don't know, but Gravel

I don't know, but Gravel has a post on huffingtonpost talking about Kucinich favorably. 

kevinm1278's picture

Cool. For the first time ever I think I'm gonna vote.

I doubt he will win with there being so many religious people in this country, but it's still a good first step in the right direction.  I may not agree with him 100%, but I like much of what the man has to say.

syqnys's picture

Good candidate, bad choice.

I think Gavel is a good candidate, obviously, and also as obvious is his unrealistic chance of winning. These are minor points, however, as there are probably just as good candidates who have just as much of a chance of winning any election. I think it is counterproductive to consider supporting such candidates’ presidential bids, simply because it sets up a more uninviting choice: A great candidate with no chance of winning v. a horrible candidate, who we inadvertently support. Either we vote for the best candidate based on his ideals, and risk ending up with a disastrous future president, from whom we will have to recover in four years, and start the cycle all over again, arguably in a worse position than we started.  Or support an electable candidate, who in my opinion isn't very bad at all (Obama, and to a lesser extent Clinton) who will help drive us toward progress, albeit at a slower rate than we would like, and leave us in a far more progressed state than we started with four years from now. In my opinion it is obvious what the right choice is: Vote for Obama or Clinton, but continue to voice your support for the likes of Gavel and his, and your, ideals. Clinton and Obama, in my opinion have the same ideals as Gavel or myself, but they understand they can not voice them to the same extent and still have a realistic chance of winning any election. The name of the game should be to defeat our opposition (Crazy religious and conservative people), not undermine our less brave allies.  I welcome responses and opposing arguments.  Peace

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D-cubed's picture

Huckabee's and Gravel's

Huckabee's and Gravel's idea of a national sales tax is absurd since it will burden the poor.  Imagine buying a house for $50,000, then having a additional 25% sales tax added upon that increasing the cost to $62,500.  The poor will have to deal with the higher mortgage costs over the life time of the loan.  The idea that making everything 25% more expensive doesn't sound progressive.

 If he wanted something more progressive we could go back to the old tariff system to prevent manufacturing jobs from going overseas.  More jobs in America mean better protection from recession and increased job competition means higher wages (which have been stagnant for years).  Overseas manufacturing doesn't decrease the cost of goods, it merely increases shareholder profit.

The reduction of tariffs, and drastically reduced income taxes on the wealthy occurred under the Reagan regime and it's those policies which need to be repealed as that is what started the move of jobs overseas and the increased importation of foreign labor to reduce wages.

Now back to the sales tax.  The wealthy are only paying a 35% tax rate, which is much less than it used to be.  Regardless the national sales tax would be giving them a tax break and would increase the tax rate of the poor by 15% (as they currently pay a 10% rate).  The sales tax will be in addition to the payroll taxes which the wealthy don't have to be as much in since the Social Security cut off is at $90,000.

As for the 50% expense of the budget on science that too is absurd.  Right now 50% of our federal budget is on defense which is a complete waste of money.  To drastically shift the spending to science there will be a lot of money delegated to scientific research but not any way to spend all of it.  The consequence is that a lot of other spending will have to be eliminated.  I don't see how he plans to have the finances to provide for a national health care system when half the budget is going to science.

Gravel doesn't appear to have thought things out.  

lazuli13's picture

I hate to piss on this parade....

I hate to piss on this parade, but isn't it a little late to enter the race? I voted in the primaries on the 19th (S.C.) and don't remember Mike Gravel as a candidate. However, I think it is fantastic that a real politician is bringing up these topics. Do I think he has a snowballs chance in Hawaii? No.

Clinton and Obama, in my

Clinton and Obama, in my opinion have the same ideals as Gavel or myself...

I would respectfully say to look closer.

Gravel's open challenges to Clinton is what assured his exclusion from the debates. He first commited the "sin" of calling her on Bill's BS surplus - pointing out that is was no more than an accounting trick.

In his last appearance he called out Clinton for voting for the Iran resolution and Obama for not bothering to vote on it. He also praised Biden & Dodd for voting against it, so this wasn't just a hit against the front runners.

You hate to "piss on the

You hate to "piss on the parade" but you voted not even knowing who was actually running, much less checking them out?

Gravel was on the ballot in South Carolina.

nen's picture

While I like Gravel's

While I like Gravel's social positions, and he talks a lot of sense, I think he lacks the economic/diplomatic competence and good health that a good president needs. If you read his wiki page, it's among other things are mentioned bankruptcies, health problems, and alienation of constituents. Why does anyone think he'd manage the country better than he does his own life? Sure, a lot of it is owed to health problems, but we need a fit president too.

 On the other hand, I welcomed his presence at debates. Much like Paul in the republican debates, his greatly differing viewpoints were good for highlighting failings in the other candidates. It's a shame they're excluding him now.

lazuli13's picture

You got me...

gmf wrote:
You hate to "piss on the parade" but you voted not even knowing who was actually running, much less checking them out? Gravel was on the ballot in South Carolina.

 

You are right, looks like he was. So why haven't I heard of him? There were a lot of names I didn't recognize, but it was a cold and crappy day so I just clicked for Ron Paul and got out of there without studying all the names I didn't recognize.

lpetrich's picture

I think that Mike Gravel

I think that Mike Gravel has the right idea on many issues, but he hasn't been getting anywhere politically. Even Ron Paul is way ahead of him there, though it must be conceded that it is hard to compete with Ron Paul's online following of "Ronulans" and "Paulsies". I've asked about him in some other messageboards, and hardly anyone seems to have heard of him.

I would have liked Dennis Kucinich or John Edwards, but between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, I'll choose Obama. Hillary's husband was too much of a right-wing sellout for my tastes, and I'm concerned that she will follow in her husband's policy footsteps. Sticking out tongue

 But I think that we ought to make our political system more multiparty-friendly. First-past-the-post and single-member districts make anything outside of the two big political parties impractical; you'd have to form a faction inside one of those parties.

There are alternatives like Instant Runoff Voting and Proportional Representation; some of them are surprisingly easy to implement. Imagine the more populous states electing their House Representatives by proportional representation. For more, see the advocacy cite FairVote.

I'm willing to write an article on voting systems if you people are interested; to compare the different types and describe how they work out.

 Finally, I think that the RRS ought to avoid endorsing political candidates as much as possible; that is potentially divisive. And I say that from studying political-quiz scores in several messageboards -- they usually have twice as much economic-issue variation as social-issue variation, indicating significant left-right splits.

However, I think that engaging in lobbying is legitimate, something like what the Secular Coalition for America is doing. 

Only candidate to "declare publicly his total support"

Well, I didn't know Mr. Gravel was running this year, but I guess he didn't know I was running also. I know an unfunded atheist has no chance of winning in todays America (tm) but it IS time we stood together as a voting block and had our voices heard. I started www.bartforpres.com to voice those ideas, to say that reason should rule. If we choose Dawkins, PZ, Gravel... me? anyone, and stand forth, we can make a difference in the politics in the US.

Most Skeptics I know choose the lesser of two evils. We are too rational. We try to apply the small force we posses to the greatest effect. We submit to the reality that our vote has little effect on the national scale.

We also are non-joiners. Its difficult to get us all moving in one direction. We all have different opinions, ideas and goals. I see a corollary to the 'black vote' where the post civil rights generation wants to vote for the candidate they feel is qualified. Not just because he is 'black'. And the older generation feels that Obama hasn't 'paid his dues'. As non-believers, we have faced similar trials. Murders, political imprisonment, censure. Yet, we have never had our 'civil rights movement' until now.

The choice is ours. Do we succeed through attrition, or through conquest?

Just in case...

Just in case you are seriously considering an endorsement, please don't throw your 501c3 status away on someone who has no chance of winning. You can cite him as an example of a politician with enlightened view on many subjects, but how many people have even heard of him, much less would vote for him? Where is he in the polls (hint, it rhymes with one percent) ?

If you are going to forgo non-profit status, the time to throw your weight behind someone is well in advance of the initial voting. At this point, any statement we could make would be too small to register, and I'd rather spend my vote making sure that someone at least half way rational gets elected.

syqnys's picture

Look Closer?

I would have to disagree that Billy Bills Surplus was BS, or an acounting trick. I've heard that argument before and seen some of the "evidence" but it seemed pretty weak to me.

As for the vote to authorize Bush to use military force if necessary, I don't think Hillary voting for it was that bad at all. It wasn't a vote for war, it was a vote to give the President the power to do so, if need be. True she may have know what was about to go down, but the evidence being presented to her was misleading, and it would've been politically disastrous for her (Or so she thought at the time) to oppose the very popular president. Plus, it wouldn't be very productive if both parties voted in congress as if their president would royally fuck up!  It's just like I said, I believe she and Obama share similar views to most people who like Gavel, they are just more politically savvy. You'll never win an election if only smart people vote for you... that just wouldn't be democracy! lol.

 

Jesus loves you... sexually. You can buy my album for only $12 here: www.myspace.com/syqnys

syqnys's picture

My Bad!

I read you wrong; I thought you were talking about Iraq.  haha. Just a quick point about her voting on the Iran resolution. I never said, nor believe, that Hillary or Obama vote or are as passionately devoted to certain cause as I. However, I believe they share similar beliefs about many issues; it is their political savvy that saves them from having to have balls on such issues! : )

Jesus loves you... sexually. You can buy my album for only $12 here: www.myspace.com/syqnys

i replied to your bulletin

i replied to your bulletin on myspace

about mike gravel.  he is a unitarian universalist according to wikepedia.

 

,`,`,aybe you ,`,`,issed it.

 

atheists are really agnostics because

they don't know if there's a god or not.

or maybe they do know and want to control others by deceiving them into disbelieving.

a bat bat hall a dip da

be enlightened, now.

ish oo ah who ha mal eckh!