Atlantis Alumni

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Gravel - An American Patriot

Former Senator Mike Gravel, who is running for president, was, at first, not invited to join the HRC/LOGO debate that will take place in August between most of the Democratic candidates for president. This is in spite of the fact (or maybe because of it) that Gravel fully supports gay equality. However, HRC changed its mind citing "an enthusiastic community response" and has now invited Gravel to appear in the debate. One can imagine the tone of the "enthusiastic community response" that HRC received!
Will Gravel win the nomination much less be elected president? No, he's a dark horse candidate with little money and therefore little chance of getting very far in the American political system, which is all about money and the power and influence that money can buy. This is "democracy" American style. One can only wonder what the Founding Fathers would think of the way our political system functions today. They were upper class Lockeans so perhaps they would not be all that upset with money-based politics. But I do not believe that they would be too happy with the corruption of our politics wrought by the influence of money over everything and everybody political.
We ought to be thankful that people like Mike Gravel are willing to enter the fray, speak truth to power, and thereby at least raise the level of discourse to a higher plane that would exist if he were not running. Here's an anecdote that illustrates what I mean. Ms. Clinton and John Edwards were overheard, taped I believe, chatting about the need to weed out the lesser candidates from future debates. It seems as though they would prefer not to have to have their positions juxtaposed with those of real progressives like Gravel and Kucinich. However, one astute observer, Craig Crawford, who writes for the Congressional Quarterly, thinks that Ms. Clinton was being disingenuous. Interviewed on the Today Show, Crawford thinks that Hillary would actually prefer to keep the less monied candidates in the debates. This is because she could then stick basically to her talking points instead of having to go into detail about her positions. The bottom line is that either way these power candidates really don't want to have to face the fire of or be compared to progressives like Gravel. They would prefer to either exclude the likes of Gravel and Kucinich, or allow them in but not have to respond in detail as to why their positions are not as progressive as the long shot candidates like Gravel. So, be glad for Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich. It's thanks to them that we have any hope of forcing the politically mighty to say and do the right thing.

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