Friday, May 05, 2006

We have our first official announcement for 2008!

For the Democrats, former Senator Mike Gravel.

For those of you who are very young, Gravel is best known as an anti-war Senator during the Vietnam years. A bit of a maverick too. Although quite long in the tooth, he seems like he's still got all his faculties.

His stands on the issues:

funding education as the top priority it must be in a democracy;
repealing the Electoral College;
enacting term limits at the federal level;
reforming Social Security by putting real money in the Trust Fund, investing it properly and identifying the interests of individual beneficiaries so that they can leave their surplus in the fund to their heirs;
enacting a universal health care system covering all Americans from birth to death;
rebuilding our gridlocked transportation system and our crumbling national infrastructure;
repealing the income tax and closing down the IRS replacing it with a Fair Tax (with a pre-bate for necessities) that will reverse the flight of jobs and capital abroad (the ensuing economic growth that the Fair Tax will induce will pay for my program for health care, education and a new national infrastructure);
launching and leading a massive global scientific effort to end energy dependence on oil and integrating the world’s scientific community to this task,
taking responsibility and mitigating our nation’s impact on the world’s environment; and
organizing and leading an intelligence and police organization of willing nations, similar to NATO, to root out terrorism and addressing its causes through aggressive diplomacy.
and of course, The National Initiative which can make all these happen and more.

This is quite a bit different from what modern liberals are about. Most liberals for a long time have been willing to tolerate the atrocity that is the IRS because they placed a higher priority on social justice than on individual liberty and privacy. Gravel seems to be taking the more traditional liberal view that the Fairtax funds the government adequately without creating the virtual tax enforcement police state that the IRS has become.

As a former Senator, he has to be taken seriously. Not so much as a frontrunner. He's a long, long, LONG shot. But he's doing what longshots have to do. He's the only announced candidate(only one with qualifications at least) and will therefore get to own whatever 2008 buzz there is until the more well known candidates announce in the summer and fall of 2007. As a former Senator, he'll certainly be part of the Democratic debates, which means his ideas will be heard.

Francois happily welcomes Sen. Gravel to the fray!