Mike Gravel, former Democratic Senator of Alaska and Presidential Candidate, just announced recently that he has joined the Libertarian Party. At first I didn't know what to think because I don't know much about Gravel. I had seen him in the debates once and he seemed bitter and angry but a lot of times Ron Paul can come off as angry as well. I checked his campaign site and went over his issue stances and found that I wholeheartedly agree with him 65% of the time and very much disagree with him the other 25% and am iffy on the last 10%. This is my breakdown on what I agree and disagree with and why.
- Gravel disagreed with the invasion of Iraq and wants to commence a withdrawal. I Agree. The premise for the war was false from the beginning and can be dangerously applied to many other countries in the world. And from this arises the question of why we would invade Iraq and not Iran or North Korea which are both pursuing nuclear capabilities? I don't have an answer for that question and neither does Bush.
- Gravel believes that citizens should be able to put measures on the ballot. I Agree. The US government is supposed to be governed by the people and for the people.
- Gravel opposes military confrontation with Iran and Syria and wants to use diplomatic solutions. I Agree. Until they have taken military actions against us we should not initiate force against them. I do not believe in preventive wars and preemptive wars should only be started when the enemy has clearly made plans to attack.
- Gravel believes in taxing companies that contribute to Global Warming and that the US government needs to treat Global Warming as a threat to national security. I Somewhat Disagree. I believe that Global Warming is occurring and should be handled but I also know that the US Federal Government is the biggest polluter. I believe that only once the government has cracked down on its own carbon emissions can it start discussing with businesses how to decrease theirs' as well.
- Gravel believes in dismantling the IRS and implementing the Fair Tax, a national sales tax on all goods and services. I Agree. The IRS is an unconstitutional entity and needs to be dismantled while a simple and manageable tax must be put into place to replace the income tax.
- Gravel believes in a Universal Health Care system in which everyone pays into it and everyone receives the same level of health care. I Disagree. From what I have learned from Canada and from the UK I can say that government health care is a disaster. The last thing we want is the whole medical profession working for the government. The people should have the freedom to choose whichever type of health coverage they wish. Choices pertaining to health should always be left up to the people.
- Gravel is pro-choice. I Agree. The woman's right to choose is an important one though I do believe in reasonable limitations such as banning late term abortions. My personal belief is once a fetus has formed a brain which shows activity and a heart that is beating that it becomes a living member of the human race.
- Gravel believes in protecting the borders, a guest worker program, and in reviewing NAFTA and "free trade". I Somewhat Disagree. I do believe in protecting the borders and perhaps taking a look and NAFTA but I never believe that free trade is unfair trade.
- Gravel believes in the right of the LGBT community to get married, serve their country without having to hide their sexual orientation, and no having their rights restricted in any way. I Agree. I have one gay Uncle and on lesbian Aunt and I love them both dearly. They are people like the rest of us and deserve the same rights as the rest of us. And if the people in the military can't deal with it then they are going to have to toughen up a bit more. If they can handle gunfire they should be able to handle serving with others not like them.
- Gravel believes in not using borrowed money when paying out social security but in investing the money responsibly. I Disagree. Social Security is the government telling its people that they don't know how to invest for retirement properly so they are going to take a chunk of your money from you by force and invest it for you. I never believe that the government knows whats better for us than we do.
- Gravel believes in an education plan that consists of universal preschool, more charter schools, revising No Child Left Behind, and probably more funding of the school system. I Mostly Disagree. Universal preschool is an awful idea. No Child Left Behind should be taken off the books. More funding of the public schools is not always the answer. I do agree with having more charter schools. I also believe in school vouchers and in more choices when it comes to education. The benefit of charter schools is that a majority of the decisions that effect the education of the children are left up to the teachers and parents rather than the government.
- Gravel believes in increasing the benefits for to our military personnel. I Agree. They are employees of the federal government and the benefits they currently receive do not reflect the sacrifices they must make in performing their duties.
- Gravel believes that the Drug War was a failure and the drug abuse should been seen not as a crime but a public health issue. I Agree. Just like Prohibition was a giant failure so has the Drug War been. Current drug laws have just created more crime and more victims.
- Gravel believes in the free and uninhibited access to the Internet. I Agree.
- Gravel believes in human rights which means no torture, no imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay, access to a lawyer and a speedy trial. I Agree.
The Only issue which I would have a hard time overcoming if I were to ever vote for Gravel would be that of Universal Health Care. My father is a doctor and I have spent much of my youth working in his office. I know firsthand some of the effects of government health care and they are far from positive.
I encourage you to visit his campaign site and do your own research. Click here for his site.