May 21, 2007
We're Thomas Jefferson Republicans around here, which is a bit of a chuckle since TJ founded today's Democratic Party back in 1792. What we're really trying to say is that the original vision of the Founding Fathers was pretty good, and we're not partisan. Over the last ten years, I've voted for Democrats, Republicans, and a grab-bag of alternative parties and independents as well.
It appears that people in the US are finally getting a bit tired of the police state/Empire of Evil/corporate theft and exploitation mode of doing things. Also, after rampant election-rigging in 2000 and 2004, the 2006 Congressional elections were actually quite fair, which came as a shock to canny observers on both sides of the aisle. Thus, if you are sick and tired of the usual puppet nonentities offered by the corporate elite, you can now do something about it.
Some pretty interesting candidates have stepped forward, and they have been generating a wildfire of public support, which the Establishment and their media drones have been trying to stamp out. On the Republican side, we have Ron Paul, who has a long history of Thomas Jefferson Republicanism dating back to the 1970s. He's been topping polls everywhere: MSBNC's own online poll gave Paul a 47% victory in the California debate, compared to about 18% for runner-up Mitt Romney. This very informal (and thus probably reflective of genuine opinion, as opposed to the rigged "official" numbers from Gallup and the like) measure of support is from YouTube:
As of 9:59 a.m. ET today, Congressman Ron Paul has the most YouTube subscribers of all presidential candidates -- Republican and Democrat.
Paul - 5,679
Obama - 5,678
Clinton - 2,998
Edwards - 2,750
Romney - 1,977
Kucinich - 1,685
Giuliani - 1,370
McCain - 1,233
Gravel - 824
Richardson - 756
Biden - 582
Hunter - 381
Dodd - 221
Huckabee - 187
Tancredo - 166
Brownback - 86
Gilmore - 40.
You can go to Paul's website to learn more about him. To be brief: he has been a Congressman since the 1970s (with some off years), and has stuck by his principles throughout that thirty-year period. Over those decades (according to his website):
He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.
He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.
True to my own heart, I note that Paul has been in favor of the gold standard throughout his career, and regularly engages the sitting Fed Chairman on the topic. Paul was a member of the Congressional Gold Commission in the early 1980s, in support of a new gold standard. You can still get the report he and Lewis Lehrman wrote back then -- it's a fine piece of work, very readable today, and the price appears to be rising!
As for Ron Paul's positions today, those who know him will not be surprised that they include:
American independence and sovereignity (opposing the North American Union, for example)
Immediate withdrawal from Iraq and no more imperial adventurism
Border security and immigration reform
Private and personal liberty (opposing various police-state tactics including government databases)
Property rights and eminent domain (opposing government takeover of private property)
As Democrats go, Barack Obama seems like he would be decent candidate, but Mike Gravel is much more interesting. His policy position includes:
Immediate withdrawal from Iraq
No war with Iran
A "national initiative for democracy" -- allowing US citizens to vote on specific policy issues, like they do already in 24 states. This is another topic dear to me. Would there have been a war in Iraq if there was a national vote on the subject? Shouldn't there have been a vote on the subject? Switzerland has been using national referendums for years, with great success. The process drains power away from politicians. Quick, who's the president of Switzerland?
A Fair Tax -- Gravel wants to replace the income tax (including the payroll tax) and replace it with a progressive sales tax. This is a wonderful idea, and would help create splendid economic conditions in the US. The plan would include a "prebate" to reduce the tax effect on lower-income households. Gravel would shutter the IRS!
Global Warming -- Gravel shares Al Gore's environmentalist vision, which is fine by me.
Universal Health Care vouchers-- I am actually in support of some sort of state-funded healthcare, which every other developed country in the world has. These systems, in Germany, Canada, Australia, Japan and so forth, are measurably cheaper than the US's disgusting corporate-shakedown system.
Gravel was a US Senator for Alaska from 1969 to 1981. He is perhaps best known for his one-man five-month filibuster in 1971, which effectively ended the military draft in the US. His filibuster consisted of reading the 7,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers (which Nixon was desperate to suppress after the leak of a few bits in the New York Times) into the Congressional Record!
Gravel was on the air May 19 with the What Really Happened internet radio show, which is associated with the World's Greatest Newspaper, whatreallyhappened.com. Well, you gotta love that.
Two pretty nifty candidates. Take your pick. And then send them some money. I did -- to both. Make it $10 or $100,000. Whatever amount is appropriate. Do it now, in the primaries. The important thing is to participate, and also to crystallize, in your own mind, what kind of president you would like to have in the future.