A People's Platform, by Mike Gravel (published 1972)
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
This book was written in 1972 by the former Senator, Mike Gravel. Make that "very former" Senator -- the book was written during the heyday of the Watergate and Vietnam protest movements, participants in which considered Gravel a hero.
The most surprising aspect of this book is how current it is, despite having been written 35 years ago. Sure, Gravel bashes Nixon a lot -- but the same complaints apply today if the reader substitutes "Bush" for "Nixon." Gravel discusses the issues of his day -- CO2 emissions, government secrecy, workfare, healthcare delivery -- and many of those same issues prevail as the dominant topics in the 2008 presidential race.
Perhaps that's why Gravel chose to run 35 years later -- because the solutions which were obvious to him then have still not been implemented, despite 35 years of people proposing the same solutions. His 2008 presidential race focuses on changing the legislative process -- allowing citizen-based ballot initiatives as a new grassroots source of legislation -- because after 35 years, Gravel sees that just proposing sensible policies is not enough.
Take a look at one verbatim example from p. 233:
Gravel was talking about the Vietnam war, but the same words could describe millions of people's criticism of the Iraq war. This is the sort of excerpt that makes historians scream, "If we don't learn from history, we're destined to repeat it." Gravel 's candidacy is forcing the 2008 electorate to learn from history -- applying Nixon's desire for secrecy to Bush; and applying the problems of centralization of presidential power from Vietnam to Iraq.
The abrogation of the people's right to know--one of the system's most important checks and balances--caused this nation to make this colossal mistake of waging a war that has nothing to do with our security, individually or as a nation.
Unfortunately, this book is hard to come by. It is no longer in print; and the Gravel campaign had no copies either. OnTheIssues had to order an old signed copy, used, from an online book vendor, at ten times the cover price. The Gravel campaign could do the American public a great service by reprinting this book so that voters could see the obvious parallels from 1972.
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, May 2007
P.S. March 2008 -- Gravel's campaign did follow that advice and released Citizen Power: Mandate for Change in 2008.
Click here for 23 full quotes from Mike Gravel in the book Citizen Power, by Mike Gravel.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.
Budget & Economy|
Make Office of Scientific Assessment to avoid cost overruns.
Purpose of economy is to meet people's needs, not business.
More jails don't cut crime--must address poverty instead.
Stop punishment for victimless crimes: drugs, sex & gambling.
Vouchers are innovative & imaginative--let's experiment.
25% bonus for teachers in hardship areas.
Energy & Oil|
Nuclear energy is unwise because of nuclear waste.
Replace intervention with participation, not isolation.
US should empower UN with stand-by peace force.
Start with public financing of campaigns.
Abolish voter registration as precondition for voting.
Replace electoral college with direct election.
We have impressive resources but need delivery to people.
Government secrecy creates 1984-style state.
Cut military budget in half--we don't need such "readiness".
National security is no need for government secrecy.
Citizens Wage: individuals share in nation's total affluence.
Principles & Values|
Citizen Power: democracy requires participation.
Less regressive tax on poor; more capital gains on rich.
Empower Congress to make independent scientific conclusions.
War & Peace|
US creates threats to our own security by acting out of fear.
Welfare & Poverty|
Citizens Wage: $5000 income from feds to banish poverty.
Workfare is morally repugnant; why not "wealthwork"?.
Click for quotations from other sources by:
- Mike Gravel
The above quotations are from Citizen Power
A People's Platform, by Mike Gravel (published 1972).
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