Monday, July 16, 2007

The Presidential Election Season

Once again it is time for a presidential election, and even at this early stage in the game the smell of bull manure is already wafting on the breeze out of Washington. But enough about the Republicans.

One of the most exciting parts of the presidential election is the great variability in candidates, and this early on it's not surprising at all to have one's allegiance shift from one candidate to another. This is sometimes done by a supported candidate saying or doing something that makes them no longer worthy. It also happens when a new candidate enters the ring.

Previously, I had supported Hillary Clinton as my favorite candidate. I think our country is long overdue for a female president, and I admired Hillary for her intelligence and willingness to fight for her causes. Unfortunately, that's simply not enough. I recently attempted to get involved in Hillary's campaign here in Los Angeles and found that, quite simply, they weren't interested. The impression I get from her people is that if there aren't supporters who can contribute significantly to her campaign, she's simply not going to waste her time. This tells me that she is out of touch with the people, and probably isn't going to waste her time on us as president either.

Even worse, her campaign has been sending me letters through the mail addressed to "Ms. Patt Gavin." Nothing sets me off quicker than to see my name neutered. I'm sure she wouldn't appreciate being called "Mr. Hillary Clinton" and by the same token, I don't appreciate being called "Ms." Sorry, Ms. Clinton, but you lost my vote.

So, who do I throw my support behind? There is only one candidate who fully supports gay marriage, and that's certainly an incentive to me. He also supports a fair tax, which I am highly in favor of. In fact, I have been for several years now, but no major candidates ever seemed willing to even mention it. A Fair Tax is just that; a tax that is fair to all. Our current tax system puts an unfair burden on the middle class while allowing both the upper class and lower class to pay far less as a percentage of earnings. A Fair Tax eliminates income tax and shifts the tax burden to purchases. More information can be found on it at the Fair Tax website at

I am completely against the war in Iraq and feel we need to create a timetable for leaving that country. I don't believe it's feasible to simply leave, but I do think we need an exit strategy. Our current administration has been unwilling to provide that. I also feel that starting a war in Iran would be a stupid move.

Global warming is not just a catch phrase, it is a reality and must be addressed while there is still time. We need a candidate who is willing to listen to scientists and work to improve our planet. To that end, I believe that stem cell research is something that we need to explore deeper, not ignore. Stem cell research could help many people live richer, more productive lives, and it at least needs to be properly researched and tested. Who knows what might develop, but if we don't at least try we'll never know.

I think marijuana should be legalized. I personally don't use drugs, but that's my choice and I feel others have a right to make their own choices. It should be legalized and legislated just like alcohol. Driving under the influence is a crime, but being under the influence is not. So long as correct behavior is maintained, adults should have the right to enjoy themselves however they choose.

And who supports all of these issues as I do? Senator Mike Gravel. Gravel not only thinks like I do on all of these issues, he has even added another one, that I personally think is quite brilliant; a national ballot initiative. States west of the Mississippi have long had ballot initiatives. States in the east have not, at least not when I was living in the east. What this means is that in the east you elect officials who create the laws. In the west you do the same thing, but if those officials don't create the laws you want, you get an initiative on the ballot and let the people vote for it. If it passes, it becomes law, in spite of what the elected officials think. Senator Gravel wants to see this on a national level, so we the people will make the laws, rather than waiting for elected officials to do the same. Brilliant!

Senator Gravel's website is and I encourage everyone to check it out and see what they think. I'd be interested in hearing what others feel about this man.