Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael

Mike Gravel on His Life, the Pentagon Papers, & Direct Democracy

November 20, 2019

On this edition of Parallax Views, former Senator Mike Gravel made some waves earlier this year when a group of teens meme'd him into a Presidential campaign seeking the Democratic nomination. Although that campaign has since ended, Gravel is hard at work promoting one of his greatest passions: direct democracy. During his Senatorial career Gravel forcefully opposed the Vietnam War draft and, famously, read the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Department of Defense study courageously leaked to the public by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, on the floor of Congress. He is, in another words, a man that has not only bore witness to history, but participated in it. And at 89 years old he's a passionate and committed as ever. Not only that, but he has a great deal of hope. As a proponent of direct democracy he believes strongly in the will of "We the People" and has faith in the masses. Moreover, he argues that a more direct democracy, which would include the citizens in our lawmaking processes, is eminently possible. In this conversation we discuss all of these matters and subjects as well as Mike's working-class background, the influence figures like Bertrand Russell and IF Stone had on him, and more.

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