Former Sen. Mike Gravel’s presidential campaign, currently, is like no other in the race. Gravel, an 88-year-old who now lives in California, has no plans to actually become president, and instead wants only one thing: to gain admittance into the 2020 Democratic Primary debates so he can shout at every other candidate the same way he did in 2008.
To get there, however, Gravel’s campaign—which is being run by a group of extremely online leftist teenagers—rolled out a radical set of policy proposals today, along with an official campaign announcement video that, honestly? Fun as hell. Let’s discuss.
Here’s Gravel’s video:
You may notice that this video is a sequel to Gravel’s 2008 announcement video, which was admittedly a bit more focused on the rock bit.
Accompanying the video, the Gravel campaign also released a still-updating Google document of policy platforms, which, at a glance, are a compilation of his fellow candidates most radical ideas and then some policies that are leaps and bounds beyond them. He supports abolishing the Electoral College (as does Elizabeth Warren) and abolishing the Senate “as we know it” on the domestic side. But he’s also focusing on foreign policy—an area where he challenged basically everyone in the 2008 field:
Gravel also supports ranked choice voting, term limits for federal judges, statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico, a national reparations trust fund, decriminalizing sex work, single-payer healthcare—basically every single progressive dream rolled into one candidacy.
Of course, Gravel has the luxury of being able to openly advocate for all of this without the threat of any possible political repercussions and without having to worry about the overall practicality of, you know, accomplishing all of this.(Similar to Andrew Yang’s incredibly detailed policy positions that he’ll never have to compromise on, because, as a long-shot candidate, his chance of winning are extremely low.) It’s a campaign built on pure fantasy, but that’s the point—if he makes it on stage with Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Warren, the 2020 debates are going to be a whole lot more fun. And as Gravel shouts out in the video, the DNC’s bar to make the stage feels somewhat within reach if he finds grassroots support: Candidates need to tally 65,000 unique donors or poll at least one percent in three polls to make the debate stage.
The teens have branded the campaign the “Gravelanche,” which owns. But more importantly, if we’re lucky, it might just push some of the heavyweight Democratic candidates further to the left.