Friday, April 04, 2008

Mike Gravel's "Helter Skelter" campaign video

Have a look at this VIDEO ... but first, some background.

=> Former US Senator Mike Gravel, who was one of the many candidates once competing for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2007-2008, was not always an obscure political joke. For example, as noted in his Wikipedia mini-bio:
As Senator, Gravel became nationally known for his forceful but unsuccessful attempts to end the draft during the Vietnam War and for having put the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971 despite risk to himself. He conducted an unusual campaign for the Democratic nomination for Vice President of the United States in 1972, and then played a crucial role in getting Congressional approval for the Trans-Alaska pipeline in 1973. He was re-elected to the Senate in 1974, but gradually alienated most of his Alaskan constituencies and his bid for a third term was defeated in a Democratic primary election in 1980.
If you didn't notice his candidacy this past year, don't feel bad, since his level of support in public-opinion polls never passed 1%. Then on March 25 he left the Democratic Party, and is now campaigning to be nominated for President by the Libertarian Party.

=> Is that effort connected to this peculiar but very interesting VIDEO--a collage of historico-political images from the past half-century, set to the Beatles' "Helter Skelter"? It looks like it does. If so, this has to rank as one of the odder campaign videos around.

I have to agree with Matt Yglesias on this one:
I'm still not sure I fully understand why Mike Gravel was allowed onto nationally televised political debates [including this one --JW], but I do like this video
And it's not just photos and other images. For anyone who's never heard it before, the clip from President Eisenhower's Farewell Address in January 1961, in which Eisenhower famously warned against the dangers of a growing "military-industrial complex" ...
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
... is worth the price of admission by itself. See the video HERE.

--Jeff Weintraub