Gravel began the show with a discussion of fear and politics. Despite the impact of using fear scenarios to boost a campaign, Gravel described his approach to politics as more honest and measured. Gravel looked back to President Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis to cite an example that parallels his political style. At a time when popular opinion was clamoring for war, President Kennedy was able to negotiate a peaceful end to a crisis that could have otherwise led America into nuclear conflict. Gravel then went on to criticize the military-industrial complex that “misdirects the focus of our country,” and has been sustained since World War II by a government that “instills fear in us.”
Halfway through the hour, Gravel interviewed one of his big-name supporters, past presidential candidate and consumer advocate Ralph Nader. Nader went straight into his fiery political rhetoric saying, “The government is in a corporate prison in Washington, Mike. This is not our government, this is the government of the Exxons by the General Motors for the Duponts. What we have to do here is decide if we want candidates that will give power to the people … or are we going to end this 21st century by turning this government into a corporate state.”
Gravel also sat down with YouTube’s Steve Grove to answer questions submitted by YouTube users. The candidate talked about being “the rock in the water” that changes the way Americans govern themselves, a reference to an earlier YouTube ad by Gravel’s campaign where the candidate stared at the camera for a minute, then threw a rock into the water.
He also made another appearance on PBS last week with an interview by Dennis Wholey on “This is America.” In the interview, Mike Gravel gave his opinions on his fellow Democratic candidates, the Iraq war, and his career in the United States Senate. When asked what wisdom he had gained from his 77 years on this planet, Gravel responded, “the most significant thing for me is love. I think that love informs us of other virtues, particularly the virtue of courage because without courage you can’t implement your other virtues.”