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  Stephen Gaskin? For President?

Social Justice Posted by <Xnoubis> on Monday June 05, @11:07PM
from the an-ye-farm-none dept.

Salon reports the incredible news that Stephen Gaskin, founder of the alternative (some might say “hippy”) Tennessee commune the Farm, is running for president, contesting Ralph Nader for the Green Party nomination. At the Stephen Gaskin in 2000 website, he outlines his platform of reform, universal healthcare, and marijuana advocacy. (The site also links to an intriguingly cool occult webzine, Paradigm Shift -- Magick.) Hard to say whether he'd be a good president, but he'd certainly be interesting. His book, This Season's People, is definitely worth a read. If you buy it at Gaskin2000@hotmail.com (by putting “BOOK ORDER” in the subject line), any amount over the base price of $10 goes toward his campaign.

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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.

**Re: Stephen Gaskin? For President?**
by <Mikal> on Tuesday June 06, @04:02PM

Yeah, I saw Gaskin speak at the Starwood Festival in 1995, and even back then he was making noises about running for President on a “Hippie Party” ticket. Personally, I think he's smoked way too much cannabis over the years; that, coupled with his vegetarian diet, seems to have deprived his brain of needed protein and oxygen and turned him into just another mushy-headed old Sixties Victim, albeit a rather charming one.

Then again, it isn't as if he's tried to DENY that factor in his psyche. When asked about his marijuana use (for which he's served time as a high-profile Guest of the State of Tennessee), he said, “I never *EXHALED*!”

At any rate, I hope he and Jello Biafra put up against *something* of a fight against Nader for the Green nomination. It ought to be fun to watch those three try to grovellingly out-PC each other…

Re: Stephen Gaskin? For President?\\
by Michael Sanborn on Tuesday June 06, @04:19PM
If the U.S. existed in total isolation from the rest of the world, I'd be inclined to put a guy like Gaskin at the helm. We could use a compassionate, easy-going presence running this country.\\
Unfortunately, America has botched its international relations so badly since the collapse of the Soviet Union that we need a president who's razor sharp, with deep foreign policy experience, to have a chance at keeping the future of the world out of the gutter. And I don't think Gaskin's the guy on that front.\\
Who is? Probably nobody we have running. Gore's probably the closest, but I'd sure like to have another choice. Nader's got the intellect, but does he even think about foreign policy? Now, if he'd pick Noam Chomsky for Secretary of State…\\

Re: Stephen Gaskin? For President?\\
by <Mikal> on Tuesday June 06, @05:10PM
Personally, I consider Noam Chomsky just another anti-American orthodox Marxist who's been able to worm much deeper into the American political discourse than your standard tenured radical because of his brilliant use of propaganda techniques. Remember, the man is a LINGUIST – he's got nearly a half century of work under his belt learning the mechanics of language, and has forgotten more about manipulating words and concepts than any of us will ever hope to learn.\\
As for foreign policy, the first thing we could do to repair our damaged international reputation is to stop playing World Cop on behalf of the UN and the global corporations, and put our own house in order. Is any candidate out there willing to do that?\\

  • |Re: Stephen Gaskin? For President?\\
    by <Mikal> on Tuesday June 06, @05:31PM

    Actually, there's a recent essay on Antiwar.com that discusses the very issue of Nader's foreign non-policy– and by extension, the pathetic state of the so-called “Left” in this Presidential election year – in a far more knowledgeable and articulate manner than I could possibly manage.\\

  • |Re: Stephen Gaskin? For President?\\
    by Michael Sanborn on Wednesday June 07, @10:29AM

    Chomsky is Anti-American? If by that rather old-fashioned label you mean the stance that the U.S. government is on the wrong side of most of the issues (which is how I read Chomsky), then sign me up too. But I also see him as a passionate defender of democracy and the liberty of the individual, historically American concerns. He's Marxist-influenced, true, but hardly orthodox; more like an anarcho-communist.\\
    I've always found the insight that he brings to politics as a linguist to be greatly liberating. He detects the pervasive manipulation of and by the mass media to consolidate the interests of the wealthy and powerful. One indication to me of his essential honesty is the way he consistently pierces the hype that others try to foist upon his own image.\\
    So which candidate is willing to just drop our international entanglements and concentrate entirely within our own borders? Only isolationist firebrand Pat Buchanan, and it's no surprise that antiwar.com columnist Justin Raimondo, who takes such a dim view of Ralph Nader, is also a Buchanan supporter. It's true, as Raimondo asserts, that it would be better to see more detailed foreign policy statements from the Nader camp. But Nader has been somewhat more forthcoming than I had thought: see the Issues2000 page on Nader and Nader's own column on the WTO protests.\\
    Raimondo's absolute opposition to humanitarian intervention seems to me to be extreme; I'm glad Nader's taken a more moderate stance. But it's not true that the left has been silent on the issue. See, for example, Humanitarian Intervention: A Forum from The Nation, for a nuanced look at a complicated issue. I do think that we can all agree that such interventions so far have been a pathetic mess. The issue is whether we should therefore try to find a way to make it work, or just turn our backs on global injustice.\\

**Re: Stephen Gaskin? For President?**
by Mordecai Shapiro on Sunday June 11, @12:26AM

As a member of the Green Party I voted for Nader in the March primary here in California. It's not that I agree with him on every issue – I prefer Gaskin's position on drug legislation, for instance; I guess that makes me “just another mushy-headed old Sixties Victim” to some rock-headed young Nineties Victims :-) – but in purely pragmatic terms our party needs an acceptable candidate who can garner at least 5% of the national vote in order to qualify for the matching funds which will enable us to wage an even more effective campaign in 2004 (by which time four years of Gush/Bore will have made even more people completely fed up with business as usual).

**Re: Stephen Gaskin? For President?**
by <Marfiza> on Monday June 19, @12:47AM

Ah, Mo. Voting with ulterior motive… not my idea of the Right Thing ™. Matching funds or no, there's not a way in hell I'd vote for the man who'd like to take my motorcycle away from me because it's unsafe and I might injure myself on it. We have enough mommies in gov't, thanks. I was Green until they ran Nader for president; then they lost me forever.

My dream candidate? Ben Nighthorse Campbell, actually. (Yeah, right. Pork in the treetops and all that.)

- M

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