Jesse “The Body” and politics

Published 4:43 pm Thursday, October 30, 2008

Clearly, the amount of body slams, headlocks and sleeper holds Jesse Ventura received as a professional wrestler had little affect on the former Minnesota Governor’s mind.

Listening to Ventura – a former Navy SEAL with a penchant for frank talk – the guy makes sense.

I rarely watch BookTV. On Brighthouse cable it’s sandwiched somewhere between CMT and MSNBC. When I come to the television channels with the guys standing behind podiums or the legislators milling around in Congress – doing nothing, as usual – I rev up the remote. Get me to VH1. Get me to TV Land. Get me to The History Channel.

Email newsletter signup

But this weekend there was Jesse “The Body” promoting his new book “Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me” on BookTV. The talk was hosted by Changing Hands Bookstore in Arizona. I dropped the remote to watch.

Ventura said the two-party system has made a mess of this country. Elected officials – be they Democrat or Republican – are ignoring what’s best for the country. When politicians say they represent you, it’s not the truth, said Ventura, they’re representing the party.

Ventura raked legislators over the coals for “not finishing the jobs they started.” He said he considered running for Senate in Minnesota this year, but an adviser told him he’d hate Washington D.C. and the work there. What work? Asked Ventura. He said Senators John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have spent the last two years campaigning for another job, not the one they were elected to do.

“If you would have tried that in the private sector, what would your boss have said?” Ventura asked.

Ventura said he could have run for President in 2000, but he had committed himself to serve four years as Governor of Minnesota. He took issue with public officials who saw elected positions as rungs on their own personal political ladder.

He advocated an abolishment of the income tax and the implementation of national sales tax. Imagine, he said, you would never have to keep another receipt, boxing them away in case the government came looking.

He said with the IRS, you’re guilty until you’ve proven yourself innocent, which spits in the face of the entire American legal system. Without an income tax, Ventura said he would turn the IRS into a watchdog of the government.

“Make the government be accountable to the people where the money is going,” he said.

And with the national debt climbing past $10 trillion, Ventura would cancel all foreign aid while pulling American troops out of Iraq, Germany, South Korea and other hot spots around the world.

“The time of the United States being the policeman for the world is over,” he said. “If they want our help, they pay for it.”

Ventura espouses many Libertarian ideas, but he described himself as a libertarian with a lowercase “L.” He said where mainstream Libertarians lose his support, is when they talk about government not being involved transportation.

Without a controlling entity like the government, toll roads would “pop up everywhere,” said Ventura.

“I know if I had a piece of land with a road on it, I’d put up a toll,” he said. “I’d be out there everyday saying ’50 cents. Pay me.'”

Will “The Body” run in 2012?

He said he’s not ruling it out.

One thing is for certain:

America needs another choice.