Jesse Ventura, the former governor of Minnesota is a phenomenon unique to America politics, someone outside of the political arena who uses his renown to secure a political position of power.
In Don’t Start The Revolution Without Me, (Skyhorse Publishing 2,008) written with Dick Russell, Ventura offers insights into the American political situation that no one else is in the position to put forward.
The fast and easy to read book is a loose biography of Ventura’s life and beliefs. A native of Minneapolis, a Vietnam Navy Seal veteran, professional wrestler and radio and television talk show host, Ventura invented his own life filled with integrity, the love of his country, wife and family.
Ventura’s parents were both veterans of WWII, and growing up in the Eisenhower 50’s and Kennedy’s and Vietnam era sixties shaped his life.
Ventura’s last name was pulled from a map of California, and what he used professionally in the wrestling ring.
Never having attended college (he later taught at Harvard), Ventura believes that a man should tell the facts as they are, and that is even more important in politics than in every day life, and it is an insult to the public to not give them the truth.
Once he decided to run for governor as an independent, Ventura pioneered the use of the internet in political campaigns, and soon found out that the public wanted to hear the truth and not some political party line. They showed that by electing him governor.
He soon discovered it was very difficult to get something good done for the state if it didn’t dovetail with the interests of the Democrats and Republicans. He could have played along with the professional politicians from the two parties, and it would have been business as usual. He resorted to holding bills hostage more than once to get something beneficial for everyone in the state. In the process he realized how thoroughly corruption the US two-party political system.
According to Ventura, the advantage of being an independent is that you can appoint the very best people to a position irregardless of their politics; whereas, a Democrat or Republican is beholden to their political machine and needs to appoint a crony. The disadvantage of being an Independent is that the lack of political infrastructure makes it extremely difficult to mount a statewide campaign, much less a national one.
Ventura ran under the Independent Progressive party of Ross Perot. Ventura felt that Perot had a true opportunity to develop a viable third party, but he soon realized that Perot was into politics for purely personal and egotistical reasons, and it was all about Ross.
Unequivocally, Ventura believes that George W. Bush was the worse President ever. That he lied the country into a war eats at Ventura, just as LBJ’s lying led the country into the divisive Vietnam War. He thinks the American people deserve the truth, and doesn’t believe it is necessary to have a “professional” politician to govern.
As one trained in demolition, Ventura raises many unanswered questions about September 11, 2001.
That Congressman and woman signed away the rights of its citizens without reading the “Patriot Act” is incomprehensible to Ventura. They did this because they were told to by their political leadership to do so.
Ventura did not run for a second term as governor because of the health of his wife, Terry, though he has not ruled out a third party run for the presidency in 2012. If elected, he would surely shake things up in a good way on a national scale.
This book is an enjoyable must read for anyone interested in politics, and a true American philosophy of life.