Jesse Ventura

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An old Jesse, just back from a run as Riff-Raff in a Rocky Horror revival
Some dare call it
Conspiracy
Icon conspiracy.svg
What THEY don't want
you to know!
Sheeple wakers
He was governor of an important state and a phenomenon in American political life... It's true he's not an intellectual, but he has street smarts. Plus, Jesse is fun to be around.
Dan Glickman

Jesse "The Body" Ventura, born James Janos, (1951–) "I ain't got time to bleed" was a UDT OperatorWikipedia once, contrary to his claims of being a SEAL. He was also a professional wrestler for the World Wrestling Federation,[1] Arnold Schwarzenegger's co-star in the 1987 B-movie The Running Man,[2] an XFL commentator, Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota and, from 1999 to 2003, the first of the two crazy governors of Minnesota (the other one having an irrational hatred of the poor and middle class). However, unlike Pawlenty, Ventura balanced his crazy with flashes of what seemed to be intelligence, taking stances against torture, for the legalization of soft drugs, and against neoconservative policies. Ventura has also been a critic of the American healthcare system and strongly advocates the adoption of universal healthcare and advocates overturning Citizens United v. FECWikipedia. He and his wife, Terry, also came out against an attempt to amend the Minnesota constitution to outlaw gay marriage during the 2012 election.[3] In 2021, he advocated for a maximum wage and said "the older I get the more flaws I see in capitalism, and the more good things I see in socialism".[4]

More recently, however, Jesse Ventura donned a tinfoil hat in his pursuit of proving conspiracy theories, especially 9/11 conspiracy theories. He also had a show on RT called The World According to Jesse.[5]

Professional Wrestling[edit]

Jesse Ventura's first foray into politics was actually long before he became Mayor or Governor. Actually, Jesse was the driving force behind the abortive attempt to form a labor union for professional wrestlers working in the WWF (now WWE). His failure to do so after being ratted out by someone whom he stated he thought of as a friend (Hulk Hogan) and having spent so many years working in a business populated entirely by carnies at the time, probably didn't do wonders for his ability to trust people.

As governor of Minnesota[edit]

Running as a Reform Party candidate, Jesse inched out a win against both the DFL and Republican opponents in an upset.[6] In the beginning, he was well-liked because of his brash, up-front style. However, this brashness would make for great fodder for the press when he started saying things that could be used against him such as "organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers,"[7] "Congratulations, you have a sense of humor. And to those who didn't: Go stick your head in the mud," and "And I'll just tell you this: Until you've hunted man, you haven't hunted yet."[8] The result was Ventura announcing he would not seek a second term.[9]

Post-governor conspiracy theorist[edit]

Since being governor, he has gone on to promote conspiracy theories of all types (especially joining the 9/11 truthers). He has co-authored several books on conspiracy theories with Dick Russell and had his own TV show, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura[10] from 2009 to 2012, which was dedicated to "investigating" conspiracy theories, but usually only if you want to believe that the conspiracy theory is true;[11] the show, and presumably mister Ventura, have no problems whatsoever cutting and splicing the footage in such a way that climatologist Ben Santer appears to be confessing to manipulating or cutting inconvenient data, when in fact he says no such thing.[12] Ventura, however, has stated that he accepts global warming as a fact and is critical of politicians who reject it.

Somehow, Ventura has maintained a strong friendship with the unpleasant Alex Jones despite their many ideological differences.[note 1]

Chris Kyle controversy[edit]

In American Sniper, a best-selling book,[13] Chris Kyle claimed to have decked Ventura during a bar brawl in Coronado in 2006. He wrote that Ventura had said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs "deserve to lose a few."

Ventura sued. Before Chris Kyle's death at a Texas gun range in 2013, Ventura claims that both met and offered to drop the lawsuit if Kyle came clean during a press conference, Kyle declined.[14] Ventura allowed the lawsuit to go forward after Kyle's death, and in June 2014 — in a split 8-2 decision — was awarded $1,845,000. Kyle's widow, though not responsible for the remuneration of damages (the publisher's insurance company ultimately being liable) took further legal action and was ultimately successful in getting the verdict vacated by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeal on 13 June 2016. Ventura appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court but his appeal was denied. On 10 January 2017 the Court, without comment, confirmed the prior verdict.

Although one can understand Ventura's position, the whole issue is a Catch-22. Ventura's reputation — most particularly in the eyes of Navy SEALs — has suffered as a result.[15]

Presidential aspirations[edit]

In 2013, Jesse Ventura announced that he and Howard Stern were interested in running for President at the 2016 election,[16] but this fell off the rails at some point.

During an interview with George Noory on the woo-woo radio in August 2014, Ventura again addressed the issue of his interest in the Presidency. He said he would only run if he was guaranteed participation in the Presidential Debates, and was assured of pressure groups in all 50 states who would raise holy hell if he was excluded. Under current rules, a presidential candidate is eligible for inclusion in the debates if 15% or more of opinion poll respondents vote for him or her.

In 2020, despite him not having any interest in running, the Alaska Green Party ran him as their presidential nominee over the national nominee of Howie Hawkins.Wikipedia[17] He ultimately received 0.7% of the vote there.[18]

Russia Today[edit]

I am working for the enemy of mainstream media now.
—"The Body"

In 2017, Ventura decided that the next best thing to being POTUS was to be a reality TV star on his own show on RT, Russian propaganda television.[19] To his credit though, he did at least oppose the invasion of Ukraine on his Twitter account.[20] His show would end shortly afterward due to the collapse of RT America as a result of the invasion.

Notes[edit]

  1. He seems to be less irrational, condescending and paranoid than him, but then again, we're comparing conspiracy theorists.

References[edit]

  1. Wrestling stats
  2. The Running Man (1987) - IMDb, the film with the highest concentration of future state governors.
  3. Real Minnesotans Voting No
  4. Jesse Ventura Says There Should Be No Billionaires, Calls for 'Maximum Wage', Dan Cancian, Newsweek 1 February 2021
  5. https://www.rt.com/shows/the-world-according-to-jesse/
  6. Jesse "The Body" Ventura Wins Minnesota Governorship, UPenn
  7. "Organized religion is a sham and a crutch" quote
  8. Jesse Ventura Hunting Remarks Draw Fire, ABC News
  9. Ventura Won't Seek Re-election, ABC News
  10. Just crazy enough to not get on the History Channel.
  11. The show's site
  12. TV tricks of the trade — Quotes and cutaways, Potholer54
  13. American Sniper. Harper. 2013. pp. 448. ISBN 978-0062238863. 
  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS94kfNwye4&list=UUjeYqGx0STkSM6iWknsDl3w
  15. Jesse Ventura awarded $1.8 million in suit against ‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle — NY Daily News 29 July 2014
  16. Instrumental to a Jesse Venture '16 bid: Howard Stern for VP, Politico
  17. [https://www.elections.alaska.gov/election/2020/General/Janos-McKinney_Pres-VP_WEB.pdf James G. “Jesse Ventura” Janos – United States President – Green Party Nominee], Alaska Division of Elections
  18. 2020 GENERAL OFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS, Alaska Division of Elections
  19. Jesse Ventura's new Russian state TV show: 'I am working for the enemy of mainstream media now' by Katie Mettler (June 8, 2017 at 6:22 AM) The Washington Post.
  20. https://mobile.twitter.com/GovJVentura/status/1499085984822185985?cxt=HHwWgsC-0dew6c0pAAAA