Smashing Interviews Magazine

Compelling People — Interesting Lives



November 2015



Jesse Ventura Interview: "I Love What Trump's Doing. He’s Fracturing the Republican Party"

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Image attributed to Jesse Ventura

Jesse Ventura

Off the Grid with Jesse Ventura, launched in January 2014 on Ora TV and YouTube. As of April 2015, a weekly wrap up of the online episodes is distributed to the TV channel RT America and airs on cable every Friday. The show offers Ventura’s electrifying insight into the nation’s most pressing problems as well as his opinions on topics ranging from government hypocrisy to corporate deception to current events. Guests have included Donald Trump, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Ralph Nader, Barney Frank, Larry King, Henry Rollins and William Shatner.

The former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler has also authored the books 63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read, DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODicans: No More Gangs in Government and They Killed Our President: 63 Reasons to Believe There Was a Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK. The newly revised edition of Ventura’s American Conspiracies was re-released on October 6, 2015.

"I love what Trump's doing. He’s fracturing the Republican Party, just as I love what Bernie’s doing to the Democrats. I wrote the book a few years ago, DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODicans: No More Gangs in Government. I want these two political parties destroyed, just like the monopolies of a two-party dictatorship that they are."

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): How is Off the Grid going, governor?

Jesse Ventura: It’s doing fine. I don’t keep track of that stuff because all I worry about is performing and doing the show. I don’t worry about the rest of it, how many hits we get and all that. I hear about it every six months. All I know is that I’m the biggest show on Ora TV, which makes me feel good. That means I probably won’t get fired.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Well, you are always in the news!

Jesse Ventura: Not always, only when I do book tours and interviews. Now and then I’m in the news, I guess. I’m not in the news too much when I’m off the grid in Mexico.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): True. Is there a chance the Appeals Court will overturn your defamation win in the Kyle case?

Jesse Ventura: Well, they’re hoping to overturn the verdict. They took it to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and oral arguments were last Tuesday. Now we should hopefully find out within the next 30 days or so whether they were successful. If they’re not, then I guess the only thing left for them is to take it to the U.S. Supreme Court, if they would desire to do that.

The bad part about it for me was last May, 32 major media conglomerates joined in on the lawsuit to ask that it be overturned because apparently all these major news conglomerates want the ability to defame people, to be able to do it for profit. They want the law of unjust enrichment overturned. If that happens, then defaming people will become a business to where they won’t have to check up on anything. They can defame anyone. They can make all the money off the defamation. It would be the equivalent of this: If you went out and robbed the bank and got caught, and they sentenced you to three years in prison. When you got out in three years, you could keep the money you took. That’s what they’re asking for essentially.

Now are they going to be successful? I hope not, for not only my sake, but for the country’s sake. If these media giants are successful, then defaming people will become a lucrative business for them. But I feel confident that the verdict will stand. I did what I wanted to do and that was prove that Chris Kyle lied. We did that in court. A jury agreed.

The federal judge that wrote a 24-page statement fully agreed. In fact, he finished by saying, “There was substantial evidence supporting both the verdict and the award.” Substantial. Not a little bit. Substantial. This is from a federal judge. How overwhelming must the have been for me to beat a dead war veteran and his grieving wife? How overwhelming must that evidence have been that the jury would find for me? They did their jobs. They looked at the evidence, and they didn’t allow their emotions to enter the trial.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You’d like to think that happens in every court case.

Jesse Ventura: You’d like to think that a jury of your peers which sat on the case could cast aside their personal feelings and strictly look at evidence. That’s what they’re asked to do, and I was fortunate that I had a jury that did their jobs.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Your publisher wanted to re-release American Conspiracies because of some revisions?

Jesse Ventura: I’m sure from a publisher’s standpoint it was to make some money (laughs). That’s what they’re in the business to do. You don’t begrudge them that. No, he just felt that the first book did so well, and the government provides us with at least one good one a year it seems. So we added four additional chapters to the existing chapters. It’s a great read.

I want to warn people, though. It’s a scary read. If you read this book, you should be a Stephen King fan because this book is designed to scare you. It’s designed to wake you up and to hopefully get you to pay attention to what’s going on around you because you should be paying attention. People need to be vigilant citizens for our country to work.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Was it the 9/11 conspiracy, written in the book, that affected this country the most in modern day?

Jesse Ventura: No. I think it’s still the murder of John Kennedy because think of it from the aspect I always view. I don’t buy that Oswald did it. I studied this since the mid-80s diligently with a passion. Here are my feelings. If you can get away with killing the president, what can’t you do? It’s as simple as that. There’s nothing you can’t do.

Plus, the killing of John Kennedy had the biggest impact on changing the United States of America and what we’d be today. Had John Kennedy lived, there would’ve been no Vietnam War. Look at what a change that would’ve been. He also was back channel communicating with Khrushchev, and they had agreed they were going to try and end the Cold War in ’65.

Imagine if there had been no Cold War and no Vietnam War. The world would be a completely different place today. That’s why I put the murder of John Kennedy as the biggest modern day impact conspiracy on the United States of America. Until we know the truth about it, we’re sitting on a house of cards because we’re not told the truth about it.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Will we ever know the truth?

Jesse Ventura: I believe I know. I’m fully convinced a coup d’état took place that day, a change in government, and it wasn’t done in the ballot box. It was done with a bullet, multiple bullets.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): With then Vice-President Lyndon Johnson involved?

Jesse Ventura: Well, you’ve got to remember this. There were two conspiracies that took place: The conspiracy to actually murder the president and the conspiracy to cover it up afterwards. Johnson and Hoover absolutely were in the conspiracy to cover it up afterwards. No doubt about that. Now there’s a lot of evidence that indicates Johnson was in the original conspiracy. That very well could’ve been a big possibility.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Republicans, especially, say that President George W. Bush kept America safe in spite of about 3,000 people dying on 9/11 and thousands losing their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jesse Ventura: Donald Trump took some heat because he said that Bush was responsible for 9/11. He was. Donald Trump isn’t telling a fib there. As much as people in this country want to live in denial, Bush was responsible. He was the Commander-in-Chief. When a multi billion-dollar air defense system failed so miserably, and the largest attack on U.S. soil occurred, how can you not say he’s responsible? If he’s not responsible, who is? It goes with the job.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Governor, are you the only person in America who doesn’t have a cellphone?

Jesse Ventura: I’ve never owned one. I’ve made it my life’s mission to now not to. I want to be able to put it on my grave. If I live another 20 years, I think I’ll be successful.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is that because you feel the NSA is listening?

Jesse Ventura: No. It’s just something more I could lose. I have enough trouble carrying my wallet, car keys and glasses with me. I don’t need a cellphone. Anything I do in my life today, I can do from a landline. I remember when I ordered my dream car. I ordered a 2003 twin-turbo Porsche GT. It goes close to 200 miles an hour. You’ve got to get a slot number to own one when they build it. I’ll never forget my salesman. I probably have gotten six cars from him throughout the years. When we were doing the final thing on the Carrera, he said, “Where would you like your cellphone?” I said, “I don’t want one.” You would’ve thought I was ordering a car without tires.

He was puzzled and said, “You don’t want a cellphone?” I said, “No. I have to have my left hand on the wheel. My right hand has to be on the shifter to shift. My right foot’s on the accelerator. My left foot’s on the clutch. Where does a cellphone fit into this? I buy a Porsche to drive the car. I don’t buy a Porsche to talk on the phone.”

Now I did tell him I wanted the six stacked CD player where you could put six CDs. That I wanted. But no, I don’t want a cellphone when I drive my car. Cars are to drive and pay attention, not to be talking on the phone.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I wish more people felt that way.

Jesse Ventura: Well, Jesse Ventura does.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What did you want to be when you grew up?

Jesse Ventura: I don’t know. Just grow up. I was a latchkey kid. I had unique parents. Both of them were World War II veterans. My mother was a nurse in North Africa. So not many people can say that. I had two working parents, so they were gone to work. I had to get myself up to go to school. I would get home from school before they would get home from work. So I was a very independent latchkey kid.

My parents taught me to be independent because of the lifestyles. My mother was a working woman before working women were even part of the workforce almost. We lived a different life in that manner in the 50s and 60s, having two working parents and not an at-home mother. So I’m a latchkey kid, which made me very independent. My father had six Bronze Battle Stars in World War II. He fought in North Africa, Normandy, Battle of the Bulge, Anzio and Berlin.

I remember coming home from junior high school and telling my father we had to go to war in Vietnam to stop the domino effect of communism. That’s what I was being taught in school. My father vehemently opposed it and said I was getting taught a lie. He said the only reason we’re in Vietnam is because somebody’s making big money. Guess who was right, the school or my dad? My dad was. My dad was against the Vietnam War before the hippies were. Now imagine a six Bronze Star battle-winning World War II veteran opposing war. Hmm. Wonder why that could be.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Did your parents influence your desire to join the military?

Jesse Ventura: They allowed me to be an independent. It was my choice to make. My father was in the Army. I guess his only advice to me, and it was kind of humorous, was this: “If you feel you’ve got to go into the military, join the Navy or Air Force. They’ll at least teach you something.” So what did I do? I volunteered for the Navy and became a member of the UDT SEAL community which is probably the closest thing the Navy has to the Marines (laughs).

I laugh today because when I got out of the Navy, I was entitled for one year of unemployment benefits to get a job. That’s the only time I’ve ever collected unemployment was when I got out of the Navy at first. Then I went to school for a while, and I went on the GI Bill. But I remember getting out of the Navy and going to the Unemployment Office. They asked me, “What are you qualified to do? What did you do in the Navy that you’re qualified to do in civilian life?” I looked at them and said, “Diving, demolition and parachuting.” They said, “That could be kind of difficult getting a job in that field.” I said, “Welcome to the UDT SEAL community. Now give me my unemployment check.” They taught me how to wage war. They didn’t teach me nothing about waging peace (laughs).

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You have been married now for forty years. The secret to its success?

Jesse Ventura:  The key to it, without a doubt, is communication. The minute you start holding things from each other, that’s when problems arise. The key is to be open and communicate because that way you can nip problems in the bud more easily. That way hostility doesn’t build to a crescendo and then explode as much. So I would tell you communication, and you’ve got to love each other. It’s that simple. It truly is two people becoming one.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you have grandkids?

Jesse Ventura: Nope, probably won’t either. My daughter can’t have children. My son, I think, is a confirmed bachelor. He’s mid 30s and living in Washington, D.C. now after a dozen or more years in LA. He says, “Dad, I’m so busy, and I love what I’m doing. I don’t seem to have time for that.” So I don’t anticipate it, but if it happens, it does. I’m not worried about it.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Of all the Republican candidates, who comes across as the most intelligent?

Jesse Ventura: Is that an oxymoron? (laughs) I don’t know. Intelligence comes in many forms. You’ve got street smarts. You’ve got book smarts. I guess the smartest would be Carson. Isn’t he a surgeon? But does that make him street smart? It’s like when I went to Harvard, and I taught. Imagine Jesse Ventura who only went to high school is now a professor teaching at Harvard.

Like I told my Harvard students, and I might brag, “I have the biggest classes in Harvard history.” I also told them, “I worked at the John Kennedy school of government. Harvard’s going to teach you the theory of government. Learn it and learn it well. Harvard’s smart enough to bring me in here. I’m here to teach you the reality of government because theory and reality may be two different things.”

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): How about Bernie, Hillary and the Benghazi hearings?

Jesse Ventura: First of all, I’d like to see hearings on the trumped up Iraq War. That’s been far more devastating. The lies we were told about weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al-Qaeda. All lies, and it’s been proven. Why aren’t we investigating that? But that aside, let’s go to the debates for a minute. Here’s something that I found very interesting that ties in better.

All the talking heads on CNN declared Hillary the overwhelming winner, right? Yet on the Internet, 81% of the people said that Bernie won. How could they be so different? When you get into the TV end at CNN, you find out that their parent company, Time Warner, is the seventh largest corporate contributor to Hillary’s campaign. Who do you think they’re going to declare as the winner? The person they’re financing. Doesn’t that change the game a little when you learn that?

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Some people say the moderator system in debates is just stupid, that the media shouldn’t be involved, and the candidates should just be left alone to their own devices.

Jesse Ventura: I don’t know. I don’t watch the debates. I’m not voting for any of them, so I don’t watch them. I voted for Gary Johnson last time, the former New Mexico governor and the Libertarian candidate for president. I reverse things. You know how people tell you that if you vote for a third party, you’re wasting your vote? I reverse that. I say that if you vote for these two parties, you’re wasting your vote because it doesn’t matter.

When push comes to shove, they’re both paid off by the same corporate power fascism structure, and I’ll use the word “fascism.” Mussolini would be proud of us today. If you bet on both teams at the Super Bowl, you don’t lose, do you? That’s what they do. Hillary Clinton is the corporate Democrat taking all the money. She will be no different than anyone who wins on the Republican side.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): When will you join the race?

Jesse Ventura: I’m not going to say if I will or won’t, but I certainly wouldn’t now because you’ve got to wait until the pikers are gone. You’ve got to wait until they’re down to two. Then the key is the Libertarian Party. They hold their convention end of May, early June. They’ve invited me twice. If they nominate you, then you get ballot access in, I think, 47 or 48 states.

Then, of course, the job becomes shaming them into allowing you to debate, which I’d be very good at. If you think you see Trump in action, remember something. I was a pro wrestler. I can out talk Trump any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Trump was a Democrat and a member of the Reform Party also.

Jesse Ventura: Yes, he was. He actually came to one of my fundraisers.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): So is he convincing as a Republican?

Jesse Ventura: I’ll say this. I love what Trump's doing. He’s fracturing the Republican Party, just as I love what Bernie’s doing to the Democrats. I wrote the book a few years ago, DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODicans: No More Gangs in Government. I want these two political parties destroyed, just like the monopolies of a two-party dictatorship that they are.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You want only the Libertarian Party?

Jesse Ventura: I believe when it comes down to the final debates for president, there should be a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian and a Green Party candidate all on the stage at the same time. I proved that in Minnesota. I didn’t poll high enough to make it in the national debates. Yet I was allowed to debate in Minnesota, and in seven weeks I went from under 10% polling to winning the governorship. It can be done if it’s a level playing field. But it’s not a level playing field with the Democrats and Republicans.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Let’s say Hillary wins the Democratic nomination. Who would be her Republican opponent?

Jesse Ventura: The guy who seems awfully unconcerned is Jeb Bush like he’s already got it wrapped up. He looks like he knows already that this is all a carnival show and that he will be the nominee in the end.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Okay. There’s Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and you. What will be your platform?

Jesse Ventura: It’ll be the whole ball of wax, but I’ll focus on this. First, I’ll challenge the American people to vote. Let’s remember the last national election where 64% of them did not vote. That’s nearly two out of three, and they are my potential customers. That’s how I won in Minnesota. Where are the Bernie votes going to go, and where are the Trump votes going to go if they don’t get the nomination? A certain amount of them would come to me, looking to continue to disrupt and continue to revolutionize.

Getting the Libertarian nomination doesn’t mean I’m part of their party. That has to be clear. I’m an independent. I would challenge the American people to make history with me by electing the first president since George Washington who does not belong to a political party. I believe that with the sentiment out there today, you could win on that alone. You could run as a true independent without the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain. They’d know I’m not owned by any corporations.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): More and more, it seems that church and state are entwined, and religion is a political issue.

Jesse Ventura: Yeah. I think we were warned about that, weren’t we? I think our forefathers said we needed a separation of church and state. I’m a practicing atheist (laughs). I don’t begrudge anybody, whatever their religion is. They’re fine and free to choose it. Just don’t force it upon me, and don’t force your ideas upon me. Keep them separated from government, and we’ll get along fine.

I don’t begrudge people’s religion. I just choose not to take part in it. Those are my beliefs. Until I can be proven there’s a supreme being, I don’t believe that there is.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What about government employees refusing to issue same sex marriage licenses because of their religious beliefs?

Jesse Ventura: Government should not be in that business at all. Don’t bring those beliefs into government because everyone should be treated equally and fairly by government. Churches don’t have to recognize gay marriage, but government absolutely should.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What’s the most important issue facing the country today and the one that would be first on your agenda as president?

Jesse Ventura: Getting us completely out of the Middle East. I would end the wars, and we’d come home. People talk about securing borders. Here’s my tradeoff. Let’s bring all our men and women home that are on these 168 bases throughout the world and let them guard our borders. Nobody will get in. But then again, I don’t necessarily agree with guarded borders either because do we really want to be East Berlin?

Let me give it to you this way. Ronald Reagan is the icon of the modern Republicans, right? I don’t even think he could be in their party today, but he is their icon. Ronald Reagan’s famous quote was, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Now we’re going to build one? I don’t think Reagan would agree.

Then when our brave marines in Lebanon were hit by a truck bomb, 200 or more of them killed, did Ronald Reagan go to war? No. He cut and ran. He got the hell out of there. So why don’t the Republicans start following the very icon that they pay homage to?

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Donald Trump wants Mexico to pay for that wall.

Jesse Ventura: Well, I got news for the Donald. Walls will work. You want to know how I know that? I don’t know one Mexican that’s made it over the Great Wall of China. So clearly they must work (laughs).

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Governor, it has been a pleasure as usual.

Jesse Ventura: Thank you. My pleasure. Keep up the good work. We’ll talk again.

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