Remember Jesse Ventura? Sure you do. A movie star and former wrestler, Ventura captured the governor’s seat in Minnesota a couple years back by giving a body slam to politics as usual. Lord knows I don’t agree with all the man’s opinions, nor all his policies neither. But I do like the fact that he is neither intimidated by the usual checklist of political pieties nor afraid to do battle with the powers that be. But those are strikes against Jesse, says Jonah Goldberg, in a recent issue of National Review.
Goldberg says Ventura is a “demagogue” who doesn’t see that, “the faults of the major parties stem from the fact that they are too democratic and too weak, not the reverse. . . . Untethered to any institution, Ventura is free to rant about the corruption of the cleanest political system in American history. . . .”
A demagogue, as you know, is an empty-headed fellow, usually a former wrestler, who rouses the rabble by a lot of deceptive rhetorical bluster. I give Ventura more credit than that. I think he says what he believes. Nor can I agree that thumbing your nose at today’s political establishment is tantamount to original sin. After the last several years of virtually non-stop scandal and corruption at the highest levels of office, I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks the political system is a hymn to integrity needs to pull his head out of the sand. But maybe Goldberg’s piece is really a slick parody of just that Ostrich-like attitude.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.