Jesse Ventura: Telling it like it is

By Kevin Kelly

Jesse Ventura – navy underwater demolition expert, pro wrestler, actor, author, former Governor of Minnesota, and visiting fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government – is a well-known political iconoclast. He ran for governor as a member of the Reform Party. A fiscal conservative, he supported gay rights, famously called Dick Cheney a “coward” and a “chickenhawk,” and sued the TSA for what he considers illegal patdowns. His take on politics is never predictable or bland.


Kevin Kelly: Before we delve into your latest book, the upcoming election, and politics, I wanted to get your take on the tragedy that we see unfolding in Libya.

Jesse Ventura: I think we should shut down our embassies, stop all foreign aid, and get the hell out of there. Let me go back to the 1980’s when Ronald Reagan was President, and of course he’s the icon of the Republican Party. If you recall our marine barracks in Lebanon was attacked and over 200 marines were killed. Did Ronald Reagan go to war? No, he got the hell out of there. I mean if these people don’t want us there, why are we there? Again I stand with Ron Paul. I think all foreign aid should be eliminated. I mean, how can we give up foreign aid to any other country when we’re broke, and so far in debt?

Kelly: Do you agree with Ron Paul that we should not only withdraw from Libya, but we should withdraw this empire that we have overseas? We have over 900 military bases and we’re currently stationed in over 150 countries.

Ventura: Absolutely. Actually, if we back up a little, you know why we are there don’t you?

Kelly: Why is that, Governor?

Ventura: We’re not there to protect the United States people’s interests; we’re there to protect multi-international corporations.

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