It is often said that the true power of a politician is achieved during the term of office; that the further one moves from office, the less his or her influence, and the smaller that sphere of influence. Jesse Ventura seems to be the exception to this rule. Having left political office some 10 years ago to become an outspoken advocate of the need for electoral and government change and transparency, Jesse Ventura, former Independent Governor of Minnesota, has become increasingly relevant within U.S. political discourse as Americans begin to reject the two party system and search for an alternative.
Jesse Ventura stormed onto the political scene and shocked the nation in 1998 when he won Minnesota’s gubernatorial race as an Independent. Since leaving the Governor’s residence, Ventura has remained politically engaged, often criticizing the two parties for their hypocrisy and inability to provide viable solutions to the problems that plague America.
During our recent conversation, Ventura discussed his newest work They Killed Our President: 63 Reasons to Believe There Was a Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK, the Republican backlash after the government shutdown, his petition, and a possible bid for the Oval Office in 2016.
Governor Ventura’s latest book reignites the debate over the murder of President John F. Kennedy. Almost 50 years after Kennedy’s assassination, Ventura believes that Kennedy’s death is still relevant because, according to him, the government continues to lie and withhold information about the 35th President’s murder. Ventura claims that if Kennedy was not struck down in Dealey Plaza, the Vietnam War would never have occurred, and the Cold War would have ended peacefully between America and the Soviet Union.
However, there are other authors and academics who uphold the Warren Commission’s conclusion and dismiss questions raised by skeptics as conspiracy theories. One example of those that upholds the official narrative is Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly. In the beginning of Ventura’s book, he challenges O’Reilly to debate him on the assassination. I asked the Governor if he still renews that challenge: “Sure…I did that tongue in cheek, really, because Bill O’Reilly would never debate me on this. There’s no way.”