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First Time Farce, Second Time Tragedy?


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first-time-farce-second-time-tragedy.phpPower Line:

John Hinderaker

February 27, 2016






For Minnesotans, the Donald Trump phenomenon has an air of deja vu. We have seen this play before, and it doesn’t end well.


in 1998, former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura (a stage name) ran for Governor of Minnesota as an independent. He had two opponents, one strong–Norm Coleman–and one weak, Skip Humphrey. Through most of the campaign Ventura was given no chance. But as the fall wore on, his campaign took fire. It became, in essence, a fad. People who had never voted before whooped and hollered at the thought of electing a pro wrestler. College students hung Ventura banners from dormitory windows. Only in the last days before the election did polls reflect the surge in support for Ventura. To the astonishment of almost everyone, probably including Jesse, the pro wrestler was elected Governor of Minnesota.


Ventura was in some ways a formidable person. A former actor and Navy frogman, he had a commanding presence and, in the right circumstances, an undeniable charm. But the core of his appeal was that he was not a politician! Actually, that wasn’t quite true–he had served as mayor of a large working-class suburb of Minneapolis. But that wasn’t held against him. Ventura’s chief virtue, as one heard over and over from his supporters, was that he wasn’t a politician. Sadly, that turned out to be correct.


Most people assumed that Ventura was some kind of conservative.............(Snip)


Ventura’s four-year term was more a disappointment than a disaster. After a year or two, no one still thought it was cool to have a pro wrestler in the governor’s mansion. Jesse found, I think, that he didn’t much like being governor. He chose not to run for a second term, and left office unlamented by anyone. In later years, he turned out to be a hopeless crank, muttering darkly about conspiracies and briefly hosting a cable television show that promoted conspiracy theories.


The Ventura fad didn’t cause Minnesota much long-term harm. But electing a president on the grounds that he says outrageous things and is not a politician! could be disastrous...................Snip)




I recall several of us on TOS trying to tell people Jesse was (and I quote a skinny old guy) "Jesse is a liberal in conservative drag."

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