Jesse Ventura continues to promote possible bid for Libertarian nomination


Jesse Ventura has, in a series of recent interviews and media appearances, talked about the possibility of seeking the Libertarian presidential nomination in 2016, providing additional details about his intentions.

In an interview with WCCO, a local CBS affiliate in Minnesota:

In a uniquely Ventura approach, he says he won’t actually join the Libertarian Party.

“For the first time since George Washington, let’s elect someone who does not belong to a political party, a true independent, and, secondly, I will pull us completely out of the Middle East,” he said.

Ventura says he will decide whether to run in March of 2016. […]

This scenario of being able to capture the Libertarian Party’s nomination at their convention next May is actually possible under Libertarian party rules, according to Carla Howell, the party’s political director.

On Alan Colmes’ Fox News radio show, as reported by Sunshine State News in an article about both Ventura and Gary Johnson:

“I voted last time for Gov. Johnson, the Libertarian candidate,” Ventura told Colmes, adding he was exploring running again.

“You would challenge Johnson for the nomination?” Colmes asked.

“No, I would try to team up with him,” Ventura replied. “Johnson and Ventura.”

“How close are you?” Colmes asked. “Ventura and Johnson?”

“We’re pretty close,” Ventura answered, saying he would make up his mind about whether to run before Libertarians hold their convention in late spring. “ It will have to be made before the convention. They have the convention in late May, early June.”

“You talk to Gary about it?” Colmes asked.

“Not directly, but the Libertarians have contacted me, and have opened the door for me to come to the convention,” Ventura said.

Ventura also brought up the possiblity during a panel discussion on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore:

“Imagine when people go in the voting booth, the disenchanted people, and they see these other Democrats and Republicans, and then all of a sudden they see Jesse Ventura,” he said.

However, Ventura said he would not join the Libertarians, even if they made him the party’s nominee — and the other panelists expressed serious doubts about his plans.

“Why would they agree to that?” Madigan said.

28 thoughts on “Jesse Ventura continues to promote possible bid for Libertarian nomination

  1. Andy

    If Jesse Ventura was planning to run for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President, somebody should have told him that it was a bad idea to endorse Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, but of course, he should have known this.

    I actually still like Jesse Ventura overall, in spite of his flaws, but having said this, I’d prefer to have a more principled Libertarian on our party’s Presidential ticket. Jesse Ventura had a lot of potential, but I think he’s probably blown it.

    Those of us who are a part of the Libertarian Party and who follow this stuff pretty closely may not be thrilled with the prospect of Jesse Ventura running for the nomination, but I bet that this will generate publicity if it happens, and that it will create a excitement among those who are not as involved with this stuff as most of the readers here are.

  2. Jill Pyeatt

    Well, I just went to Jesse’s FB page and asked if we could interview him here. We won’t know until we ask, right?

    I won’t hold my breath, but I did give him a link to our site.

  3. Andy Craig Post author

    I thought it was funny that even Kathleen Madigan (who so far as I know has no connection to the LP) could spot the obvious flaw in his “I won’t join the party” plan.

  4. Andy Craig Post author

    I do wonder if Carla Howell was speaking to the membership qualification issue, or just the timing matter that a candidate can technically wait to declare right before or at the convention, and still be nominated.

    My understanding of nominating a non-member in 2016 is that it isn’t possible, because even if the rules are changed by the requisite super-majority, the change doesn’t take effect until the end of the convention. In other words, it’s too late to change them for the 2016 nomination. I’m not enough of a parliamentarian or LP by-laws expert to say if that’s correct, but it sounds plausible. Either way as the rules stand, they would have to be suspended or altered somehow to allow for Ventura to be eligible as a non-Libertarian.

  5. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Like Root and Barr before him, Ventura’s message to the LP will largely be: “Look how famous I am! I’m more famous than that LP itself! Think of all the media and national exposure I’ll bring to the LP! Wow! You guys are SO LUCKY that I’m willing to accept your nomination!

  6. paulie

    The response to Ventura running that I see on LP state FB groups and the likes seems to be pretty uniformly negative, BTW.

  7. Andy


    October 16, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    The response to Ventura running that I see on LP state FB groups and the likes seems to be pretty uniformly negative, BTW.”

    I’d be willing to bet that there would be a much more positive response to Ventura seeking the LP Presidential nomination from people who are not heavily involved in the LP, but who are sympathetic to the LP, or to minor parties and independent candidates in general.

    I’m not saying that Ventura should get nominated, I’m just pointing out that the responses to him running will be more positive from people who are not LP regulars.

  8. Andy Craig

    I’ve noticed that too. Not just mostly negative, not just overwhelmingly negative, but actually *unanimously* negative, as in dozens of comments on some state pages about it without even *one* saying they want Jesse to run on our ticket. It does reassure me, not that I really needed it, that few if any state parties will send delegates who’ll be willing to even consider voting for him in Orlando.

    I really do wish Jesse was more libertarian and less crazy. I actually want to be able to like him, and I understand why some people think he might be a good catch for the party. To have won the Governorship as a genuine third-party candidate will always be impressive, and a campaign to point to for anybody hoping to see more third-party victories. (37%! It can happen!) I’ll admit, he does even have better name recognition than Gary Johnson (though not as much as some might think.)

    But the sad truth, is that there is no getting the good parts of Jesse Ventura without the baggage. We can’t just take the likable part, the relatively libertarian-ish-leaning ex-Governor and celebrity. Instead we get Jesse the caricature of a conspiracy theorist, the perpetual clown, the loose cannon, the guy whose economic positions swing from “ignorant” to “ignorant and socialist,” who endorsed Trump and Kerry and Sanders and wants McKinney to be his running mate, and who ran off into the hinterlands of Mexico and repudiated his US citizenship in order to hide from the black helicopters. Would he get publicity? Undoubtedly. He’d also serve as the perfect example that not all publicity is good publicity, and that people who say otherwise don’t understand the difference between winning votes and selling widgets.

  9. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Andy, sounds like Ventura’s ideal “libertarian” running mate might be Augustus Sol Invictus.

    Not only would they be complementary (each bringing their own unique set of Crazy to the table), but Sol Invictus would make Ventura appear sober and statesmanlike by comparison.

  10. paulie

    I’m not saying that Ventura should get nominated, I’m just pointing out that the responses to him running will be more positive from people who are not LP regulars.

    He’d have to get them to the convention and plugged in to the state delegations. If the chairs of the state delegations don’t want them there I doubt it can happen.

  11. NewFederalist

    Andy, sounds like Ventura’s ideal “libertarian” running mate might be Augustus Sol Invictus.” – RTAA

    I think George Phillies would be a better choice.

  12. Wang Tang-Fu

    Jill: Nothing new. Same stuff he has been saying for a while now about getting the nomination without joining the party. It’s against party bylaws. Unfortunately, he now seems to have figured out that the convention is in late May. I was so hoping he would stick with his charming idea that it will be in June…

  13. Bob Dobbs

    All involved are too stupid to oppose the mala prohibita police state. And, they’re not just “slightly too stupid,” they’re “much too stupid.”

    Therefore, I predict that Ventura will not come close to getting the Libertarian nomination, but that, even if he does, he’ll be controlled by anti-liberty elements worse than the anti-liberty elements that now control the LP. Why write this? Why not remain non-committal? Because Ventura has a long history of indicating that
    1) He thinks Libertarians are anarchists
    2) He doesn’t understand the concept of radical minarchy (that most Americans actually agree with)
    3) He doesn’t understand the implications of radical minarchist libertarianism
    4) He doesn’t understand the common law and Bill of Rights
    5) He doesn’t understand ANY libertarian perspective regarding basic Economics (He doesn’t understand what Adam Smith, Hayek, Mises, and Bryan Caplan have written about Economics)
    6) He doesn’t understand the true political reality (sociopath tax-eaters governing uncommitted “serviles,” or “pathocracy” as Andrzej ?obaczewski so labeled it)

    #1-6 allow a smart and outspoken person to win Governor of MN, but they don’t allow such a person to make Minnesota much freer. As governor, Ventura royally and epically failed to make Minnesotans significantly more free. He continues to ask if he’s alone in rebelling, and then ignore and shit on people who have taken rebellion VASTLY further than he has, for advice, kinship camaraderie, or help. This alone means that even people who were once sympathetic to him (such as myself) will not offer a finger of assistance in his idiotic plans to win the LP nomination while disavowing them.

    Yes Jesse, it IS about FREEDOM. …And the president doesn’t make the country more free (except insofar as he takes on certain issues as Andrew Jackson did; or broadly fights the system as John Lilburne, Frederick Douglass, and William Penn did). State Legislatures do, however, have the ability to make America far more free. As do L/libertarian sheriffs riding the coattails of a well-spoken, ABOLITIONIST president who advocates jury nullification of law for all victimless crimes. So, the only thing Jesse would accomplish by disavowing the LP is to ensure that his work was not built upon at the most efficient, local level.

    If he tried to change anything major at the top hierarchical level, he’s also likely correct that he’d be assassinated or, far more likely, threatened to the point where his actions were neutralized. (And this assumes he’s not a big-government goon himself, something that’s by no means a safe assumption. Remember: while he was governor of MN, he didn’t govern as a libertarian. He didn’t encourage the general public to nullify victimless crime laws. He was too meek, and he distanced himself from libertarians at the time, who could have made his governorship a true uprising against false authority.)

    Ventura doesn’t understand any of the prior. He thinks the government should “regulate” healthcare (outside of what proper juries allow). In short: he’s totally philosophically and historically illiterate. He very clearly hasn’t even read Clay Conrad’s book on Jury Nullification, nor has he read “Send in the Waco Killers,” nor has he read “Why Government Doesn’t Work.” He skims a lot of what he reads, in a very non-intellectually-rigorous way. He thinks Bernie Sanders and Trump are legitimate. …And he wants an “alternative” to totally unrestricted political speech and electoral spending (an “alternative” to the First Amendment that favors giving the FEC the same unlimited power he allegedly argues against). He therefore isn’t primarily concerned with protecting the individual right to speak, but with shaping the consequences of that speech. Well, a deep knowledge of History shows that that results in dictatorship.

    Ventura therefore tips his hand that he doesn’t understand voluntary minarchism (the unanimity of “consent of the governed” in rejecting coercion). …He therefore tips his hand that he doesn’t understand Thoreau or Spooner. Good luck winning the LP nomination like that! (Barr proved it’s doable, if you bring enough non-libertarian supporters to the LP convention, AND IF Bill Redpath and his supporters favor your victory.)

    So, Ventura could bring enough supporters to the convention to win, as Bob Barr did in 2008. Unlikely but possible, because…

    Ventura does understand political engagement far better than 99% of Libertarians do. What this means is that he can win office, but that, once elected as a Libertarian, he will not govern as one. Moreover, he doesn’t even acknowledge this as a likely possibility, because he has a huge ego. (Another bad sign.)

    Even so, he’s very popular, and would run a more competent race than any other declared person, other than perhaps McAfee, who is something of a wild card, or any of a few hundred public figures who haven’t declared yet (and won’t declare). For example, Vince Vaughn would make a far better candidate than anyone else, assuming he knew enough to hire competent small-L libertarian strategic advisors who were normalized for truth and freedom (not for running conventional political campaigns), or was strategically competent himself (unlikely for anyone who hasn’t spent years paying close statistical attention to political contests).

    In any case, it’s all academic, because, as I said, none of the people involved are not smart enough to survive the intentional opposition that exists. It is this intentional opposition which controls politics because it allows for unlimited theft from the American productive classes, and that’s a prize that, once won, is worth keeping.

    If you never had to work again, and every taxpayer in the nation gave you a few cents per day, and you simply had to occasionally give orders to “maintain the system as it stands” in order to continue your luxury lifestyle, and you were a sociopath who only cared about luxury, would you give the orders? Sure you would. You might even do this if you weren’t a sociopath, but just mentally weak.

    Ventura is an interesting political figure who presents no significant obstacle to the continued maintenance of the incumbent political establishment, because he wants many of the same things the establishment wants.

    He wants the FEC to control political debate and therefore stands against the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This alone would be enough to totally discombobulate, confuse, fracture apart, and scatter any “freedom movement” that rose up with Ventura as its intellectual center.

    He doesn’t oppose government-run “healthcare.” This alone would be enough to totally discombobulate, confuse, fracture apart, and scatter any “freedom movement” that rose up with Ventura as its intellectual center.

    He doesn’t urge individual citizens to nullify bad laws, nor does he understand “voir dire,” nor does he understand that laws against “mala in se” must have a valid corpus. (This is sometimes loosely referred to as “the conflict between the common law and statute law,” but this is an inaccurate characterization of reality.) Ventura doesn’t gently explain the prior legal facts to the public, nor does he even indicate he himself understands these things when he talks with fairly knowledgeable people like Adam Kokesh. (Therefore, he typically minimizes interaction with such knowledgeable people, never allowing them to get to the bottom of his incomprehension. This was how his interaction with Kokesh ended. This alone, again, would be enough to undo him, politically. It provides a pathway whereby the incumbent power need only force him to contradict himself, undermining his legitimacy, and having the party that’s given him ballot access wage all-out war against him.)

    Strategically, his buttons are easy to press on issues like “9-11 Truth,” but he might actually use this to his advantage, playing videos of Building 7’s collapse, and claiming any response from the system as “a victory.” It could, however, backfire, relegating him to looking insane if he failed to execute it well.

    Ventura’s philosophical weaknesses provide more than enough grounds with which to destroy him, but given that the LP is a total joke right now, I’m kind of in the “grab popcorn and watch” category.

    I’m not in the category of people who thinks it can’t get worse, and that Ventura can’t make it worse. I’m also not in the category of people who think he can’t make things better. I assign a 15% chance of his entering the race as a Libertarian making things slightly better. I assign a 75% chance of his entering the race as a Libertarian making things significantly worse.

    Were he to simply call himself a minarchist Libertarian, and learn the FIRST FUCKING THING ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS, I’d revise his chances of making a positive difference upward.

    If he continues to assert that he would only disavow the LP, the 75% negative will continue to drop. If he does so up til the convention, It becomes a flat 95% negative.

    It simply opens too many opportunities for his enemies to destroy him, failing to be united with the Party (and movement) he’s running under. It’s not the failing to unite with the Bill Redpath Party that would matter, it’s that he would be failing to unite with them for anti-liberty reasons, not pro-liberty reasons.

    And that’s the real reason so many libertarians are sick of Ventura: he doesn’t oppose our mistakes, failings, and errors, …he opposes the one fucking thing we got right: radical opposition to illegitimate coercive state power.

    As always, with the term “libertarian,” it’s a comedy of errors.

    For this reason, Ventura would do well to call himself a classical liberal, and keep reading until he understands each objection I’ve raised here, and then proudly run as a Libertarian, explaining to the public that it properly means “classical liberal.” He should repeatedly reference the Bill of Rights to justify his actions, since the general public loves the Bill of Rights. He should cast Bill Redpath and any other big-government guys out of his campaign. He should repeatedly credit America’s former economic success to the Economics of Adam Smith and F. A. Hayek.

    And he should get his head out of his ass, so he actually understands those ideas himself.


  14. Erik Viker

    If he is serious when he says“… let’s elect someone who does not belong to a political party, a true independent…” then he should run as an independent and not seek any party nomination. Especially the nomination of a party with principles he has rejected.

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