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Do I Stand Alone?: Going to the Mat Against Political Pawns and Media Jackals Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 2001
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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From Publishers Weekly
Minnesota's pugnaciously quotable governor stood in the national spotlight when he took office: his subsequent book, I Ain't Got Time to Bleed, told his life story. This follow-up offers a smorgasbord of quick stands on specific issues; longer critiques of the political process, the parties and the media; and feelings about his time in government. The governor is against "pork-barrel politics," "government bloat" and "public careerism," and he's upset about the structural advantage enjoyed by incumbents over challengers. He's quite angry at local and national press, especially when he believes they misquote him to create scandals. If some of his positions seem far-out, others can pack a commonsense wallop. He thinks "we're far too dependent on automobiles" and hopes for "more mass transit." He dislikes most gun-control laws, he hates the IRS and even hopes to replace income tax with a national sales tax. And, he's against the death penalty, three-strikes laws and the drug war: "Prison should be reserved for violent offenders." One chapter offers readers an amendment-by-amendment guide to the Bill of Rights, along with the governor's views on how to interpret them; a later chapter proffers generalized advice for resisting hype and spin; another gives programs for electoral and campaign finance reform (four-year synchronized terms for all officeholders, unicameral legislatures and restrictions on private donors). Ventura and coauthor Mooney, of the American Enterprise Institute, capture Jesse the Body's bare-knuckled attitude and his appeal. Though much of the book consists of soothing sound bites, the remainder is a real message from the most successful third-party politician in America: it turns out he's got some useful things to say.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Jesse Ventura was born George Janos in Minneapolis. After a six-year stint as a member of the U.S. Navy's elite SEAL teams, he became one of the world's top professional wrestlers, starred in several major Hollywood films, and was later a popular talk radio host. Elected governor of Minnesota in 1998 as the only Reform Party candidate ever to win statewide office, he currently enjoys one of the highest popularity ratings of any national political figure. He lives in St. Paul with Terry, his wife of twenty-four years, and their two children.
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He wants a unicameral legislature for his state. Will a single chamber automatically reduce voter apathy and the influence of special interests? Instead of limiting terms, limit the meeting time of the legislature so they'll only concentrate on important items. They should spend most of their time with the citizens, not the lobbyists. Alexis DeTocqueville's "Democracy in America" explained why there are two chambers. A yearly elected Assembly to respond to the people's wants; a triannually elected Senate to provide a more farsighted view as to the people's needs. The Senate would also impeach judges, state officials, and the governor as needed. The one state with a unicameral legislature may also have an egalitarian and homogenous population with similar interests.
The cure for too-powerful representatives is simple: select committees and chairman by lot. Once these elections can't be fixed the power of the special interests will be greatly reduced.
The correct campaign reform law is to ban all broadcast political advertising; they are either lies or half-truths. Printed literature will last long enough to check the promises against the achievements. Candidates will not have to sell their souls to the devils of special interests. The next step should be to ban any contributions from corporate entities; they are not real people. This will return campaigns to a very level playing field.
In "Tort Reform: Civilizing Our Civil Courts" he asks why so many lawyers are politicians. That was answered by DeTocqueville in Volume I. That's like asking why so many people in rural areas go hunting.
In "Tax Reform" he complains about the income tax, and high property taxes. (Isn't an income tax just a type of property tax?) To lower property taxes you must either give localities and counties part of the state sales tax, or part of the income tax. You can't do anything else!
There are many other topics covered in this book. Most are common-sense proposals that are unusual to hear from a politician; but J.V. is not an ordinary politician. You should read the chapter on "Education".
Ventura's book is defensive in nature, as it should be. It is also inspirational. He challenges all of us to stand up to the status quo and do something about the helplessness many of us feel.
Ventura is truly the "thinker" and everything about his ideology should scare the far left and right. He argues based upon merit of the subject, not what he believes he is supposed to think. He is brutally honest and that is refreshing. What I like most is that when I read it, I felt like he was talking directly to me with his own voice.
My main objection to give a full-five star status is that a few points get dredged up a few too many times in my honest opinion. However, that is just a difference in how I believe a book is most effective. It is not a book that is as fun as his first, "I Ain't Got Time To Bleed" as it doesn't explore his past. But it shouldn't either, since it has already been done.
It's a shame that he'll not run again, but if you read the book, you'll understand his beliefs. I don't necessrily go along with all of them, but it amazes me how close we are politically and ideologically!