Is it time to abolish the Democratic and Republican parties? Jesse Ventura thinks so. The outspoken Independent and former governor of Minnesota put forward the proposal in an interview with Piers Morgan on Monday night. Their discussion took a bizarre turn when the CNN host equated the election of Independents to public office with fascism.
“To save our country we need to abolish the political parties. Make them political action committees,” said Ventura, likening Democrat-Republican party politics to the gang war between the Crips and the Bloods. He even went one step further, arguing that the ruling parties are worse than the infamous street gangs:
“The Crips and the Bloods, the street gangs, while they can be devastating to a certain small part of the population, the DemoCRIPs and ReBLOODlicans, the Democrats and the Republicans, they affect everybody in this country and they've been in charge for over 100 years. So, how can they say they're not responsible for the horrible state that our country's in today?”
Ventura was on the program to discuss his new book, entitled Democrips and Rebloodicans: No More Gangs in Government. Expanding on his proposal to abolish the political parties, Ventura essentially advocated for non-partisan elections, arguing that party labels should be prohibited from appearing on the ballot.
“The best thing we could do is on every ballot, remove all gang names and gang symbols. Allow them to only run on their names. That way, it becomes important that the voters educate themselves...because right now, when you go in to vote, if you're conservative, you don't need to know any names. All you need to do is look for Republican. If you're liberal, all you need to do is look for Democrat. You don't even need to know the name of the candidate,” said Ventura.
The interview took a rather strange turn when Piers Morgan doubted the possibility of a government in which Independents are represented and equated a government not dominated by party elites with fascism.
“The reality of the kind of American government you're looking for here is you would end up with a whole thing of disparate souls, all different kinds of policies, all different kinds of policies. How does it actually work in reality, Jesse? Be sensible. Be realistic,” Morgan pleaded.
Of course, the idea that individual souls should represent disparate constituencies and advocate for competing policies is the very basis of constitutional government in the United States, as Ventura intimated in his response. Being “sensible” and “realistic,” on Morgan's view, effectively means nothing more than surrendering the idea of popular government in the interests of maintaining party government and the failed political status quo. But why?
Morgan's fear, apparently, is that the election of Independents will lead to fascism. You read that correctly. Government by Independents will lead to fascism, says Morgan.
He reformulated his question as follows: “How do you actually govern when you have a whole load of disparate souls? . . . Human nature, Jesse, dictates that it becomes like a factious state, where you end up with the strongest taking charge. You end up with people who are the most independents of the independents. You're basically endorsing a form of fascism, aren't you?”
Does Morgan actually believe that the likes of Mussolini and Hitler rose to power because of their opposition to party government? It is not clear. In response, Ventura pointed out that the United States government, under the misrule of the Republican and Democratic parties, already fits a primary textbook definition of fascism: the merger of corporation and state. The great irony of Morgan's presumption that government by Independents will lead to fascism is that he assumes Independents who are elected to public office will be the self-same Democrats and Republicans under a different monicker.
“These would be independents formerly known as Democrats and Republicans,” said Morgan.
In other words, according to Morgan, the currently existing two-party state is realistic and sensible, but if the exact same individuals were elected as Independents it would be fascism.
Political independence is incompatible with our form of government? The election of individuals who do not embody blind allegiance to a party machine will lead to fascism? Piers Morgan is either an ignoramus or just plays one on television.
See the transcript of the interview at CNN.