"Love is Bigger than Government"

A profound insight or an empty Ventura-ism?

Why I Voted For Ventura
Jesse's Girl
by Julia Ramirez

There were four rules I lived by growing up in the Ramirez household:
1. You will never talk back to your parents.
2. You will be Catholic.
3. You will go to college.
4. You will vote for the Democratic Party.

I somehow survived the four platinum-plated regulations and managed (was forced) to live by all of them. Although much has changed since I was wet behind the ears, I still don't sass back to Felipe and Felipa; I assert my opinions. I'm still Catholic, I went to college, but politics is where I've gone astray.

Mom and Dad are die-hard Democrats and have never voted any other way. Not once. I couldn't wait to vote. I wholeheartedly believed it gave me the power to help change the world, and that I was thismuchcloser to being taken seriously. Then reality laughed in my face and out went my youthful idealism.

I've voted for the Democratic Party every election in my sixteen-year voting tenure except for twice:

In 1994 I voted for Arne Carlson, and I don't remember why I turned my head away from the Democrats at that time, but because he'd already served a fairly successful term already, I figured, "what the hell."

Then it happened for the second time in November, 1998. And again, it was the race for the Governor of Minnesota that I dissed the Demies.

Election morning I was still undecided, but I knew there was absolutely no way I wasn't going to vote (I say with pride that I've never let indifference or apathy posses me enough not to vote). So there I was at 8 a.m., Tuesday, November 5, walking into the Church of St. Luke's--my neighborhood designated "house of the vote"--a thick black marker pen in my right hand, and in my left was the wee hand of my nephew, Felipe, asking, "are you going to do it," then whispering, "Do it! Do it," as he grinned, looking at me over the wire rim of his glasses. And yes, indeed, I did it. I put pen to paper and filled in the middle of the broken arrow to cast my vote for Jesse "The Body" Ventura.

WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST DO? I just voted for a former all-star wrestler. Good Lord.

I handed in my voting sheet--experiencing yet another unpredictable episode in my life--collected my "I voted" sticker, and walked out the door as Felipe practiced his reading: "Ex-it," "No Smo-king."

Why'd I do it? I don't know. But I do know I've had it with the high taxes in this state (as has everyone else), and there was no way I was going to vote for another tax-and-spend Democrat who's riding the coattails of his well-known father.

Mayor Coleman? I believe he's done a fair job with our beautiful and lovely city of St. Paul, and for that, I raise a glass to him. Throughout the race, I'd been learning toward Coleman but I had reservations; unfortunately, Norm recently did two dubious things:

1. He changed his political allegiance from liberal Democrat to semi-staunch Republican. I have my speculations as to why he did this: because he knew there was no way he would successfully attain the Democratic Party's nomination. Especially not when there was a Humphrey seeking the same coveted trophy.

2. He just started his second term as the mayor and immediately began his campaign for governor.

Disloyalty? Opportunism? Seems like it to me, and I should know for I'm quite familiar with the wayward practices of the snake.

Something made me go to Ventura's Web site to get more background info on his platform. There were several of his "assertions" I was in complete disagreement with, so I told myself "whomever he's chosen as his running mate will determine whom I'll vote for." When I saw Mae Schunk and read her credentials, I knew I had no other choice: 1. She's an educator, has been one forever, and education is sacred to me. Also, I thought perhaps she could persuade Jesse to change his stand on governmental "financial handouts" for college students. 2. She's a woman.

Ultimately, I'm tired of the political circus. No, I didn't vote for Jesse out of rebellion or protest; he's the quintessential non-bullshitter: very honest. No pretense whatsoever and I dig that. Big whoop he wears alligator-skin cowboy boots, a tie-dyed Jimi Hendrix T-shirt, and a bandana around his noggin. Does that mean the man can't govern? No, it means he's gravely guilty of bad social/casual dressing. Though I severely frown on the use of double negatives, I get a good laugh whenever he uses them. Also, I appreciate his sense of humor. A prospective candidate who can poke fun at himself is a person I can relate to.

I really didn't expect Jesse to win, but he did. Jesse won. I stayed up all night having to know if he was going to maintain his thirty-seven percent lead over the other two. Felipe called me the next morning and yelled, "Nene (his nickname for me), YOU WON! You won! And I was there when you did it." I'm certain there were several tiny-tot boys who think it's cool to have some 6'4, 260-pound bald man running around this state, being in charge. Can't blame them. If I were a seven-year-old boy, I'd think it was cool, too.

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