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by Andrew Kreig
As the 2012 elections approach, a new book argues that the best way to reform a corrupt political system is by abolishing all United States political parties -- thereby implementing the beliefs of the nation's Founders.
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and co-author Dick Russell trace historic statements by such Founders as George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to discern why they feared the corrupting influence of parties for the new nation.
Fast forward to today's system: The authors document vast dysfunction and corruption, and trace the roots to political parties seeking self-sustenance through big money contributions, instead of a better civic life. The authors argue: "No More Gangs in Government."
Russell, left, a longtime investigative reporter and environmentalist, and Ventura, the former Navy Seal and pro-wrestler elected for one-term as Minnesota's governor, propose this solution: abolish political parties by law, and return candidacies to the small-scale campaigns that built the country.
To discuss their idea and the underlying problems, join Russell, me and my longtime radio co-host Scott Draughon July 5 at noon (EDT) for this week's edition of our Washington Update show. Click here to listen to the interview, now available by archive after being aired live.
We opened the show with commentaries on the Supreme Court's health care insurance ruling June 28, including new reports that Chief Justice John Roberts changed his vote late in the process to rule the mandate legal in a 5-4 decision.
Their new book, DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans, compares the two major parties to the Los Angeles gangs Crips and Bloods. The publisher's description says the book, available here, "uncovers the truth about how corporations have bought the American electoral and legislative process through the power of lobbyists, campaign contributions, and political action committees." Further:
Using historical details, such as the development of the two-party system and the advent of third-party candidates throughout U.S. history, DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans exposes how the two major parties have allowed corporations, businesses, and politically-motivated wealthy individuals to manipulate elections, bribe elected officials, and silence the average American voter.
Exposing the ineptitude and gang-like mentalities of both parties, Ventura advocates the replacement of the two-party system with a no-party system based on the ideals of our Founding Fathers. As election time rolls around, this is most certainly the book that should be looked at for reforming our electoral system.
Russell's eight books have ranged from natural history to the assassination of President Kennedy. Among them are the New York Times best-seller American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies That The Government Tells Us, co-authored with Ventura. Russell’s magazine writing and personal energies have primarily focused on the environment. Even before BP’s Gulf oil spill in 2010, he warned about “the crisis impacting the world's fisheries and oceans.” His books include the 2008 best-seller, Don't Start the Revolution Without Me, also co-authored with Ventura. In 2008, Russell published On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, his second book examining the conspiracy behind the death of President Kennedy. Russell was a consultant on the web-based documentary film, "The Warning," and was featured in a National Geographic documentary on whales.Click for full bio and contact details. Russell is a prolific publisher in many of the nation's top magazines and has been a guest on many national TV and radio programs. Russell divides his time between Boston and Los Angeles.
Jesse Ventura is a former governor of Minnesota, elected on the Reform Party ticket in 1998 and serving from 1999 to 2003. He is the author and co-author with Russell of several best-selling books, including Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! and I Ain't Got Time to Bleed. Also, he is the host of the TruTV series, Conspiracy Theory. He lives in Dellwood, Minnesota, and Baja, Mexico.
:: photo courtesy of Cory Barnes vis Creative Commons license ::
Andrew Kreig is a Washington-based non-profit executive, attorney and investigative reporter who directs the non-partisan Justice Integrity Project, a legal reform group.