Together with his historical past as a humorist, mercilessly mocking sport present host, and designated day-drinking companion to the Immediately Present’s Kathie Lee and Hoda, Ben Gleib’s presence among the many slew of candidates vying for the Democratic Get together’s nomination for president has many questioning if his marketing campaign is a few kind of elaborate joke. However he insists that’s not the rationale he’s working for the best workplace within the land.
“If being humorous was my purpose, you’ll be laughing much more,” Gleib deadpans in a phone interview with Excessive Occasions. “However now we have a number of critical issues to sort out.”
These essential points embody ending corruption and the affect of huge cash in politics, healthcare for everybody (“as a result of clearly,” proclaims his marketing campaign web site), legalizing hashish, and jail reform. And whereas a few of these matters have been acquainted themes for a lot of of his contenders, too, Ben Gleib says that he doesn’t consider the group of politicians main the pack have what it takes to achieve 2020.
“I’m working as a result of I don’t assume that any of the present candidates working for the Democratic nomination are providing a sure-fire approach to beat Trump. I’m not satisfied that any of them has a method that may take down the anomaly that’s the orange monster who’s making an attempt to erode the whole lot that we maintain pricey on this nation. He’s not a politician and so making an attempt to beat him with politics is senseless. It’s like making an attempt to convey coverage papers to a wrestling match.”
Take Him Down with Comedy
But when Gleib have been to get the nod from the get together, his expertise on the comedy membership circuit would assist him take the president down.
“Trump is the largest heckler in political historical past,” he says. “The way in which you are taking down a heckler each time is with a comic. And that’s what I plan to do.”
Gleib says that he needs his marketing campaign to be about giving a voice to marginalized communities, prompting his marketing campaign path to run not solely by way of Iowa and New Hampshire however Puerto Rico as nicely, the place he visited just lately to view the persevering with restoration from Hurricane Maria, two years after the storm battered the Carribbean island.
“I’m the one candidate within the race who’s a working individual and the one union member the race,” says Gleib. “I’m the one one who’s not a profession politician or multimillionaire. I’m bored with frequently electing the identical kinds of folks into workplace after which being shocked after we don’t get change.”
Ben Gleib: Professional-Hashish Candidate
One of many adjustments he want to see is an overhaul of federal marijuana coverage, saying that the truth that so many individuals are in jail for one thing so many people do in our personal lives is the peak of hypocrisy.
“We should legalize [cannabis] nationwide and expunge the information of people who find themselves in jail for it,” Ben Gleib maintains.
He’s been a leisure consumer of hashish and supporter of legalization his complete grownup life, a distinction from the opposite candidates he’s eager to clarify. A lot in order that he says he made historical past in September by changing into the primary candidate for president to publicly smoke a joint, a feat he achieved on the YouTube present “Getting Doug with Excessive.”
“We talked a number of trash and obtained to speak some coverage and in regards to the marketing campaign,” Gleib says of his look on the present with buddy and fellow comic Justin Martindale. “I obtained to share a few of why I believe it’s essential for us to finish the hypocrisy, not simply with respect to hashish however in each side of our lives.”
Drain the Swamp (For Actual This Time)
Ben Gleib can also be keen about getting corruption and cash from lobbyists out of politics, a lot in order that he joined activist Renaldo Pearson on the final mile of his Democracy 911 protest march from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. On the conclusion of the trek, the 2 have been arrested once they did not adjust to police calls for to finish their sit-in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
“It was one of many proudest moments of my life as a result of I’m sick of presidency being stuffed with shit,” Gleib exclaims. “And I’m sick of being paid lip service by these politicians who don’t really change something.”
“It was not misplaced on me that I used to be arrested for protesting corruption,” he provides, “on the identical actual time that Trump was having impeachment proceedings begun towards him for corruption on a telephone name with the Ukrainian president, who was a comic simply 5 months in the past.”
Gleib can also be making felony justice reform part of his platform, saying he needs to finish the mass incarceration of African Individuals and maintain company criminals accountable for his or her crimes, two objectives that may be achieved with one revolutionary change.
“We have now to cease the varsity to jail pipeline and now we have to chop company crime,’ he says. “So I got here up with an concept to do all of that in a single. You mix white collar prisons with common prisons. As a result of I don’t perceive why we might have a category system in our prisons. Is there not sufficient of a category divide in our nation? We now additionally should have completely different courses of criminals? That doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Ben Gleib says his daring concepts could make it arduous for him to get his message out, noting that “the DNC and the mainstream media don’t want anyone who’s going to shake up the established order. And that’s what I’m right here to do.”
So with a purpose to get his concepts in entrance of the American folks, Gleib is on a push for supporters to donate to his marketing campaign on-line and assist him qualify for the remaining Democratic debates. He additionally has one other pitch for these voters who’re searching for a president they will drink a beer with.
“I’ve already had beers with 1000’s of you after my comedy reveals across the nation. Typically even Fireball pictures,” he boasts. “And I’ve positively smoked a couple of or two joints round again of the comedy membership with the employees after the present.”