MSNBC commentator Anand Giridharadas attacked Americans’ obsession with freedom on Wednesday’s edition of Morning Joe, suggesting it blinded them to issues like the virus and “climate change.”
After spending time bashing President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, co-anchor Willie Geist pivoted to ask Giridharadas about the pandemic: “What do you think we will learn from this?”
Giridharadas began with raising a question of his own: “What’s going to be our relationship to government, the idea of government, after this?” Then he answered his own question, suggesting that “[t]here is a primordial American tradition going back to the founders of being freedom-obsessed — even though we’re a country founded on slavery, genocide — being freedom-obsessed to the point that we’re always so afraid of the government coming for us, that we are blind to other types of threats.” [Emphasis added.]
Giridharadas said one of those “threats” was “climate change.”
Giridharadas then shifted to attack the “40-year version” of this freedom-obsession:
There’s also a more recent kind of 40-year version of this, which is the Reagan war on government, right? Government is the problem. That’s not just an idea on the right. There’s a hard version on the right. There’s a small ‘c’ conservative militant version of it. But there’s also— it has infected many people on the left.
The socialist monologuing went on like a bad joke, with Giridharadas launching into a hyperbolic rant against the president:
And then there’s the more recent Trump-era twist in this, which is the war on government becomes a self-fulling prophecy. You undermine government. You undermine it. You undermine it. You put someone who can barely read a sentence in government, in the figure of Donald Trump, and it becomes true that government sucks, because you’ve made it suck by telling everybody, ‘it sucks.’
To conclude his babbling, Giridharadas made the case that “the most important thing that could come out” of the pandemic is the American people thinking the government isn’t the “biggest threat to our liberty.” Really. Giridharadas said:
And I think the most important thing that could come out of this is realizing the government is not the biggest threat to our liberty. It can be a threat to our liberty but we’re threatened by many, many things. And what the government fundamentally does is protect us from a lot of the other oppressions that we in America are often quite blind to.
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