MSNBC contributor: Americans ‘freedom-obsessed’ to point ‘we’re blind to other types of threats’ | TheHill – The Hill

MSNBC contributor Anand Giridharadas argued Wednesday that Americans are "freedom-obsessed" to the point it blinds them to other types of threats, including "a virus" or "climate change" in a commentary that sparked some blowback on the right.

One of the fundamental questions to me is, whats going to be our relationship to government, the idea of government after this? We kind of look at it at three levels this week, Giridharadas told "Morning Joe" regarding a post-coronavirus America.

Theres a primordial American tradition going back to the founders of being freedom-obsessed, even though were a country founded on slavery and genocide, the Vice TV host continued. Being freedom-obsessed to the point where were always so afraid of the government coming for us, that were blind to other types of threats whether its a virus, whether its bank malfeasance, climate change, what have you," he said.

Giridharadas pointed to distrust in governmentbeginning in earnest during the Reagan administration.

Theres also a more recent, kind of 40-year version of this, which is the Reagan war on government, he said. Thats not just an idea on the right. Theres a hard version on the right, theres a small-c conservative kind of militant version of it, but it has also infected many people on the left in this passive sense, like I believe in government, but I would never go work there, or I believe in government, but I kind of like dont like my taxes too high,' or I use trusts in the Cayman Islands.'

Reagan, who consistently advocated for smaller government, said in his 1981 presidential inaugural address, "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem," a quote still echoed by conservatives.

The 40th president declared in a later speech that "government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.

The commentary by Giridharadas spurred blowback mostly from the righton Twitter, including from fellow MSNBC contributor Noah Rothman.

I dont know how you could survey how states and the federal government has performed over the last eight weeks and conclude anyone had any idea what they are doing. https://t.co/66rlIOXbMV

Authoritarians like @AnandWrites have trouble making coherent arguments. On one hand he claims that Americans are freedom obsessed and on the other he argues that we're really not about freedom at all. https://t.co/6jlF3VC1E4

MSNBC contributor Anand Giridharadas thinks you're all a bunch of freedom-obsessed rubes. https://t.co/jiSdK7NoHk

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MSNBC contributor: Americans 'freedom-obsessed' to point 'we're blind to other types of threats' | TheHill - The Hill

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