The President, The Pandemic & the Election
We are in “unchartered territory,” as the media incessantly remind us. We are on the eve of an election amidst a pandemic. The president has declared in advance that the election is a “hoax,” it is “rigged.” He would not even commit to saying he would honor the outcome. “We’ll see what happens,” he says. He knew early on how deadly the coronavirus was, telling Bob Woodward it’s a “killer“ and a “plague.” And yet in public continued with happy talk: “It’ll just go away…It’s fading…And we have it totally under control.” In addition to a colossal Covid-19 failure he has whipped some of his supporters into a frenzy. Vigilante groups, men with guns threaten to kidnap governors. Things are not just getting “curiouser and curiouser” as Alice would say but more and more dangerous.
Noam Chomsky, by any measure, has led a most extraordinary life. In one index he is ranked as the eighth most cited person in history, right up there with Aristotle, Shakespeare, Marx, Plato and Freud. His contributions to modern linguistics are legendary. In addition to his pioneering work in that field, he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for many decades. Chris Hedges says he is “America’s greatest intellectual” who “makes the powerful, as well as their liberal apologists, deeply uncomfortable.” He is Institute Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and Laureate Professor of Linguistics and Haury Chair in the Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona. At 93, he is still active; writing and giving interviews to the media all over the world. He is the author of scores of books, including Propaganda & the Public Mind, How the World Works, Power Systems and Global Discontents with David Barsamian. His latest books are Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal, Consequences of Capitalism: Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance, and Chronicles of Dissent: Collected Interviews with David Barsamian, 1984-1996.