I missed this interview with Noam Chomsky when it was broadcast a week ago, but he has good insight into U.S. and world politics. I respect him for his breadth of knowledge and independence of mind. The broadcast is a little over an hour, which is a long time to watch something on a computer screen, but you don’t have to watch it all at once.
It took me many decades to appreciate Chomsky. During the Cold War, I thought he was insufficiently aware of the evil and threat of the Soviet Union and of Communism generally, and overly quick to condemn the United States because our faults were aberrations whereas theirs were systemic.
I started to change my way of thinking in the 1990s when the Soviet threat ended, but the United States did not return to what I thought was normal. I was shocked at how easily the Bush administration was able to wipe the Bill of Rights off the blackboard and commit the country to perpetual war.
But my real disillusionment was when the Obama administration, instead of offering hope and implementing change, simply filed some of the rough edges off the Bush policies to make them more acceptable.
Now comes Donald Trump who is, as Chomsky said, a kind of parody and exaggeration of what has gone before.
I can appreciate Chomsky, now that I have freed myself of the mental limitation of refusing to consider anything outside the range of the opinions expressed by Democrats and Republicans. As Chomsky noted in the interview, what we should worry about are the policies on which self-described conservatives and self-described liberals agree.