On Thursday, during an interview with progressive Tom Steyer, MSNBC’s Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle spoke as if voters who want to keep more of their own money, want to protect the Second Amendment, and care about protecting preborn lives are “selfish.”
RUHLE: So, [while] we could find or do find the president’s constant lying or lawlessness or reprehensible behavior morally unacceptable, a lot of people vote pretty selfishly, and they say, “What’s gonna give me more money in my pocket?”
VELSHI: Or what’s gonna make abortion illegal, or what’s gonna make sure that my Second Amendment rights stay the same, and clearly, that adds up to enough people that the president still has something akin to 40% of the electorate in polls. It’s kind of fascinating to us, as I’m sure it is to you – but how do we talk about that?
While it isn’t at all surprising that Velshi and Ruhle hold the personal beliefs reflected in their remarks, what is somewhat shocking is that they so nakedly exposed them on national television.
Let’s really break this down.
The ideological underpinning of Ruhle’s statement that it’s “selfish” for a person to vote for a political candidate whose policies might benefit them economically is that an individual’s money, the currency they were given in exchange for their labor, does not fully belong to them. In other words, it’s selfish to want to keep more of the money one earns and personally choose the charities or individuals to whom one would like to donate rather than have the government confiscate a portion of one’s income to distribute as they see fit.
Velshi’s statement is perhaps more troubling. He appears to believe it’s selfish to vote for politicians who believe that abortion is the deliberate taking of a human life, and who would try to enact legislation to limit and prevent such a procedure. He also seems to believe that it’s selfish to desire that one’s right to self-defense, one’s constitutionally guaranteed right to own firearms as a check against a potentially tyrannical government, is protected.
These are the statements of people whose political bubbles are so opaque that they cannot even see differing perspectives — and because they cannot see, they cannot understand, and because they cannot understand, they cannot critically examine or engage with individuals whose opinions diverge from their own.