University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Reynolds Says Lock Down Protesters Are Dismissed Like a ‘Basket of Deplorables’


University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds joined Fox News host Brian Kilmeade Thursday morning to discuss the lockdown protests that are happening in states across America. Reynolds critiqued political lawmakers and big corporate media for not empathizing with the working people whose suffering has been arrogantly dismissed.

Kilmeade: Governors increasing pressure to ease stay at home restrictions. You see this as lockdowns are being protested around the country. Our next guest says the protests show two America’s. Those who lost their jobs and those who are still getting paid in many cases. The University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds joins us right now.

He is also the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself. Which is a great topic in itself. Let’s talk about this. First off, when I look at these protests across the country. Quickly the media is writing, who’s behind this? Why would anyone protest? What is it that they don’t get about the unrest people feel?

Reynolds: What they don’t notice is the people are really hurting. If you’re a law professor like me you’ve got a paycheck at least for the moment. And a lot of people who work for the government or a lot of people who work for big corporate media, they’re inconvenienced having to work from home but the money is still coming in.

We have a friend for example that runs a skincare studio and she’s had no money in almost six weeks. Her landlord is not working with her and she’s going to have to move. There are just a lot of people that are not seeing any money coming in and they are really hurting. Their pain is just sort of dismissed by the powers that be and loudest voices in the media. It’s not surprising they are angry about that.

Kilmeade: Look, we understand it’s no one’s fault of the coronavirus except the Chinese who haven’t told us and still haven’t told us. I understand it. But having said that, how could you watch protesters that might be salespeople at car dealerships?

There might be construction workers who are told they are not essential. Or people who might be upset because hair surgery to have a knee replacement is put on hold and they can’t get on with their lives. How can you not empathize with that? Yet they want to attack the attorney general for sticking up for the American citizen.

Reynolds: It’s really been a bad showing for a  lot of our political ruling class. You’ve got your worse cases of course which is like Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan who acts like an angry third-grade teacher telling people that if you protest my quarantines I want to be clear. That’s been done in  I’ll lock you down for longer. That will teach you.

The Houston police are saying they are not going to enforce Mayor Hildago’s order that everyone wears masks. They are not going to throw people in jail for not wearing masks. It’s good that there’s some pushback. I was an early advocate of quarantine. I want to be clear. Its been done in my community here in Knoxville and Knox County. Our city and county mayors locked us down early here and we’re down to very few cases.

And it’s worked great. When you are just full of arrogance, condescension, and put-downs it’s just the “basket of deplorables” thing all over again. Even if you think you’re super smart or some public health genius and you’re acting in ways that make people that want to revolt against you and break your rules you are not a public health genius. You’re an idiot. You are doing it wrong. Public health is about managing people. And you can’t manage people by treating them like garbage.

Kilmeade: Hey professor, I think this might be right up your alley. Here’s governor Cuomo yesterday.

(Governor Cuomo clip plays)

You want to go to work? Go take the job as an essential worker. Do it tomorrow. Right? You’re working. I am. Your an essential worker. So go take the job as an essential worker. But the people aren’t hiring because… No, there are people hiring. You can get a job as an essential worker. So now you can go to work and you can be an essential worker and you’re not going to kill anyone.

Kilmeade: Yeah, I’ll give up my job as a GM at a car dealership put on a reflector vest and hold a flag. Not that’s anything wrong with that. But that’s not what I intended to do but I should do that because the governor says I should?

Reynolds: That’s super insensitive and stupid. Let them eat essential jobs. That’s basically his line. I have friends who are in New York sending me pictures of lines at soup kitchens and food pantries and I don’t think those people are going to be able to get jobs as essential workers. And what if you’ve got a family business that you maintain that’s in trouble now? Going and taking a job as a flagman on a highway construction project is not going to save your family business.

This just shows how out of touch so much of our leadership is. I think he should look closer to home at his brother Chris Cuomo who got caught breaking quarantine when he was recovering from coronavirus and then went out and attacked the guy on the bicycle who called him out. This is a double standard.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot who went and got her hair done illicitly because she said she’s in the public eye. If your leaders don’t act like leaders and they act entitled and spoiled people aren’t going to take them seriously and they are not going to do what they’ve been asked to do. It doesn’t do any good to try to blame people for not acting the way you want them to if you yourself don’t have the necessary to be an effective leader.

Kilmeade: I hear you. Professor, I appreciate it. Good luck with your book. It looks great. Thanks so much, professor.

Reynolds: Thank you.

 Watch to the full interview here:

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Photo “Glenn Harlan Reynolds” by Fox News.






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