With Meghan McCain sitting out Jane Fonda’s appearance on The View Tuesday morning, Abby Huntsman was both the only conservative and the only millennial co-host left to mix it up with the legendary actor-turned-environmental activist. Fonda had no time for her.
The interview started out as a love-fest between Fonda, Joy Behar, and Whoopi Goldberg, who asked their guest what’s like to spend a night in jail for protesting climate change at age 81.
“You know, the conditions weren't great for old bones like mine on a metal slab,” Fonda said, “but the saddest part of it was seeing how—because our country doesn't give enough money to resources like social safety nets and mental health institutions—there's so many people in jail, you know, for poverty and racism and mental health issues.”
“But is there a way to do it without breaking the law? You think of all the peaceful protests that have led to change,” Huntsman said, implying somehow that Fonda’s protests have been anything but peaceful. “I worry about living in an uncivil society.”
Fonda said she “agreed” with Huntsman on principle, but added, “Climate activists have been doing this for 40 years. We've been writing articles and we've been giving speeches. We've been putting the facts out to the American public and politicians and we've marched and we've rallied peacefully, and the fossil fuel industry is doing more and more and more to harm us and our environment and our young people's futures, and so we have to up the ante and engage in civil disobedience.”
Later, Huntsman continued to push back, telling Fonda that while she’s “for climate change,”—presumably meaning that she believes it’s a problem—she’s worried that “we’re not having a conversation in the country” about this issue because the two sides are so far apart. “I think part of the problem is this political hyperbole,” Huntsman said, “where you have [Congresswoman] AOC saying, don’t have kids anymore, or we shouldn’t ride on planes anymore, or this Green New Deal, where is that getting us?”
“No, the Green New Deal is fantastic,” Fonda said, interrupting her. When Huntsman said it’s “never going to happen in this country,” Fonda attempted to tell her why it has to happen.
“We, American taxpayers, subsidize the fossil fuel industry that's killing us to the tune of $16 billion every year,” Fonda said. “I mean that is just, that's criminal.” She advocated cutting the military budget, “which is totally bloated and bigger than any other developed country,” to pay for both Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal.
After a break, Fonda added, “It’s too late for moderation.” Speaking directly to voters, she said, “We cannot vote somebody in that isn't brave enough to stand up and do the immensely difficult work that needs to be done to save us from catastrophe.”