Dan Savage on Netflix’s ‘Chelsea’: 'I Don’t Think We Are the Greatest Country'

The latest episode of Netflix’s Chelsea aired October 27 and it was quite a look into the liberal mind. In “Dinner Party: My American Experience”, Chelsea Handler uses an occasional format – that of a poolside dinner party at her home. Usually the guests are four liberals and one token conservative. This one is not different.

This dinner party’s guests include liberals Jennifer Garner, Regina King, Mary McCormack and Dan Savage. Rob Riggle was the conservative. All expound about their ideas of the American Experience – their values and beliefs were front and center. The biggest takeaway for me is that liberals don’t even blink when one of their own says, as Dan Savage did – “I don’t think we are the greatest country.” He “doesn’t feel patriotic” and blames his opinion on the fact that he grew up hearing about Watergate and the Martin Luther King, Jr. shooting and is very cynical now. That’s odd – I, too, am old enough to have learned of these events in real time and I do think America is the greatest country. He went on to say that “there are places that are better than America” and he wishes everyone would go live in Europe for a while and experience socialized medicine as he did when he broke his leg. Hmm. Maybe he should tell that to someone denied medical treatment due to age or weight or smoking due to budget constraints in England, for example.

Savage also uttered the standard claim that blue states (he lives in Washington state) want people to vote “instead of a red state where they’re preventing people voting.” I live in a large red state – Texas – and I have personally helped people in voter registration drives and driven people to the polls, so, again, I can easily dispute his liberal prattle. Also, Savage speaks of the importance of voting and then bragged about bribing his 18- year- old son to vote. He told him that in order to continue living at home rent-free, he had to vote. Wow. To use another personal experience, I took my son with me to vote from the time he was born and took him into the voting booth to show him how to vote. I believe in leading by example, not threatening a young person into voting.

The best counter to Savage’s far left drivel is from Rob Riggle. He served in the military for 23 years and believes everyone should serve America, in whatever capacity possible. Savage said “There’s a lot of right-wing folks out there who define freedom as starving to death in a ditch. As a left-winger, I define freedom as freedom from want, hunger, homelessness. We have Paul Ryan saying that he wats Americans to be free not to be able to afford health care.” What? I guess I missed that press conference. Riggle said, “I’m more for the ability to live the life I’m supposed to live. Whatever that means.” Clearly that didn’t mean Savage’s idea of entitlement of cradle to grave government support. Savage and Riggle have different ideas of personal freedom.

Chelsea Handler admitted that she has never served jury duty and, it turns out, doesn’t know the lyrics to our National Anthem. At the end of the episode, the dinner guests begin to sing the anthem, except for Savage, and even stand and place their hands over their hearts. Clearly, poor Chelsea needs prompts from her guests to sing along.

Christiane Amanpour is interviewed by Chelsea in London. Her interview is mostly a lecture about the freedoms in America, which most people are aware of already. She came to America in 1980 as a college student. During this time the Iranian revolution happened. She talks about making Iranians our friends because the majority of the population is under the age of 21. This young population is very “pro-Western, liberal, economic progressive values.” What? Liberals and progressives? In a theocracy? Didn’t the previous administration give Iran everything they want in a very bad nuclear deal? Also, she is none too happy about CNN being labeled fake news by President Trump. “You know, it feels pretty bad, and it’s not a joke,” she says. Continuing on, she says, “When the leader of the United States, the world’s only superpower, starts to punch huge holes in one of the main pillars of democracy, which is a free and fair and independent press---when that edifice starts to crumble…democracy starts to crumble. The health of society starts to crumble.” She says without trust in leadership, people have a dictator. Dictators lie to people and create propaganda. Dictators are “the professional fake newsers.” Thanks, Christiane.

This episode is a true glance into the cultural bubble of liberal America. It is also quite sad to hear Americans – the freest people on the planet – admit their disdain for America. At least they are honest about it.

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