Author Anand Giridharadas appeared on 'Morning Joe' to discuss how immigrant families and minorities are living in fear of Donald Trump, in this case over his threat to remove citizenship from those who burn the American flag. Host Joe Scarborough made a passionate case that such fear was not rational.
"When Clinton came in, I assured Republicans the center would hold," Scarborough said. "When Bush came in and my Democratic friends would freak out… I said the same."
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
"You’re not being rational now," Scarborough told Giridharadas about taking this tweet literally. “I have to say this before we go. Let me finish because you know what I’m going to say and you don’t want me to say it because you know I’m right,” he added. "The Supreme Court of the United States of America will never under any circumstances allow anyone to be stripped of their citizenship because they burned the American flag."
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I support the ability of people to be able to burn the American flag if they want to. But people have the right in this country to debate it, and it does not mean that the Third Reich is going to march down our streets because somebody tweeted.
ANAND GIRIDHARADAS: I didn’t say Third Reich. I don’t worry about the desire to criminalize flag burning. I [worry] about the punishment included in that tweet, which was the stripping of citizenship, which is outside the pale.
SCARBOROUGH: Anand that’s not going to happen
GIRIDHARADAS: He is the president-elect of the United States.
SCARBOROUGH: And the Supreme Court will not, Anand you’re not being rational now. I have got to just say this before we go. You’re not being rational if you believe the Supreme Court –
GIRIDHARADAS: I’m not being rational for taking the president-elect of the United States at his word?
SCARBOROUGH: You’re not. Let me finish because you know what I’m going to say and you don’t want me to say it because you know I’m right. The Supreme Court of the United States of America will never under any circumstances allow anyone to be stripped of their citizenship because they burned the American flag. And if you don’t believe that, you haven’t been reading constitutional law for the past seventy years.
GIRIDHARADAS: And if a president were merely to propose it, for me it would be a tragedy even if it was struck down.
SCARBOROUGH: Well then it is a tragedy then. But Hitler is not coming back –
GIRIDHARADAS: No one said Hitler is coming back. But this is how many places that went in dark directions, many places, this was one of the ways in which it started.
SCARBOROUGH: Okay be careful. And be careful not to spread fear if it’s not rationally based.