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Mike Rowe: Labeling ‘35 Million People’ As ‘Un-Essential’ Could Have Serious ‘Consequences’
Mike Rowe discusses "Returning the Favor" with the Build Series at Build Studio on February 05, 2019 in New York City.
Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

On Thursday, Dave Rubin of “The Rubin Report” uploaded part two of a recent interview with Mike Rowe, former host of “Dirty Jobs” and founder of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, to his YouTube channel.

In part one, which you can check out here, Rubin and Rowe discuss the nature of public safety as it relates to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns.

After noting that there appears to be “a narrative out there from a certain set of people that … going back to work [is] just too risky, and no one really wants to work anyway,” Rubin asked Rowe to speak on “the importance of work relative to finding purpose in life.”

“Because that actually is one of the things that I’m most worried about right now, that as we sort of give away our day-to-day lives that we’re gonna forget that work is important,” Rubin said.

Rowe replied, saying that it won’t “happen like a light switch,” but more like the proverbial “frog in the boiling water.”

The way it’ll happen here is people like AOC and others who genuinely, or maybe not-so-genuinely, believe that work is fundamentally another expression for drudgery, are going to make those points. They’re going to reduce it to something that’s purely transactional.

That’s the first step, and if you only look at what you do as a means to make money, then you’re not an interesting person, okay? It’s such a one-dimensional way to look at something that should, in my view and oftentimes does, define us.

“It’s the thing we choose to do with the most conscious chunk of our life, and so to reduce it to a paycheck is dumb,” Rowe continued. “Obviously, there’s a giant transactional element involved in it, but there’s so much more.”

Rowe then spoke about how his former TV show “Dirty Jobs” was a “tribute” to his grandfather, a man who “could take your watch apart and put it back together blindfolded,” adding that in today’s world, “trades” either go unnoticed or are in some ways looked down upon.

Rowe continued, remarking on the fact that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the term “essential worker” could wind up doing some damage.

I’m amazed at how we’ve taken 35 million people and deemed them “un-essential.” That, to me, is something I reckon we’re gonna look back on with great linguistic embarrassment.

Rubin asked Rowe to expand on that take. “Once we say to 35 million people, you’re not essential, it’s not just about the job that they do, it’s the message that’s getting across to their lives … I think we’re gonna leave people with some sort of existential crisis.”

Rowe replied:

People are coming to terms with the fact that their vocations don’t matter in the eyes of virtually everyone who has a show to host because in our well-intended enthusiasm to celebrate the essential workers, we’ve done a thing we always do with the language – and I am not a politically correct person, at least I try not to be – but language does matter.

The former “Dirty Jobs” host contrasted the way in which we talk about “higher education” and “skilled trades.”

What does “higher education” imply if not the existence of many forms of lower education, “subordinate education?” So, the language bakes in a terrible kind of analysis. If you don’t get a four-year degree, if you don’t buy into the idea that the most expensive path is the best path for the most people, then you wind up doing something – they don’t call it “lower education” because that would just be crazy – but they call it “alternative.”

“We did that in education, and the unintended consequences are breathtaking,” Rowe continued. “We’re doing it now with the very heart of peoples’ identities, and we’re doing it around this simple word. We’re not meaning to do it, but you watch, it’s gonna come back over the net with a lot of topspin. People are already pissed off about it, I just don’t think they quite understand why.”

There’s much more to see in the video than what’s written above. Check it out here:

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Mike Rowe: Labeling ‘35 Million People’ As ‘Un-Essential’ Could Have Serious ‘Consequences’