After President Trump was inaugurated, Jane Fonda hatched a plan. She called Ivanka Trump to lay it out: she wanted to go to the Oval Office with “several extremely attractive” women and scientists, get on her knees with them, and appeal to the president’s ego to get him to act on climate change.
“Donald, you will be a global hero for all time if you do what’s right,” Fonda told Michael Moynihan in the first episode of Viceland’s “Impeachment Show.” “I called up Jared [Kushner] and he laughed and said Ivanka is the environmentalist in the family.”
Needless to say, Ivanka Trump never called Fonda back.
Now, nearly three years later, in the midst of the impeachment-obsessed Washington, Academy Award-winning actress and activist Jane Fonda is getting arrested on the steps of the Capitol every week for what she calls “the existential issue” of our lifetime — climate change.
Fonda has a decades-long history of activism, from her controversial visit to Hanoi during the Vietnam War, to her international women’s rights campaigning. But now the stakes are higher than ever, Fonda says.
“This is the looming ticking time bomb,” Fonda, 81, told VICE News. “It’s too late for moderation because of the fossil fuel industry. We have to elect people who are very brave because what they have to do, what we have to do, what we have to make them do is unprecedented.”
Fonda points to the Green New Deal as a guide to what action must be taken, and advocates stopping fossil fuel extraction, replacing fossil fuel jobs with more sustainable ones, and even conducting criminal trials for fossil fuel industry executives and closely-linked politicians.
Her political action extends beyond climate change activism. In August, Fonda went knocking on doors Pennsylvania to gauge what voters are feeling nearly three years into the Trump presidency.
“It’s tragic what’s happening to working people,” she said. “People voted for Trump who was radical because they wanted to shake things up because nobody was paying attention to them.”
And though she says she understands why people voted for Trump in 2016, she views a Trump victory in the 2020 election as unacceptable. The on-going impeachment inquiry might play a role in guaranteeing President Trump’s defeat in the election, she said.
“This man in office will destroy this country,” Fonda said. “So whatever can get him wounded enough to not be reelected, if not removed before the election — that is a good thing.”