Tucker has an agenda, along with a plan to be the Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential election. Of course he has no background or experience to offer himself for that position, but neither did Trump.
A very cursory body count
In the quickest of looks, here’s who’s blowing air into the Tucker balloon:
- The New York Times
- The Guardian UK
- Business Insider
- The Independent UK
- The Washington Post
- Associated Press News
- The Hill
- Irish Times
- USA Today
Houston, we have liftoff.
TIME, Charlotte Alter, July 15, 2021: On a Thursday afternoon in June, five months after Inauguration Day, I asked Tucker Carlson whether Joe Biden was the legitimately elected President of the United States. This was halfway through a meandering phone conversation—me in my apartment in New York, he at his home in Maine—in which I spent most of the time trying to get a word in edgewise. Carlson paused.
“What do you mean by ‘legitimately elected’?”
“Did Biden win the election?” I asked again.
“He did win the election,” Carlson said, his voice rising. “Do I think the election was fair? Obviously, it wasn’t.” He ticked off a bunch of reasons he believed this: media bias, tech censorship of right-wing outlets, a shortage of voter-ID laws. I asked whether any of this resulted in determinative changes in vote counts, knowing that Donald Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security and Attorney General found no evidence of widespread fraud.
“Oh, I have no idea,” Carlson said, in an aw-shucks kind of way. “I’ve never said that. No one’s ever proved that. I don’t know if it’s provable.”
And there you have the point
(Alter again) “By this point, my head was spinning. This is Tuckerism in miniature: he sanitizes and legitimizes right-wing conspiratorial thinking, dodges when you try to nail him down on the specifics, then wraps it all in an argument about censorship and free speech. He has a way of talking about culture and politics that is rooted in defiance: defiance of elites, defiance of the federal government, defiance of scientific consensus. And it has won him the loyalty of millions of Americans who are already suspicious of everything he questions.”
Which is Machiavellian in the truest sense of the comparison. Machiavelli, a diplomat and politician of the 1500s, believed that politics was always associated with deception, treachery and crime. For his part, Tucker Carlson is more of a popular, right-wing, Fox News thug. But he’s brilliantly exploiting the black-hole created in the political universe by the departure of Donald Trump.
So here we go again with the media
The very media outlets that criticized themselves for allowing and spreading Trump’s infamous 31,000 lies while in office, are now bending their knee on behalf of Tucker Carlson. If you are even half conscious and paying the slightest attention to the news cycle, Tucker is everywhere. Which might be cause for a raised eyebrow over dinner or a good laugh with your more liberal friends, if it weren’t so damned dangerous.
Trump all but destroyed what was left of the Republican Party. But, in the process he stirred racial fears and hatreds that are looking for an outlet now that Donald is gone. The Song is Over, But the Melody Lingers On.
The man or woman who successfully keeps that music playing will inherit enough of what’s left of white supremacy to make a plausible bid for the presidency
Tucker expects to be that man
It’s a bold bid and while some of us may see him as a raging nut-cake, he’s playing the music very carefully to a wide audience looking for leadership. He hasn’t the constraints of a Lindsey Graham of the baggage of a Ted Cruz. He speaks to three million viewers a night and while you might complain that they are the same audience night after night, three million is a hell of a bunch. While Lindsey and Ted are begging for exposure, Tucker is everywhere.
Carlson is the lone voice that could deny Joe Biden his slim margins in control of the House and Senate.
Image Credit: thewrap.com