This week’s TBT looks back to a piece I wrote in January 2019 that summarized a segment Tucker Carlson did on his wildly popular show. That segment really shaped my thinking on some economic and social issues (although other commentators and writers were already influencing my thinking in that direction).
Earlier this week, I wrote a piece about another Tucker segment that applied these concerns into a political platform, of sorts, one that moves beyond economic growth to real improvement for people’s lives.
This blog post was a bit shorter, so I’ll allow it to speak for itself. It’s definitely worth watching the linked video in the piece, as it is the segment the post covers.
Here is January 2019’s “Tucker Carlson’s Diagnosis“:
A recent monologue from Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program is blowing up the right-wing blogosphere, and understandably so. Carlson has been a vocal critic of the neoliberal deification of economic efficiency at all costs. I used to be a member of this cult, until the candidacy of Donald Trump (and lived experience) knocked the idealistic scales from my eyes.
Normally, it bugs me when people send me video clips to watch. If they’re cutesy videos of the variety that drive clicks—think cats playing piano, or Goth versions of Christmas songs—I usually ignore them, no matter how hyped they are. That’s not some virtue on my part; I just don’t want to take the time to watch them, especially on a cell phone (a pet peeve: someone making me watch a video on their cell phone; I will refuse).
That said, I’m indulging in some hypocrisy: you must watch this video as soon as you’re able.
For those of you that don’t want to take the time, here are some highlights:
- Elites care only about maximizing economic efficiency, regardless of the human costs to individuals, families, and communities
- That lust for efficiency drives income inequality, particularly benefiting the technology sector/Silicon Valley
- “We are ruled by mercenaries, who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule”—a key idea; I’ve read a similar analysis from controversial blogger Z-Man, in which he argues that leaders in a democracy are, inherently, renters rather than owners, and therefore are heavily tempted towards asset-stripping while in office, rather than building and maintaining a nation: http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=15929
- Because of the hollowing out of American manufacturing and declining wages (again, due in part to the quest for efficiency), men struggle to find employment or to improve their wages
- Because of that, rural parts of the country are dominated increasingly by healthcare and education, female-dominated fields
- While better wages for women is fine, Carlson claims that—whether or not they should—women are less likely to marry men who earn less than them, therefore—
- Marriage rates are declining, leading to all sorts of societal problems: out-of-wedlock births; listless, professionally-personally-sexually-unfulfilled men; rising drug abuse (due in part, too, to declining wages and unemployment—men find great meaning from work), etc.
These are just some of the most interesting insights, but Carlson sums up in fifteen minutes what would take a legion of hack bloggers like me hours or weeks to explain.
Again, I urge you to watch this video: https://video.foxnews.com/v/5985464569001/?playlist_id=5198073478001#sp=show-clips