Shortly after this month’s election, an Antifa mob descended upon the Washington, D.C., home of Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, his wife, and their four children, chanting, “Tucker Carlson, we will fight. We know where you sleep at night.”
Why all the hate for Carlson? For example, Matthew Yglesias of Vox endorsed the intentions of the leftist goon squad who terrorized Mrs. Carlson into locking herself in the pantry.
One reason is because Carlson, who has bumped around conservative journalism and cable news since the previous century, has hit his stride since taking over a nightly prime-time hour on Fox in November 2016. Carlson regularly contends with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC for the second-best ratings in all of cable news, behind only Sean Hannity.
At age 49, Carlson is in his prime and is likely to stay there for quite a while. Like Pat Buchanan, he’s genial off camera and a tiger when the red light turns on. He’s starting to run into the Ali G problem that top PR advisers have now heard he’s trouble for their clients, so he’s getting sent mostly second stringers to thrash.
Moreover, he’s brought to the often ossified world of cable news a relatively fresh perspective that had previously largely been kept out of the mainstream media, if I say so myself.
Ship of Fools: How a S... Check Amazon for Pricing. Carlson, a rich kid from La Jolla, isn’t a populist outsider by upbringing or personality. His father was a Republican ambassador and his stepmother was an heiress and a niece of Sen. William J. Fulbright (D-AR), a leading insider opponent of the Vietnam War. A witty man, Carlson seldom pretends to be anything other than a member of the elite he insightfully criticizes.
The funny thing is that Carlson, a lifelong Republican, has drifted leftward on economics and foreign policy in recent years, as seen in his new best-seller, Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution.
Carlson, who voted for Ron Paul in 1988, has largely left behind his youthful economic libertarianism. For example, he now asks:
Why do we tax capital at half the rate of labor?
The central theme of Ship of Fools is that the convergence toward the reigning elite consensus of economic conservatism and social progressivism is better for the people at the top of society than for maintaining a stable middle-class democracy:
The marriage of market capitalism to progressive social values may be the most destructive combination in American economic history. Someone needs to protect workers from the terrifying power of market forces, which tend to accelerate change to intolerable levels and crush the weak.
Companies can openly mistreat their employees (or “contractors”), but for the price of installing transgender bathrooms they buy a pass. Shareholders win, workers lose. Bowing to the diversity agenda is a lot cheaper than raising wages.
Carlson supported the Iraq War in 2003, but by 2004 was apologizing, saying, “I think the war in Iraq was a major mistake.”