Let’s not be distracted by Tucker Carlson’s deliberately inflammatory attacks on our first Black president and miss the even-worse underlying message: that Obama and his supporters represent a dangerous threat to America.
As I noted in my last post, Carlson called Obama "a greasy politician" and "one of the sleaziest and most dishonest figures in the history of American politics." But his less vivid quotes are far more pernicious.
In his opening monologue last night, approved by Fox News, Carlson explicitly stated that the left and Black Lives Matter are on a dangerous power grab that can’t be stopped with words. He also explicitly told his viewers they are out to get “you.”
CARLSON: After two months of rioting and political chaos, there are still people out there who claim this is all about the death of George Floyd. Believe it or not, there are.
Some of the people who say that may actually believe and we're giving them the benefit of the doubt. The liberal mom who lives next door to you, for example. She is probably entirely sincere when she lectures you about the scourge of police brutality, she means it. She has no idea BLM is about anything else.
But in this case, they are wrong. None of what you are watching is about Civil Rights. Violence and race baiting are the enemies of Civil Rights.
What you're watching instead is a power grab. It's being coordinated by the most ruthless and cynical figures in American politics. They don't want you to know what they're doing. They're not honorable enough to state their intentions. They're not like you at all.
When normal people want something, they can be aggressive. But the professional left never is. It's invariably passive aggressive. Their first instinct is to manipulate rather than persuade, they hide their real beliefs. They say precisely the opposite of what they mean every time.
They accuse you of the crimes they themselves are committing. It makes your head spin. Arguing with them is pointless, by the way, they're nihilists. They don't believe in the existence of truth or in the fixed meaning of words.
They care only about power. It's painful to say this. It hurts to admit there are people in our country who are like this, but there are and they have more power than ever.
Next, Carlson put Obama in that dangerous camp:
If you need more evidence of that, Barack Obama showed up at Congressman John Lewis' funeral today. Obama claimed he was there to eulogize his own friend, but that's not true, and that's not what he did. Instead, Obama gave a divisive and deeply dishonest campaign speech in church. Here's part of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: By ending some of the partisan gerrymandering so that all voters have the power to choose their politicians, not the other way around.
And if all this takes eliminating the filibuster, another Jim Crow relic, in order to secure the God given rights of every American, then that's what we should do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: It's hard to believe that clip is real, but it is, down to the cloying fake accent, Mr. Hawaii guy. But take three steps back, imagine if some greasy politician showed up at your loved one's funeral and started throwing around stupid partisan talking points about Senate procedure, can you imagine that? You'd be shocked if that happened. You'd probably walk out. Desecrating a funeral with campaign slogans? What kind of person would do that?
Without bothering with anything like proof, Carlson went on to claim that Obama's eulogy demonstrates he “will do anything” to gain power, as would his supporters:
CARLSON: But Democrats in the audience didn't seem offended. They didn't blink, they cheered. It all seemed normal to them, and why wouldn't it? Political power is their religion. It's not out of place in a church. It's what they worship.
People who will politicize a funeral will do anything, and they're trying to. Democrats are working systematically to dismantle the core institutions of American life, beginning with the family and with faith.
They're subverting the core system in our government, the justice system. They're nullifying laws, burning police stations, attacking courthouses, working to eliminate the legal equality of American citizens, the foundation of it all.
They've systematically repurposed Federal law enforcement agencies as political weapons. They have imprisoned their political opponents.
Their leaders have called for making all of these changes permanent by packing the Supreme Court, packing the United States Senate, packing the electorate itself by importing tens of millions of new voters. Why are they doing all of this? They'll tell you, it's to make the country better and more just, but the country isn't improving and it's not fairer.
They're doing this for one reason: to ensure they have complete control of the United States. We're watching it happen right now, though almost no one ever admits it and those who do come close to getting shut down. We can tell you stories.
So how should the rest of us respond to what we're seeing? And let's be clear, by the rest of us we're not just talking about conservatives or people who watch the show. We're talking about literally, everybody else -- moderates, the politically non-aligned, traditional liberals who still care about civil liberties; there are some of those, sincere religious people of all faiths, immigrants from abroad who came to this country because of our Bill of Rights, only to watch it evaporate once they got here.
In other words, everyone who fundamentally loves this country, which is still most Americans. What are people like that do in the face of this? This revolution? Well, it's simple. Defend the system that we have. That's our job.
Carlson didn’t suggest anyone should be doxed, as he recently did with two New York Times journalists, or exposed to bodily harm, as he recently did with the mayor of Portland. But just as he almost surely knew his fans would threaten the two Times journalists (over Carlson lies, by the way), he almost surely knows the effect his words could have here. Indeed, they look intended to have such an effect.
Carlson is not the only one playing a dangerous game here. Fox News is, too.
You can watch it below, from the July 30, 2020 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
1. The crescendo of innuendo gambit: “We can tell you stories”, Tucker avers, but he gives us no detail at all, just vile generalities hanging in mid air.
2. The meta-flip: “every time….They accuse you of the crimes they themselves are committing.” Again, one doesn’t know what Tucker is referring to, but he has a lot of nerve saying this in the same monologue where he makes the accusation that, “They’ve systematically repurposed Federal law enforcement agencies as political weapons”, as in….Portland?! The particular crime doesn’t much matter, since the point is to accuse Democrats of committing not just Trump’s crimes but also of aping Trump’s psychopathic rhetorical tactics. Tucker very much intends to make his right-wing viewers’ loosely-attached “heads spin”.
3. Good old-fashioned name-calling: Take his word for it. Tucker’s key opponents are ruthless, cynical, power-hungry nihilists. He says, “Imagine if some greasy politician showed up at your loved one’s funeral and started throwing around stupid partisan talking points”. That’s in the spirit of what southern sympathizers said about Lincoln at Gettysburg. Obama happened to be talking about things close to John Lewis’ heart just before he died. Fox News’ praise for John Lewis pretty much ends for anything Lewis was involved in after 1965.