“Democracy.” “Proof.” “Oppression.” In the opening rant for his February 1st edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Fox News’s favorite con artist, Tucker Carlson, “proved” one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt: even America’s most cherished words can’t have mutually agreed upon meanings. Sometimes the same words will even have drastically different meanings in the same con man’s mouth, from one breath to another, depending on the lie he wants to peddle in that breath.
Published in transcript form on Fox News’s website Wednesday morning (2/2/2022) under the title “Tucker Carlson: Our democracy is no longer functioning properly, here’s proof”, Carlson equates democracy with majority rule, veers somehow into an attack on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, compares the American city of Baltimore to Honduras or El Salvador, deliberately obfuscates on the relationship of poverty and crime, and, puzzlingly, winds up decrying it all as anti-Christian.
On the topic of our “non-functioning” democracy, Tucker’s “proof” is the claim that our government is working at cross purposes to the will of the people. Those cross purposes, of course, are defined inside of Tucker’s own mind. (Despite his appeals to “a huge amount of public opinion polling,” he fails to actually cite any.)
And what’s our government working on that We the People wish they weren’t, according to Carlson? “What do our leaders care about? We know the answer because they tell us constantly. Our leaders care about equity and climate change. They care about trans rights, police brutality, the deadly insurrection on January 6th, mandatory vaccinations, more H1B visas for Indian tech workers and above all, at the moment, defending our closest ally, Ukraine, from Russian aggression. And of course, they care about third-wave academic feminism. That’s deeply important to them.”
See how he worked in trans rights there? A favorite pet complaint of the Right about the Left that has no basis in anyone’s actual lived experience. (Example, not one of the lawmakers from any of the deeply red states which enacted anti-trans legislation in 2021 banning trans athletes from participating in high school sports could cite local examples of trans girls participating in high school sports in the first place.)
And what, according to Carlson, do we the American people actually care about? (Remember, this is his proof that our democracy is no longer functioning.) “At the top of the list, you’ll see government incompetence, the economy, the cost of living and immigration. Well, that’s weird. It is completely different from the list Joe Biden might have made. Equity, climate change, transgenderism, mandatory vaccination, Jan. 6, Ukraine. Those trends are pretty unimportant to most Americans. Some of those issues are at the very bottom of the list.
But how can that be? If global climate change is the most imminent existential crisis of our time, then why don’t voters seem concerned about it? We don’t know, but they’re definitely not concerned about it. Instead, Americans are very worried about inflation and crime. As it happens, and this tells you everything, those are the two topics the White House has dismissed recently as irrelevant and dumb. The White House isn’t at all worried about inflation and crime.”
Again, an appeal to right-wing pet complaints here, yet we’re meant to accept on principle Tucker’s claims that inflation and crime are the topics Americans are most worried about. And this apparently proves that our democracy is broken. Not that 19 states enacted restrictive voting legislation in 2021 meant to disenfranchise black and latino voters, and especially not that Tucker’s once and future king, Ol’ Donny himself, turned to basely totalitarian attempts to deny the results of the 2020 election. No. In a world of alternative facts and FBI conspiracies, Tucker Carlson’s proof of democracy’s demise can be a function of total fantasy…provided that fantasy sells ads. And, the best part is, if he spews that ad revenue generating fantasy well enough he’ll get paid tens of millions a year for spewing it across Fox’s open airwaves.