Tucker Carlson II

In June 2017 I posted a video of a speech by Fox News host Tucker Carlson given to the International Association of Fire Fighters. A few days ago he delivered a 15 minute monologue which is well worth your time.

You might not agree with all his points, but he raises topics which very much need discussing and which America’s ruling classes are happy to ignore. It speaks volumes that the biggest reaction to his speech comes not from liberals but so-called conservatives such as Ben Shapiro and outfits like National Review Online, who have done exceptionally well from the status quo and treat working-class Americans with as much contempt as any Democrat. Tucker Carlson is not working class and was born into considerable privilege, but the point is that he realises it, and understands that what works for him and his ilk is failing millions of others. It used to be that old-school right wingers came from privilege but understood the plight of the common man, hence the term noblesse oblige. Nowadays, most prominent conservatives are spoiled-brat grifters who went to Ivy League universities and have far more in common with their political opponents than those they claim to represent.

The problems in America are what Carlson describes, and then some. But possibly the biggest problem of all is that he’s the only one in Washington who wants to talk about them.

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13 thoughts on “Tucker Carlson II

  1. “It used to be that old-school right wingers came from privilege but understood the plight of the common man, hence the term noblesse oblige. Nowadays, most prominent conservatives are spoiled-brat grifters who went to Ivy League universities and have far more in common with their political opponents than those they claim to represent.”

    Is this not the problem with the concept of meritocracy? If you think you got to the top on your own efforts entirely you’ll have no empathy with the proles beneath you, whereas if you ended up at the top by dint of birth then you’ll be a bit more sympathetic that life is a lottery and there but for the grace of God go I?

    Its one of the reasons that all politicians are such arseholes nowadays, regardless of political hue, its the personality types who force themselves to the top who get there now, rather than in the old days just being the son of a Marquis got you a seat in Parliament.

    Its ironic that democracy and meritocracy have delivered leaders of a far greater uniform arseholeness than the accident of birth and an aristocracy/monarchy. What makes it worse of course is that the current bunch are benefiting from some levels of accident of birth advantages anyway (hence the prevalence of political dynasties even today, and politicians come from the privileged middle classes almost uniformly), but because its no longer formalised, they can kid themselves they did it by their own efforts, and they become incredibly arrogant.

  2. Is this not the problem with the concept of meritocracy? If you think you got to the top on your own efforts entirely you’ll have no empathy with the proles beneath you, whereas if you ended up at the top by dint of birth then you’ll be a bit more sympathetic that life is a lottery and there but for the grace of God go I?

    Yes and no. I think it’s a problem of people getting into positions because of luck, privilege, or dint of birth, but thinking they’re there purely due to merit and hard work. Which is exactly the point you make:

    What makes it worse of course is that the current bunch are benefiting from some levels of accident of birth advantages anyway (hence the prevalence of political dynasties even today, and politicians come from the privileged middle classes almost uniformly), but because its no longer formalised, they can kid themselves they did it by their own efforts, and they become incredibly arrogant.

  3. Interesting argument. The left will find it far too subtle, and easy to dismiss because it is on Fox, which “everyone” knows is the channel for brainless deplorables.

    Carlson is a bit rough on social liberalism I think. Easier divorce is not good for families, agreed, but how much misery has it saved? Impossible to say. By contrast, the results of Roe v Wade are pretty clear. Fewer unwanted (so neglected) babies led to a big fall in criminal delinquency 20 – 30 years later.

    At last America is having this debate. Sadly, the UK isn’t.

  4. zut alors!

    “Fewer unwanted (so neglected) babies led to a big fall in criminal delinquency 20 – 30 years later.”

    That was Malcolm Gladwell’s assertion, unfortunately there is no evidence for it. Certainly substantially less than the evidence for the removal of lead from fuel being the cause of decreased criminality.

    Easier divorce, as well, may, or may not (‘grass is greener’ effect), have decreased the sum of some people’s misery, but it also, quantifiably, increased the misery of their children.

  5. @recusant

    Not an assertion, but a paper from Levitt (of Freakonomics fame) and Donohue.

    https://academic.oup.com/qje/article/116/2/379/1904158

    We offer evidence that legalized abortion has contributed significantly to recent crime reductions. Crime began to fall roughly eighteen years after abortion legalization. The five states that allowed abortion in 1970 experienced declines earlier than the rest of the nation, which legalized in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. States with high abortion rates in the 1970s and 1980s experienced greater crime reductions in the 1990s. In high abortion states, only arrests of those born after abortion legalization fall relative to low abortion states. Legalized abortion appears to account for as much as 50 percent of the recent drop in crime.

    Contested by others (Joyce)

    I first replicate Donohue and Levitt’s results for violent and property crime arrest rates. I apply their data and specification to an analysis of age-specific homicide rates and murder arrest rates. The coefficients on the abortion rate have the wrong sign for two of the four measures of crime and none is statistically significant at conventional levels. I then use the legalization of abortion in 1973 to exploit two sources of variation: between-state changes in abortion rates before and after Roe, and cross-cohort differences in exposure to legalized abortion. I find no meaningful association between abortion and age-specific crime rates.

    https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/rest.91.1.112

    Kahane et al. look at British data

    Using data from England and Wales, we test the hypothesis that legalizing abortion reduces crime. The timing of changes in crime rates in aggregate data is generally inconsistent with this hypothesis. Using panel data on recorded crime from 1983 to 2001, we are able to replicate the negative association between abortion rates and reported crime that J. J. Donohue and S. D. Levitt found for the United States. However, this association breaks down under the scrutiny of robustness checks and is not present when we examine data on convictions broken down by age. Overall, we find no clear, consistent relationship between abortion and crime in England and Wales.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2007.00627.x

  6. It is the Donohue-Levitt hypothesis, via Freakanomics and not Gladwell’s. There is a lot of evidence for it as was published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2001. (http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/DonohueLevittTheImpactOfLegalized2001.pdf). Refutations of criticisms are easily found by Googling ‘Freaknomics abortion’.
    The Lead/Criminality argument has high correlation but unproven causation. One metastudy showed a relationship between lead exposure and lower IQ leading to crime. Don’t want to go there. There be dragons.

  7. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. It seems to be statistical fallacy week here in the Desert.

    Easier divorce is not good for families, agreed, but how much misery has it saved

    Irrelevant. The legal and social purpose of marriage is to ensure legitimate heirs, period. Misery don’t enter into it. The evidence is overwhelming (and unlike the Freakonomics BS, compelling) that the best environment for children to grow up in is with their biological parents. This holds even after you correct for socioeconomic status. Allowing dissatisfied middle-aged trollops to dissolve the family because they’re not haaaappy has been one of the worst social developments in human history.

  8. And lest we forget, there are “conservative” grifters, as well. They’re in my family. Without their local/state/federal government job/pension, these people would be living under bridges (where some of my family belong). Personal responsibility in this day and age is rare. When I see the real working class folks going out and sweating it out day in and day out, my admiration knows no bounds. It makes me want to kick a teacher/health care worker firmly in the ass.

  9. pcar, Daniel
    I concede your point. Indeed, I agree, Mum and Dad together is best for child.
    With two qualifications.
    The benefit holds in general but not always in the particular. Where the marriage is clearly dysfunctional (so that even a child can see it) it might be better for the child that the marriage be dissolved.
    The period 1920 – 1960 may have been an historical anomaly.
    In the eighteenth century the average length of a marriage was seven years, even among the middle classes. Today’s reasons for the end are more selfish and less random, but I suspect 200,000 years of social evolution have produced a population that can cope.

  10. In the eighteenth century the average length of a marriage was seven years, even among the middle classes.

    But how much of that was due to high mortality rates?

  11. I’m totally on board with his comments about the central importance of families. But re a lot of his other points, if we’re going to frame the national debate in his terms, we WILL get socialist solutions, despite his strong anti-socialism statement toward the end. He’s opening far too many doors to the lefties.

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