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Tucker Carlson’s fake populism I used to be his biggest fan

"Vapid and asinine." Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"Vapid and asinine." Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


March 20, 2023   8 mins

I shudder whenever I see Tucker Carlson trending in the news. Not because I think he’s a fascist or white supremacist, but because I once held him up as the harbinger of a new kind of politics. It wasn’t too long ago that Tucker’s show featured pointed critiques of free market fundamentalism, the neoliberal consensus, and the general stupidity of Bush-era conservatism. And though he was always prone to rhetorical excess in his coverage of immigration, for instance, I felt he stood for the fundamentally sound principle that sovereignty entailed having ultimate control over one’s borders.

That was then. By now, however, he’s proven to be provocative in all the wrong ways, even before the scandalous Fox News-Dominion case. Out went any thoughtful explanations for the social and economic ills of American life, and in came the repetitive culture war agitprop, the febrile conspiracism, and the bizarre advertisements for esoteric “bronze age” lifestyles. Tucker’s segment on the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, in which he blamed it on wokeness, was typically vapid and asinine. His recent outlandish attempt to legitimise the sordid events of January 6, denounced even by Republicans, is yet another case in point. And though he apparently hates Donald Trump “passionately”, he still knowingly amplifies his lies nearly every week. My disappointment with Tucker is even greater when I remember the admiration I felt on the first day I met him.

“Tucker! I’m your biggest fan!” I yelled across the crowded hotel ballroom. That was not quite true: I don’t think I had ever sat through a single episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight, but I had watched enough clips and read enough articles about the Fox News host to know that he was a cut above Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and all the other talking heads on that channel. Like Hegel seeing Napoleon at a distance, Tucker appeared to me on that hot and humid Washington summer day in 2019 as the very Weltgeist of the populist age — even more than Trump — and I had pushed and shoved my way through a crowd of conservative activists to be close to the star himself. A nice man nearby took my iPhone and took shots of us as Tucker put his arm around me.

“WHERE ARE YOU FROM?!” Tucker asked in a tone of ebullient surprise, perhaps in reference to my ethnicity, as I was one of a sparse number of non-white attendees at the first National Conservatism Conference. I found it endearing rather than offensive, as some others might have taken it. I told him that I was a citizen of Canada and a student at the University of Toronto who was interning for the magazine American Affairs. “CANADA?!”, he boomed, “I think Canadians often know America better than Americans!” I nodded my head, shook his hand, and walked away ecstatic. Not only did I meet the Weltgeist, but the picture I got of the moment was priceless. I had an impish grin that perfectly captured my excitement while Tucker had a mirthful, red-faced expression: we looked like two old pals.

When I showed it to friends back in Toronto, they froze in horror. The lot of them were good liberals, after all, but the strange thing was that so was I — even more incongruously, I was also a big-L Liberal, as in a supporter of the Trudeau Liberals. Unable to put two and two together, one friend said: “You might be the only human being who’s a Justin Trudeau Liberal in Canada and a Trump-Tucker Republican in America… Are you some kind of ideological schizophrenic?” While that was not quite the case, the observation nonetheless hit on the peculiarity of my worldview.

I told my friend that in this time of revolutionary change, old political labels were fading into obsolescence. Yes, on the surface, there could be no greater contrast between the two poles of the culture war. However, this was an illusory distinction. In fact, the elections of Trudeau and Trump represented a common response to late-stage neoliberalism. As evidence, I showed my friend another picture, perhaps no less shocking and incriminating than the one of me and Tucker: it was of Steven Bannon and Gerald Butts — the High Dark Lord of Trumpworld and the Grand Vizier of the Trudeau Court — merrily chumming around in the White House in 2017. An article in the New Yorker explained the context for this unlikely friendship:

“They met in New York during the transition and now talk regularly. Bannon sees Butts as a sort of Left-wing version of himself. Last year, as the Prime Minister’s popularity was in decline, Trudeau pushed through a tax hike on the rich, and it helped him rebound… Bannon wants to sell the idea politically by arguing that it would actually hit Left-wing millionaires in Silicon Valley, on Wall Street, and in Hollywood… ‘There’s nothing better for a populist than a rich guy raising taxes on rich guys,’ Butts told Bannon.”

Indeed, the first several months of the Trump administration were still very much alive with the possibility of a genuine populist revolution: not only did Bannon, on Butts’ advice, recommend hiking taxes on the rich, Trump’s close friend, Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, was pushing a proposal to build on Obamacare and expand public healthcare for the benefit of the multiethnic working class. But instead of following through on such radical instincts, Trump sold out to the Paul Ryan wing of the party: he passed a massive tax cut, tried to abolish Obamacare, failed on immigration reform, and further deregulated the economy, essentially retaining the Bush-Ryan playbook on nearly every major issue outside of trade — and even that fell short of its goals.

As Trump revealed himself to be nothing more than a neoliberal shill, it seemed as if the only one left to hold the populist line was Tucker Carlson. Here was a conservative who was not afraid to punch up: calling out the Koch Brothers for their malign influence on the GOP, and criticising the Trump-Ryan tax cut as a cave-in to corporate interests. This was the Tucker Carlson I came to see in July 2019 and he didn’t disappoint; the speech he gave at that conference was a clarion call for a new conservatism, one that had more in common with the pro-worker economic populism of Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders than with Milton Friedman’s pro-shareholder laissez-faire fetishism.

Around this time, I wrote an admiring profile of Tucker in my school newspaper, part of a series on promising post-neoliberal figures: it also included Austria’s Sebastian Kurz and New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, two young leaders who both ran on regulating immigration. I realised that it mattered less if one was a conservative like Tucker or Kurz or a progressive like Trudeau or Ardern, as long as their actions reflected the populist drive toward containing the excesses of neoliberal globalisation by regaining control over borderless flows of capital, goods, and labour. In my mind, the culture war paled in comparison to this problem, and, though I didn’t care for either the woke sanctimony of Trudeau or the gross reactionary undertones of Tucker, I was willing to put up with their disagreeable soundbites so long as their policies contributed to this larger goal.

Based on this logic, I resolved to use my position as a culture-war-neutralist Canadian writing in American outlets to inform the US policy debate in ways that were uniquely critical and dispassionate. As Tucker himself suggested, Canadians think about the US more than we’d care to admit — if for no other reason than our survival depended on it. Or as Marshall McLuhan put it, Canada was the perfect “counter-environment” through which to examine the hegemonic American “world environment”.

There was no more pressing issue where the Canadian perspective could be of help to Americans than immigration. Even under Trudeau, Canada is a lot tougher and smarter on migration than the US was under Trump: for instance, Canada has its own longstanding equivalent to mandatory E-Verify — a proposal long advocated by hard-Right American immigration hawks — that neither Trump nor DeSantis could get passed. Trump himself has said: “I think we should have merit-based immigration like they have in Canada.”

If American populists cared to see beyond the woke packaging, they would realise that Canada already had many of the policies they dream about: on family policy, eligible Canadian families enjoy a tax-free monthly payment to help with the cost of raising children (an idea not very different from Trump’s recently floated “baby bonus”). On reviving the heartland, Canada has “equalisation” that transfers money from rich regions to poorer ones like Atlantic Canada, which like much of the Trump-voting American Midwest, is heavily deindustrialised and predominantly white. On bank regulation, 563 banks failed in the US from 2001 to 2023 — Silicon Valley Bank being the latest — and there have been 12 systemic banking crises since 1840. Canada, on the other hand, has had zero bank collapses in the past 25 years and zero systemic crises since its foundation, due to its tightly-regulated Hamiltonian financial system — the opposite of America’s fragmented Jacksonian one. Taking up any one of these ideas could have helped to redeem the populist promise of 2016.

But rather than converging around a programme of economic reconstruction for the benefit of ordinary citizens, whatever their race or identity, the populist movement was subsumed into the sinkhole of the culture war. And Tucker played a leading part in this process.

The last time I found myself in full agreement with Tucker was in the summer of 2020, when he called out the Leftist rioters who wrought havoc on the streets of American cities. However, six months later, when pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, Tucker rushed to depict that riot as a frame-up — or, depending on the day, to valorise the perpetrators as peaceful patriots. The kind of moral relativism that says “Yes — but the other side does it too!” is the culture war in a nutshell. In the years that followed, Tucker’s coverage devolved into a reductive culture war kabuki play, in which he appeared to care more about “owning the libs” than revolutionising the economy.

Around this time, the populist instinct in the US, across Left and Right, had transformed, from an imperative to represent the people’s best interests into a desire to transgress all rules and give expression to the spirit of mob rule. This marked a shift in my worldview. When I first read about the French Riots of May 1968, I sympathised with the glamorous radicals, whereas now I see the merit in maintaining public order above all. Where I once imagined myself singing the Internationale with the students in the Latin Quarter, I now think I would have joined the counter-demonstration in the Champs-Elysées, calling for General de Gaulle to re-establish order. I have never felt more fortunate to be a Canadian than in that period when the US descended into chaos.

But then, as I feared, the Jacobin fever soon crossed the border in the form of the 2022 trucker convoy, which desecrated our national capital and engaged in economic sabotage by blocking Canada’s border crossings and costing the economy billions in lost trade. Just as I didn’t discriminate in expressing my opposition to either “Defund the Police” or “Stop the Steal”, I couldn’t care less about the specific nature of their grievances, for no civilised cause could justify such reckless and vulgar emotional hedonism as was on display. I never thought the convoy were fascists: I took them at their word when they described themselves as “the Woodstock of our time”. And this was precisely why they had to be opposed, for it was the same anarchistic spirit of the late Sixties.

It also became clear that these “populists” were not speaking on behalf of the people, but were often privileged members of the political class, who egged on the mob and used the name of the people to indulge their own ambitions. It was perhaps as a rebuke to the pretensions of would-be demagogues that Alexander Hamilton exclaimed: “Your people, sir, is a great beast!” The task of restoring economic sovereignty in a post-globalised world still had to be accomplished, but from now on by means other than populism.

I’ve never been reluctant to criticise Trudeau, but I was never more in agreement with his actions than when he finally shut down the convoy: order had to be restored. Predictably, Tucker and his followers on both sides of the border regarded it as nothing less than tyranny and in January, he casually called for a Bay of Pigs-style invasion to avenge the convoy and “liberate” Canada. All of a sudden, Tucker was a regime-change-loving neocon! It was just a bad joke, of course, at least, I think.

However, the invasion of Canada has already begun, mentally if not militarily. Instead of America becoming more like Canada through the adoption of reforms, Canada is becoming more like America through the culture war. Every day, our liberals sound more like American liberals, regurgitating all the latest progressive academic jargon, while our conservatives sound more like MAGA Republicans, parroting Q-like conspiracy theories and waving the Stars and Stripes.

Canada stands for freedom and order, argued Tory nationalist philosopher John Farthing: “That, if you will, is our national romance and on that basis alone we should be ready to pit [a single] Mountie against all the Jesse Jameses of Wyoming.” It is a terrible yet glorious thought: for the day that last Mountie dies is the day Canada dies, and the day Tucker Carlson wins.


Michael Cuenco is a writer on policy and politics. He is Associate Editor at American Affairs.

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Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Just an awful, awful piece of analysis. I’ll forgive the guy because it sounds like he’s 12 years old.

First off, Tucker Carlson is just another crappy TV personality – no more, no less. He gets things right. He gets things wrong. I don’t get any news from television because it’s mostly empty calories. I appreciate Carlson more than most because he’s at least willing to challenge the establishment on both sides.

And what the hell is this about? “…I had pushed and shoved my way through a crowd of conservative activists to be close to the star himself.” It’s kinda creepy dude.

But the absolute worst is his take on Trudeau and the trucker protest: Trudeau is an empty vessel for the neo-liberal elite the author allegedly opposes. He’s always been that way. He always will be. Trudeau has nothing but contempt for ordinary people.

And although I agree there can be nuanced opposition to the trucker protest, it was the single largest grassroots movement of working class people anywhere in the west – opposing the hideous, authoritarian Covid policies that have still crippled the west.

And by the time Trudeau forcibly ended the protest by instituting martial law, the protests at the border were over. Only the Ottawa protestors remained. The borders were open.

Yet, on the very night Trudeau implemented the Emergencies Act, eco terrorists caused more than $2 million in damage and terrorized more than 20 people at a work camp in British Columbia for the Coastal Gas Link project. These are the true terrorists. They did more damage and hurt more people in two hours than the truckers did in a month.

This terrorism continues unabated today. It has been continuous for nearly three years. They have fire bombed emergency vehicles, even cars in the driveway of a bank official. How many arrests for any of this terrorism? Zero.

Very frustrating to read such a superficial analysis of the people and events that have shaped our world over the last few years.

Tom Lewis
TL
Tom Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

“the trucker protest”

Don’t worry, there will be a film, in a couple of years time, lionising the ‘bravery’ of the truckers, and how everyone, especially the ‘celebrities’ (even more so the ‘stars’ in the movie) really, really, deep down, supported them all along, even if it ‘appeared’ that they lambasted them for being Naarsi adjacent during the protests (if only they’d known, at the time, how many gay / lesbian / trans / minority / disabled / First Nation / Muslim / single; chest feeders were truck drivers), well, at least in the ‘made for ‘modern’ audiences film version of events.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Lewis
Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

The truckers were accused by Trudeau of being racist, misogynist and homophonic. Yet is was the most diverse group of protesters you could possibly imagine – men, women, children, white, black, brown, native, French and English. It was truly a grassroots movement of all the working class. Meanwhile, the people living in that area of Ottawa were amongst the wealthiest and whitest in the country.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

You know nothing. Ottawa’s downtown is mostly government buildings. The nearest neighbourhood, centretown, is mostly students and young people. You’re probably thinking of Rockliffe Park, but that is far enough away that the trucker noise wouldn’t have bothered those tony residents at all.
It’s amazing how different one’s perspective is about such incidents when one has actually lived in the cities they take place in and then realize how people on the outside don’t have a frickin’ clue.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

How do you square this statement with this statement? “Only the Ottawa protesters remained.” Only????? Blaring their horns 24/7, effectively shutting down the downtown of a capital city for weeks…”

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

So now you’re trying to confuse the faithful with facts! You should be ashamed! lol.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

How do you square this statement with this statement? “Only the Ottawa protesters remained.” Only????? Blaring their horns 24/7, effectively shutting down the downtown of a capital city for weeks…”

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

So now you’re trying to confuse the faithful with facts! You should be ashamed! lol.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Are you suggesting that only white people can be racist, misogynistic, homophobic? If so then that, in itself, is deeply racist. Around the world most misogynistic, homophobic people are black or brown, and these are not averse to racism either! All three groups you list may well be diverse as regards colour, gender, age, ethnicity but they can still be all those things!

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

You know nothing. Ottawa’s downtown is mostly government buildings. The nearest neighbourhood, centretown, is mostly students and young people. You’re probably thinking of Rockliffe Park, but that is far enough away that the trucker noise wouldn’t have bothered those tony residents at all.
It’s amazing how different one’s perspective is about such incidents when one has actually lived in the cities they take place in and then realize how people on the outside don’t have a frickin’ clue.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Are you suggesting that only white people can be racist, misogynistic, homophobic? If so then that, in itself, is deeply racist. Around the world most misogynistic, homophobic people are black or brown, and these are not averse to racism either! All three groups you list may well be diverse as regards colour, gender, age, ethnicity but they can still be all those things!

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

“Only the Ottawa protesters remained.” Only????? Blaring their horns 24/7, effectively shutting down the downtown of a capital city for weeks, demanding meetings with Trudeau, etc etc. The vast majority of Canadians, whatever their views of Trudeau (I’m no fan) supported doing whatever it took to end what the author correctly calls the desecration of our capital. I lived in Ottawa for 12 years; I can only imagine how dreadful it must have been to live or work anywhere near the downtown core while this massive disruption was taking place. No, it wasn’t Jan. 6. But it was a major event and Trudeau was absolutely correct to shut it down. And if the opposition criticizes him about it too much, it will squander any chance it has to win the next election, which would be a pity.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Seriously? The truckers lives were completely thrown in turmoil over the Trudeau-imposed forced vaccinations. Their very livelihoods were jeopardized, after being proclaimed heroes for keeping the country running for two years.

And I guess you missed the part I wrote that there is room for nuanced opposition to the protest. I sympathize with people living in the area. And at some point it had to end, but martial frickin law? You have to be kidding me.

You know what’s really, really scary and dangerous. Hiding in a truck in a work camp in British Columbia as eco-terrorists shoot flare guns at you and cause $2 million in damage, while terrorizing 20 workers. This happened the very night Trudeau imposed martial law.

How many truckers arrested and convicted? Dozens and dozens and dozens. How many of eco-terrorists arrested? Zero.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Trudeau could have ended it. Save your anger for him. He should have met with the protestors. He didn’t have an issue meeting with the protestors blocking multiple rail lines for months on end two years before that.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Seriously? The truckers lives were completely thrown in turmoil over the Trudeau-imposed forced vaccinations. Their very livelihoods were jeopardized, after being proclaimed heroes for keeping the country running for two years.

And I guess you missed the part I wrote that there is room for nuanced opposition to the protest. I sympathize with people living in the area. And at some point it had to end, but martial frickin law? You have to be kidding me.

You know what’s really, really scary and dangerous. Hiding in a truck in a work camp in British Columbia as eco-terrorists shoot flare guns at you and cause $2 million in damage, while terrorizing 20 workers. This happened the very night Trudeau imposed martial law.

How many truckers arrested and convicted? Dozens and dozens and dozens. How many of eco-terrorists arrested? Zero.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Trudeau could have ended it. Save your anger for him. He should have met with the protestors. He didn’t have an issue meeting with the protestors blocking multiple rail lines for months on end two years before that.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

The truckers were accused by Trudeau of being racist, misogynist and homophonic. Yet is was the most diverse group of protesters you could possibly imagine – men, women, children, white, black, brown, native, French and English. It was truly a grassroots movement of all the working class. Meanwhile, the people living in that area of Ottawa were amongst the wealthiest and whitest in the country.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

“Only the Ottawa protesters remained.” Only????? Blaring their horns 24/7, effectively shutting down the downtown of a capital city for weeks, demanding meetings with Trudeau, etc etc. The vast majority of Canadians, whatever their views of Trudeau (I’m no fan) supported doing whatever it took to end what the author correctly calls the desecration of our capital. I lived in Ottawa for 12 years; I can only imagine how dreadful it must have been to live or work anywhere near the downtown core while this massive disruption was taking place. No, it wasn’t Jan. 6. But it was a major event and Trudeau was absolutely correct to shut it down. And if the opposition criticizes him about it too much, it will squander any chance it has to win the next election, which would be a pity.

John Murray
JM
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I didn’t think much of the article but anything that even vaguely challenges the idea that politics can be boiled down to a comic book ‘Goodies’ and ‘Baddies’ dynamic is to be welcomed. And I don’t think Carlson is just another crappy TV personality, a US Ant and Dec, as he is the prime source of news and opinions for an awful lot of people. Watching DeSantis fawning over him to try and gain the ‘Fox Primary’ vote was depressing, and worrying.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Honest question. Why is it worrying that DeSantis fawn over Carlson?

John Murray
JM
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I guess because DeSantis has, for example, completely reversed his views on Ukraine in order to appeal to Carlson, so as opportunism rather than conviction. The “if you don’t like my principles, I’ve got others!” branch of politician. And because I do believe Carlson is an influential figure on the right in the US but is a total grifter, or at least comes across as one, and interested more in self aggrandisement than who would make a good President.

DeSantis fawning to a man like this worries me because it indicates he is more interested in power than values, good governance, whatever. In Florida he uses culture wars to cement his position which I don’t think is good for the state or the country.

Funnily enough, it may not be helpful to him either because trying to cement the ‘Fox Primary’ vote could tactically backfire in an election where you need independents, and people more interested in than the economy than virtual book burning.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

I would doubt DeSantis’ position on the Ukraine is shaped by Carlson. If it has evolved, it’s likely a reflection of the changing attitudes amongst the general population.

John Murray
JM
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Maybe, but still driven by his thinking that it positions him well with the Freedom Caucus wing of the Republican Party and Carlson and others on Fox rather than any genuine conviction it’s the best position for the US to take.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

I upvoted this. Is his conviction genuine? Maybe not. Blowing in the wind.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

I upvoted this. Is his conviction genuine? Maybe not. Blowing in the wind.

John Murray
JM
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Maybe, but still driven by his thinking that it positions him well with the Freedom Caucus wing of the Republican Party and Carlson and others on Fox rather than any genuine conviction it’s the best position for the US to take.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

“so as opportunism rather than conviction”?

“and people more interested in than the economy than virtual book burning”.?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago

As if removing completely inappropriate books from the shelves of elementary and middle schools qualifies as “virtual book burning.”

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago

As if removing completely inappropriate books from the shelves of elementary and middle schools qualifies as “virtual book burning.”

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

DeSantis didn’t “completely reverse his view on Ukraine”. He stayed pretty silent on it. I remember quite a few articles in European newspapers commentating on this and concluding that, if Trump or DeSantis would become the next President, that the support and flow of money for Ukraine would pretty much dry up.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
John Murray
JM
John Murray
1 year ago

After Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, when DeSantis was in Congress, he supported sending weapons to Ukraine and was very critical of the Obama administration for not doing enough. Now when the mood on the right of the Republican Party is moving the other way he talks about the current invasion as a ‘territorial dispute’. I see this as cynically opportunistic.

John Murray
JM
John Murray
1 year ago

After Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, when DeSantis was in Congress, he supported sending weapons to Ukraine and was very critical of the Obama administration for not doing enough. Now when the mood on the right of the Republican Party is moving the other way he talks about the current invasion as a ‘territorial dispute’. I see this as cynically opportunistic.

Kat L
KL
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Most of us who lean populist don’t, and at least in my case never did, support getting involved and going bankrupt over the Ukraine. De Santis won’t win without our support. We utterly reject Bush republicans who paid us lip service to get elected but completely disregarded us after they won. Never again. Tucker isn’t perfect but he’s the closest one to represent our views.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

I would doubt DeSantis’ position on the Ukraine is shaped by Carlson. If it has evolved, it’s likely a reflection of the changing attitudes amongst the general population.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

“so as opportunism rather than conviction”?

“and people more interested in than the economy than virtual book burning”.?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Stephanie Surface
SS
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

DeSantis didn’t “completely reverse his view on Ukraine”. He stayed pretty silent on it. I remember quite a few articles in European newspapers commentating on this and concluding that, if Trump or DeSantis would become the next President, that the support and flow of money for Ukraine would pretty much dry up.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Kat L
KL
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Most of us who lean populist don’t, and at least in my case never did, support getting involved and going bankrupt over the Ukraine. De Santis won’t win without our support. We utterly reject Bush republicans who paid us lip service to get elected but completely disregarded us after they won. Never again. Tucker isn’t perfect but he’s the closest one to represent our views.

John Murray
JM
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I guess because DeSantis has, for example, completely reversed his views on Ukraine in order to appeal to Carlson, so as opportunism rather than conviction. The “if you don’t like my principles, I’ve got others!” branch of politician. And because I do believe Carlson is an influential figure on the right in the US but is a total grifter, or at least comes across as one, and interested more in self aggrandisement than who would make a good President.

DeSantis fawning to a man like this worries me because it indicates he is more interested in power than values, good governance, whatever. In Florida he uses culture wars to cement his position which I don’t think is good for the state or the country.

Funnily enough, it may not be helpful to him either because trying to cement the ‘Fox Primary’ vote could tactically backfire in an election where you need independents, and people more interested in than the economy than virtual book burning.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Honest question. Why is it worrying that DeSantis fawn over Carlson?

Bruce Luffman
BL
Bruce Luffman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Spot on JV – an awful article written by a 12year old

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

That’s utterly disgraceful; all of it about Trudeau I mean; except maybe for the banker’s cars..

Gail Appley
GA
Gail Appley
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Tucker is admittedly not a populist He did not vote for Trump in 2016 nor 2020.He is neither racist, antisemitic, misogynistic nor unyielding. He’s extremely bright, lawful, anti-war, curious and despises. corruption.

Anybody who disrupts the status quo is immediately deigned racist,, far-right wing, a conspiracy theorist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, flat earther,antisemitic,climate denier, White Supremacist, insurrectionist, nativist,xenophobic, yada,yada,yada by the left.

On the right, dare criticize Trump, the religious zealots or divert from the requisite narrative, you’re a RINO, Communist, baby killer,pervert, Never-Trumper,hate God and support Biden, The Squad and support mutilating children open borders and Soros.

And the duopolous, duplicitous UmiParty corporatist, globalist war profiteers will call you a Putin apologist Russian agent, and guilty of treason.For not worshipping the Churchillian hero, Zelenskyy or supporting the imperative to engage in WWIII to save Ukraine’s “Democracy”. A joke in and of itself.

Tucker doesn’t demand bowing down to his ideology, nor does he badger, berate and constantly hammer partisan talking points, interrupt or engage in the redundant liberal/Conservative idiocy hosting the usual idiotic guests with the same Us versus Them crap.

He has an independent streak, core beliefs, but doesn’t demand everybody else to embrace his way of seeing things. He will admit to being wrong, is not locked ina box replete with tunnel vision. My thirty year old daughter, educated, Jewish, married to a Hindu first son of Indian emigres is very modern, pragmatic and independent really likes Tucker. She can’t stand Hannity, Kilmeade, Laura or any of the moronic pundits left or right, but finds Tucker interesting, funny, honest and open-minded to discourse. She loves his openings and diverse guests His animal rights advocacy and willingness to take on unpopular views if they are unjust and distorted by the body politic. He’s the only interesting personality on the corporate airwaves.

Fox just lost the single entity that gives the network relevance.

Last edited 11 months ago by Gail Appley
Tom Lewis
TL
Tom Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

“the trucker protest”

Don’t worry, there will be a film, in a couple of years time, lionising the ‘bravery’ of the truckers, and how everyone, especially the ‘celebrities’ (even more so the ‘stars’ in the movie) really, really, deep down, supported them all along, even if it ‘appeared’ that they lambasted them for being Naarsi adjacent during the protests (if only they’d known, at the time, how many gay / lesbian / trans / minority / disabled / First Nation / Muslim / single; chest feeders were truck drivers), well, at least in the ‘made for ‘modern’ audiences film version of events.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Lewis
John Murray
JM
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I didn’t think much of the article but anything that even vaguely challenges the idea that politics can be boiled down to a comic book ‘Goodies’ and ‘Baddies’ dynamic is to be welcomed. And I don’t think Carlson is just another crappy TV personality, a US Ant and Dec, as he is the prime source of news and opinions for an awful lot of people. Watching DeSantis fawning over him to try and gain the ‘Fox Primary’ vote was depressing, and worrying.

Bruce Luffman
Bruce Luffman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Spot on JV – an awful article written by a 12year old

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

That’s utterly disgraceful; all of it about Trudeau I mean; except maybe for the banker’s cars..

Gail Appley
GA
Gail Appley
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Tucker is admittedly not a populist He did not vote for Trump in 2016 nor 2020.He is neither racist, antisemitic, misogynistic nor unyielding. He’s extremely bright, lawful, anti-war, curious and despises. corruption.

Anybody who disrupts the status quo is immediately deigned racist,, far-right wing, a conspiracy theorist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, flat earther,antisemitic,climate denier, White Supremacist, insurrectionist, nativist,xenophobic, yada,yada,yada by the left.

On the right, dare criticize Trump, the religious zealots or divert from the requisite narrative, you’re a RINO, Communist, baby killer,pervert, Never-Trumper,hate God and support Biden, The Squad and support mutilating children open borders and Soros.

And the duopolous, duplicitous UmiParty corporatist, globalist war profiteers will call you a Putin apologist Russian agent, and guilty of treason.For not worshipping the Churchillian hero, Zelenskyy or supporting the imperative to engage in WWIII to save Ukraine’s “Democracy”. A joke in and of itself.

Tucker doesn’t demand bowing down to his ideology, nor does he badger, berate and constantly hammer partisan talking points, interrupt or engage in the redundant liberal/Conservative idiocy hosting the usual idiotic guests with the same Us versus Them crap.

He has an independent streak, core beliefs, but doesn’t demand everybody else to embrace his way of seeing things. He will admit to being wrong, is not locked ina box replete with tunnel vision. My thirty year old daughter, educated, Jewish, married to a Hindu first son of Indian emigres is very modern, pragmatic and independent really likes Tucker. She can’t stand Hannity, Kilmeade, Laura or any of the moronic pundits left or right, but finds Tucker interesting, funny, honest and open-minded to discourse. She loves his openings and diverse guests His animal rights advocacy and willingness to take on unpopular views if they are unjust and distorted by the body politic. He’s the only interesting personality on the corporate airwaves.

Fox just lost the single entity that gives the network relevance.

Last edited 11 months ago by Gail Appley
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Just an awful, awful piece of analysis. I’ll forgive the guy because it sounds like he’s 12 years old.

First off, Tucker Carlson is just another crappy TV personality – no more, no less. He gets things right. He gets things wrong. I don’t get any news from television because it’s mostly empty calories. I appreciate Carlson more than most because he’s at least willing to challenge the establishment on both sides.

And what the hell is this about? “…I had pushed and shoved my way through a crowd of conservative activists to be close to the star himself.” It’s kinda creepy dude.

But the absolute worst is his take on Trudeau and the trucker protest: Trudeau is an empty vessel for the neo-liberal elite the author allegedly opposes. He’s always been that way. He always will be. Trudeau has nothing but contempt for ordinary people.

And although I agree there can be nuanced opposition to the trucker protest, it was the single largest grassroots movement of working class people anywhere in the west – opposing the hideous, authoritarian Covid policies that have still crippled the west.

And by the time Trudeau forcibly ended the protest by instituting martial law, the protests at the border were over. Only the Ottawa protestors remained. The borders were open.

Yet, on the very night Trudeau implemented the Emergencies Act, eco terrorists caused more than $2 million in damage and terrorized more than 20 people at a work camp in British Columbia for the Coastal Gas Link project. These are the true terrorists. They did more damage and hurt more people in two hours than the truckers did in a month.

This terrorism continues unabated today. It has been continuous for nearly three years. They have fire bombed emergency vehicles, even cars in the driveway of a bank official. How many arrests for any of this terrorism? Zero.

Very frustrating to read such a superficial analysis of the people and events that have shaped our world over the last few years.

Matt Hindman
MH
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

Is it just me or are Mike’s political views all over the place?

Lesley van Reenen
LV
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

So much so that one doesn’t know where to begin or end. Skipped to the end. That incident with the truckers in Canada was one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen dished up by the odious, slippery, cowardly, lying authoritarian fraudster Trudeau.

Matt Hindman
MH
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

If you want an actual good article on populism and where to go from here I would recommend Michael Lind’s article in The Compact titled How to Transform US Politics—and How Not To. https://compactmag.com/article/how-to-transform-us-politics-and-how-not-to

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Hindman
Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

That was an excellent essay. Some great writers at Compact.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

That was an excellent essay. Some great writers at Compact.

Dave Mil
DM
Dave Mil
1 year ago

and glibly endorsed by the author thus: “order had to be restored”

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave Mil
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

I hope this is sarcasm.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Humour, Belfast style!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Humour, Belfast style!

Matt Hindman
MH
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

If you want an actual good article on populism and where to go from here I would recommend Michael Lind’s article in The Compact titled How to Transform US Politics—and How Not To. https://compactmag.com/article/how-to-transform-us-politics-and-how-not-to

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Hindman
Dave Mil
DM
Dave Mil
1 year ago

and glibly endorsed by the author thus: “order had to be restored”

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave Mil
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

I hope this is sarcasm.

J Bryant
JB
J Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I think his political views are, by choice, all over the place. His focus in this article appears to be policies that will re-establish national sovereignty, re-shore well paid jobs, reduce income inequality, and generally strengthen nation states in the face of globalist pressures. To achieve those goals he’s willing to consider ideas from the left or the right, even if that means, for example, advocating that conservatives enact higher taxes on the rich.
I like that approach. It’s probably doomed to failure in the increasingly bipolar political climate, but perhaps a political leader can emerge with enough charisma to push through a nationalist, rather than globalist, agenda that utilizes whatever ideas work in practice irrespective of their political provenance.

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I can understand where the author is coming from, as I myself have voted Tories and UKIP in the UK, Leave in the referendum and then for Ardern in NZ.
My views swing wildly depending on the subject, and as such I’ve never really associated or had any loyalty to any political party or project. Depending on whether financial or cultural issues seem more important at the time usually directs where my vote ends up.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I guess it’s ok to be a philistine of you’re honest about it.. but if you have no social convictions why should we read any of your contributions here?

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I guess it’s ok to be a philistine of you’re honest about it.. but if you have no social convictions why should we read any of your contributions here?

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Richard Parker
RP
Richard Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Well put! I’m much in agreement with both you and Billy Bob. I think the author’s trying to find an ethically consistent stance, and as we all know, ethics and political movements rarely run concurrently. Hence, we usually end up with uneasy compromises.
Sadly I think you’re also right about probably being doomed to failure, but then I think history suggests that’s an unfortunately common fate for essentially decent people.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Parker
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I can understand where the author is coming from, as I myself have voted Tories and UKIP in the UK, Leave in the referendum and then for Ardern in NZ.
My views swing wildly depending on the subject, and as such I’ve never really associated or had any loyalty to any political party or project. Depending on whether financial or cultural issues seem more important at the time usually directs where my vote ends up.

Richard Parker
RP
Richard Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Well put! I’m much in agreement with both you and Billy Bob. I think the author’s trying to find an ethically consistent stance, and as we all know, ethics and political movements rarely run concurrently. Hence, we usually end up with uneasy compromises.
Sadly I think you’re also right about probably being doomed to failure, but then I think history suggests that’s an unfortunately common fate for essentially decent people.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Parker
Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Ya think?

David Loneragan
DL
David Loneragan
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Yes, Mike’s opinions are all over the place, like a lot of contributors to Unherd. But I like the site, because it shows liberal/left people are trying to break out of the Left/Right dichotomy, and this is something that is absolutely vital. As to Mike C, I find a couple of things he says quite “deplorable”, specifically:
“the trucker convoy which desecrated our capital”
“The sordid events of Jan 6”
Re May 68 in France, “I would have joined the counter revolution calling for de Gaulle to to restore order”
Look, I believe in law and order as much as the next man, but we have to understand that many expressions of disorder (=disobedience), are legitimate, understandable, necessary, and effective. (Not always obviously; remember BLM and Antifa in 2019). I think this guy is a bit timorous and frightened; he should man up a bit…
And I think that Tucker is a hugely important figure, who stands alone in the miserable swamp that is the mainstream media. He’s not above criticism, but he’s there.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Are you like most people nowadays, i.e., more comfortable with political viewpoints that fall neatly into pre-packaged right and left boxes?
In general, I’m against the left and the right, seeing idiots and bigots in both camps. I subscribe to the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, and find both papers exasperatingly unbalanced, one as bad as the other. 
But I enjoy the process of disagreeing with each of them.   
It’s called democracy. 
Of course, I’m out of touch, as the world in this century is becoming more and more ideologically silo-ed and rigid. Only the ideologically conventional are acceptable. 
But I rather like anybody whose political viewpoints are, as you put it, “all over the place”, as it suggests that they’re not following the herd. 

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

But you are a child of the most bigoted society in human history Mr McCusker, are you not?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

..perhaps it gives him a front row seat? The English have been the most ruthless, racist, greedy, bloodthirsty people on planet Earth after Gengis Khan but no one accuses you of that Charlie.. we know you’ve learned your lesson and are trying hard to do better yourself! You are aren’t you?

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

..perhaps it gives him a front row seat? The English have been the most ruthless, racist, greedy, bloodthirsty people on planet Earth after Gengis Khan but no one accuses you of that Charlie.. we know you’ve learned your lesson and are trying hard to do better yourself! You are aren’t you?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

I think you’ve got a point there.. the trick is take them all with a grain of salt and leave plenty of leftovers on your plate.. the truth is in there somewhere?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

But you are a child of the most bigoted society in human history Mr McCusker, are you not?

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

I think you’ve got a point there.. the trick is take them all with a grain of salt and leave plenty of leftovers on your plate.. the truth is in there somewhere?

Lesley van Reenen
LV
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

So much so that one doesn’t know where to begin or end. Skipped to the end. That incident with the truckers in Canada was one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen dished up by the odious, slippery, cowardly, lying authoritarian fraudster Trudeau.

J Bryant
JB
J Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I think his political views are, by choice, all over the place. His focus in this article appears to be policies that will re-establish national sovereignty, re-shore well paid jobs, reduce income inequality, and generally strengthen nation states in the face of globalist pressures. To achieve those goals he’s willing to consider ideas from the left or the right, even if that means, for example, advocating that conservatives enact higher taxes on the rich.
I like that approach. It’s probably doomed to failure in the increasingly bipolar political climate, but perhaps a political leader can emerge with enough charisma to push through a nationalist, rather than globalist, agenda that utilizes whatever ideas work in practice irrespective of their political provenance.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Ya think?

David Loneragan
David Loneragan
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Yes, Mike’s opinions are all over the place, like a lot of contributors to Unherd. But I like the site, because it shows liberal/left people are trying to break out of the Left/Right dichotomy, and this is something that is absolutely vital. As to Mike C, I find a couple of things he says quite “deplorable”, specifically:
“the trucker convoy which desecrated our capital”
“The sordid events of Jan 6”
Re May 68 in France, “I would have joined the counter revolution calling for de Gaulle to to restore order”
Look, I believe in law and order as much as the next man, but we have to understand that many expressions of disorder (=disobedience), are legitimate, understandable, necessary, and effective. (Not always obviously; remember BLM and Antifa in 2019). I think this guy is a bit timorous and frightened; he should man up a bit…
And I think that Tucker is a hugely important figure, who stands alone in the miserable swamp that is the mainstream media. He’s not above criticism, but he’s there.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Are you like most people nowadays, i.e., more comfortable with political viewpoints that fall neatly into pre-packaged right and left boxes?
In general, I’m against the left and the right, seeing idiots and bigots in both camps. I subscribe to the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, and find both papers exasperatingly unbalanced, one as bad as the other. 
But I enjoy the process of disagreeing with each of them.   
It’s called democracy. 
Of course, I’m out of touch, as the world in this century is becoming more and more ideologically silo-ed and rigid. Only the ideologically conventional are acceptable. 
But I rather like anybody whose political viewpoints are, as you put it, “all over the place”, as it suggests that they’re not following the herd. 

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

Is it just me or are Mike’s political views all over the place?

Hendrik Mentz
HM
Hendrik Mentz
1 year ago

Fascinatingly ominous, and goes some way towards explaining the chasm that now exists between me and almost all my erstwhile liberal friends who opted to trust and obey ‘the voice’ and all associated measures flowing therefrom out of fear, I suspect, of losing what Giorgio Agamben called ‘bare life’.
The future, I believe, will be determined not by ‘left’ versus ‘right’ but by those who fear, trust and obey, and those whose instinct is to stand back, question and, if necessary, resist. That is why I believe Tucker Carlson and others now under attack like Agamben, Russel Brand, Neil Oliver and Glenn Greenwald are being named and shamed by the voice and its adherents.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

For sure.. we need these guys.. not to follow like sheep but to expose the wickedness even where it is skewed.. we can, with a little effort de-skew by looking at all sides and chose a middle way?

Gail Appley
Gail Appley
11 months ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

Neil Oliver is the only person in the current realm of zeitgeist who qualifies as purely decent, guileless, soulful, wise and kind.His melodic brogue is so soothing.A man of honor and virtue who doesn’t need a sword, Bible or any props to convince one of his moral superiority. If I had to seek shelter in a storm, his home is where I’d want to be. It is truly painful to see him savaged, smeared and demeaned.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

For sure.. we need these guys.. not to follow like sheep but to expose the wickedness even where it is skewed.. we can, with a little effort de-skew by looking at all sides and chose a middle way?

Gail Appley
GA
Gail Appley
11 months ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

Neil Oliver is the only person in the current realm of zeitgeist who qualifies as purely decent, guileless, soulful, wise and kind.His melodic brogue is so soothing.A man of honor and virtue who doesn’t need a sword, Bible or any props to convince one of his moral superiority. If I had to seek shelter in a storm, his home is where I’d want to be. It is truly painful to see him savaged, smeared and demeaned.

Hendrik Mentz
HM
Hendrik Mentz
1 year ago

Fascinatingly ominous, and goes some way towards explaining the chasm that now exists between me and almost all my erstwhile liberal friends who opted to trust and obey ‘the voice’ and all associated measures flowing therefrom out of fear, I suspect, of losing what Giorgio Agamben called ‘bare life’.
The future, I believe, will be determined not by ‘left’ versus ‘right’ but by those who fear, trust and obey, and those whose instinct is to stand back, question and, if necessary, resist. That is why I believe Tucker Carlson and others now under attack like Agamben, Russel Brand, Neil Oliver and Glenn Greenwald are being named and shamed by the voice and its adherents.

gill haigh
GH
gill haigh
1 year ago

A truly terrible, undergraduate level article by that kid at school (we all knew one) so desperate to be liked by everyone that he made himself a laughingstock to all. This weaselly appeaser’s defence of Trudeau’s treatment of the truckers is particularly egregious. I’m surprised (and disappointed) that Unherd chose to publish it.

Agueda Kahabagan
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago
Reply to  gill haigh

C’mon, say something insightful to elevate the discourse on this page. Your trashy talk is not welcome here.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  gill haigh

Are you suggesting censorship lest he offend the snowflakes? It’s a point of view fgs, not a dictum from a tyrant..

Gail Appley
Gail Appley
11 months ago
Reply to  gill haigh

Matt Taibbi authored a wonderful piece about Trudeau’s tyranny titled” Trudeau’s Ceaucescu’s Moment”.Well worth the read.

I’ve never seen the vile savagery of today’s sociopathic culture.Former icons of the left are now more loathed by once liberals than the right. Jonathan Turley, Naomi Weiss, Russell Brand, Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Asra Nomani, Kim Iverson, Elon Musk, Tulsi Gabbard, Harvey Risch, John Ionnides, RFK Jr, John Ionnides, Shellenberger, Brett Weinstein, Caiitlin Jenner Luc Montangnier, Dr Drew, Rose McGowan, Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, Ayaan Hirsi Al,Salman Rushdie, Gandhi,Jimmy Dore, Martina Navratilova, Andrew Yang, Bill Maher… hell, even Hendrix and Jim Morrison!

Agueda Kahabagan
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago
Reply to  gill haigh

C’mon, say something insightful to elevate the discourse on this page. Your trashy talk is not welcome here.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  gill haigh

Are you suggesting censorship lest he offend the snowflakes? It’s a point of view fgs, not a dictum from a tyrant..

Gail Appley
GA
Gail Appley
11 months ago
Reply to  gill haigh

Matt Taibbi authored a wonderful piece about Trudeau’s tyranny titled” Trudeau’s Ceaucescu’s Moment”.Well worth the read.

I’ve never seen the vile savagery of today’s sociopathic culture.Former icons of the left are now more loathed by once liberals than the right. Jonathan Turley, Naomi Weiss, Russell Brand, Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Asra Nomani, Kim Iverson, Elon Musk, Tulsi Gabbard, Harvey Risch, John Ionnides, RFK Jr, John Ionnides, Shellenberger, Brett Weinstein, Caiitlin Jenner Luc Montangnier, Dr Drew, Rose McGowan, Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, Ayaan Hirsi Al,Salman Rushdie, Gandhi,Jimmy Dore, Martina Navratilova, Andrew Yang, Bill Maher… hell, even Hendrix and Jim Morrison!

gill haigh
gill haigh
1 year ago

A truly terrible, undergraduate level article by that kid at school (we all knew one) so desperate to be liked by everyone that he made himself a laughingstock to all. This weaselly appeaser’s defence of Trudeau’s treatment of the truckers is particularly egregious. I’m surprised (and disappointed) that Unherd chose to publish it.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

You oppose neo-liberalism but support Justin Trudeau? Really? The WEF sponsored poster boy for Davos-elitism and neo-liberal globalism? That’s like suggesting you agree with Bono about taxing the rich.
Trudeau makes all the simpering noises towards progressivism, that make him acceptable to the liberal media and anyone who isn’t paying attention, and then acts like a dyed in the wool authoritarian towards his own citizens if they refuse to accept his every edict? That’s your guy?
And then we come to Tucker Carlson. As a self-proclaimed former “biggest fan” of Tucker, it must really sting to see your hero fail to live up to your hopes for him. But, having read your article, I wonder whether your critique of his recent segment on the SVB collapse as “typically vapid and asinine”, might not be a wee bit hypocritical?
Forgive me but I think you might need the services of an Overton Window Cleaner.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
PT
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

You oppose neo-liberalism but support Justin Trudeau? Really? The WEF sponsored poster boy for Davos-elitism and neo-liberal globalism? That’s like suggesting you agree with Bono about taxing the rich.
Trudeau makes all the simpering noises towards progressivism, that make him acceptable to the liberal media and anyone who isn’t paying attention, and then acts like a dyed in the wool authoritarian towards his own citizens if they refuse to accept his every edict? That’s your guy?
And then we come to Tucker Carlson. As a self-proclaimed former “biggest fan” of Tucker, it must really sting to see your hero fail to live up to your hopes for him. But, having read your article, I wonder whether your critique of his recent segment on the SVB collapse as “typically vapid and asinine”, might not be a wee bit hypocritical?
Forgive me but I think you might need the services of an Overton Window Cleaner.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago

Did anybody actually read all the way through this tosh?

David Kingsworthy
David Kingsworthy
1 year ago

I got through it, felt some good points were made though I don’t know their accuracy. Mostly it made me think about the reasons I like Tucker, which can be clarified down to this: He questions things. He asks really good questions about events, groups, decisions, motivations. Maybe he is not always objective, but I do appreciate his work and ultimately disagree with the conclusions of this piece.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

For sure.. he does make a contribution. If you see it as other than ex cathedra then it’s fine to get his point of view? What’s the alternative.. ask your politician or priest what you should think? Put ’em all in the blender I say and see what the baked cake looks like?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

For sure.. he does make a contribution. If you see it as other than ex cathedra then it’s fine to get his point of view? What’s the alternative.. ask your politician or priest what you should think? Put ’em all in the blender I say and see what the baked cake looks like?

Ian S
Ian S
1 year ago

I tried. I really tried. But I confess I would rather have stuck pins under my eyelids than finish.

Agueda Kahabagan
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago

But you still keep on reading his “tosh” every time it comes out! Or, you have nothing better to say but bash people who don’t agree with your shitty views. Pathetic

David Kingsworthy
DK
David Kingsworthy
1 year ago

I got through it, felt some good points were made though I don’t know their accuracy. Mostly it made me think about the reasons I like Tucker, which can be clarified down to this: He questions things. He asks really good questions about events, groups, decisions, motivations. Maybe he is not always objective, but I do appreciate his work and ultimately disagree with the conclusions of this piece.

Ian S
Ian S
1 year ago

I tried. I really tried. But I confess I would rather have stuck pins under my eyelids than finish.

Agueda Kahabagan
AK
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago

But you still keep on reading his “tosh” every time it comes out! Or, you have nothing better to say but bash people who don’t agree with your shitty views. Pathetic

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago

Did anybody actually read all the way through this tosh?

Martin Layfield
Martin Layfield
1 year ago

Curious how the author denounces Trump as a ‘neoliberal shill’ yet by the end the author is explaining how he learned to love the globalists’ favourite Trudeau. Projection much? The title of this piece would better to be ‘How I learned to be a neoliberal bootlicker’

Martin Layfield
Martin Layfield
1 year ago

Curious how the author denounces Trump as a ‘neoliberal shill’ yet by the end the author is explaining how he learned to love the globalists’ favourite Trudeau. Projection much? The title of this piece would better to be ‘How I learned to be a neoliberal bootlicker’

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

‘As Trump revealed himself to be nothing more than a neoliberal shill,”

hahahaaa, pure standup Gold……

My guess is this writer is very bitter about not making it onto the: Forum of Young Global Leaders at the WEF:

”Klaus Schwab’s WEF “School for Covid Dictators”, a Plan for the “Great Reset” Young Global Leaders school”
”How is it that more than 190 governments from all over the world ended up dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in almost exactly the same manner, with lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccination cards now being commonplace everywhere?
The answer may lie in the Young Global Leaders school, which was established and managed by Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, and that many of today’s prominent political and business leaders passed through on their way to the top.’

And some of those Schwab acolytes he mentions———–>

Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, Justin Trudeau and Tony Blair, Jacinda Ardern, Emmanuel Macron,Sebastian Kurz, Viktor Orbán, Angela Merkel,Gavin Newsom, Peter Buttigieg, Bill GatesJeff Bezos, Richard BransonChelsea Clinton

Haha, this guy cannot forgive the Truckers for resisting the wef, ‘hey, gimmie another cup of that great Kool-aid.’ Like how he cannot forgive Tucker; for not being a compliant wef mouthpiece……

I’ve never been reluctant to criticise Trudeau, but I was never more in agreement with his actions than when he finally shut down the convoy:’

haha Boosters anyone? I’m on my 7th…..haha

N Satori
N Satori
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Elliott Bjorn now? Didn’t you post here as Sanford Artzen back in the day?

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  N Satori

Yep, then Galeti something or other. Each incarnation seems to become slightly more unhinged as time goes on

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  N Satori

Yep, then Galeti something or other. Each incarnation seems to become slightly more unhinged as time goes on

Stephanie Surface
SS
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Victor Orban part of the Schwab acolytes? You know he closed down the Hungarian Soros Uni. Doesn’t sound too much in the spirit of the “ Great Reset “.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
N Satori
N Satori
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Elliott Bjorn now? Didn’t you post here as Sanford Artzen back in the day?

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Victor Orban part of the Schwab acolytes? You know he closed down the Hungarian Soros Uni. Doesn’t sound too much in the spirit of the “ Great Reset “.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

‘As Trump revealed himself to be nothing more than a neoliberal shill,”

hahahaaa, pure standup Gold……

My guess is this writer is very bitter about not making it onto the: Forum of Young Global Leaders at the WEF:

”Klaus Schwab’s WEF “School for Covid Dictators”, a Plan for the “Great Reset” Young Global Leaders school”
”How is it that more than 190 governments from all over the world ended up dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in almost exactly the same manner, with lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccination cards now being commonplace everywhere?
The answer may lie in the Young Global Leaders school, which was established and managed by Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, and that many of today’s prominent political and business leaders passed through on their way to the top.’

And some of those Schwab acolytes he mentions———–>

Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, Justin Trudeau and Tony Blair, Jacinda Ardern, Emmanuel Macron,Sebastian Kurz, Viktor Orbán, Angela Merkel,Gavin Newsom, Peter Buttigieg, Bill GatesJeff Bezos, Richard BransonChelsea Clinton

Haha, this guy cannot forgive the Truckers for resisting the wef, ‘hey, gimmie another cup of that great Kool-aid.’ Like how he cannot forgive Tucker; for not being a compliant wef mouthpiece……

I’ve never been reluctant to criticise Trudeau, but I was never more in agreement with his actions than when he finally shut down the convoy:’

haha Boosters anyone? I’m on my 7th…..haha

0 0
0 0
1 year ago

I was following along with interest –not 100% agreement, but noting his points– until the author brought up the trucker convoy and said they had to be put down. Does he recall what the convoy was about, and *how* Trudeau shut it down? A true nails-on-the-chalkboard moment in the essay.
It wasn’t ‘economic sabotage’ or emotional hedonism, it was a protest against useless vaccine mandates and government overreach. Sorry to hear that a Woodstock-style protest (in which no physical damage took place, and no one was hurt) upsets the author so much. He has more to learn.

0 0
0 0
1 year ago

I was following along with interest –not 100% agreement, but noting his points– until the author brought up the trucker convoy and said they had to be put down. Does he recall what the convoy was about, and *how* Trudeau shut it down? A true nails-on-the-chalkboard moment in the essay.
It wasn’t ‘economic sabotage’ or emotional hedonism, it was a protest against useless vaccine mandates and government overreach. Sorry to hear that a Woodstock-style protest (in which no physical damage took place, and no one was hurt) upsets the author so much. He has more to learn.

Sisyphus Jones
SJ
Sisyphus Jones
1 year ago

Michael Cuenco has nothing to say and he won’t stop saying it.

Agueda Kahabagan
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

But you keep coming back for more, hahaha!

Sisyphus Jones
SJ
Sisyphus Jones
1 year ago

I come only in anticipation of your attention, Agueda.

Sisyphus Jones
SJ
Sisyphus Jones
1 year ago

I come only in anticipation of your attention, Agueda.

Agueda Kahabagan
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

But you keep coming back for more, hahaha!

Sisyphus Jones
SJ
Sisyphus Jones
1 year ago

Michael Cuenco has nothing to say and he won’t stop saying it.

Richard Ross
Richard Ross
1 year ago

As a Canadian, I deeply, deeply apologize for the kid who wrote this. Wayyyy too much folly and misperception for me to point out here, and I’m sure many others will handle that.

Agueda Kahabagan
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Ross

Don’t apologize, the guy is a genius!

Agueda Kahabagan
AK
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Ross

Don’t apologize, the guy is a genius!

Richard Ross
Richard Ross
1 year ago

As a Canadian, I deeply, deeply apologize for the kid who wrote this. Wayyyy too much folly and misperception for me to point out here, and I’m sure many others will handle that.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
1 year ago

This is slightly below par for UnHerd, I expect quantity is being sacrificed for quality. The comments are here, as often more interesting and better written than the article and maybe UnHerd should be inverted where readers write thoughtful commentary and Michael Cuenco adds his comments. In this case there is more about the writer than the subject when could have offered some insight into why Carlson is popular and unpopular. If he didn’t exist would we need to invent him? And if not Carlson then who else will add any counter-weight to a uniform media?

Agueda Kahabagan
AK
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Terrell

Hilarious comment from Martin Terell

Agueda Kahabagan
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Terrell

Hilarious comment from Martin Terell

Martin Terrell
MT
Martin Terrell
1 year ago

This is slightly below par for UnHerd, I expect quantity is being sacrificed for quality. The comments are here, as often more interesting and better written than the article and maybe UnHerd should be inverted where readers write thoughtful commentary and Michael Cuenco adds his comments. In this case there is more about the writer than the subject when could have offered some insight into why Carlson is popular and unpopular. If he didn’t exist would we need to invent him? And if not Carlson then who else will add any counter-weight to a uniform media?

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Clickbait, obviously. Vapid and asinine are perfect descriptions of contributions from Michael Cuenco.

Agueda Kahabagan
AK
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago

But why do you still follow the author if that’s the case? How silly

Agueda Kahabagan
Agueda Kahabagan
1 year ago

But why do you still follow the author if that’s the case? How silly

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Clickbait, obviously. Vapid and asinine are perfect descriptions of contributions from Michael Cuenco.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Well a hit piece on Carlson, who would have thought

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Well a hit piece on Carlson, who would have thought

David Barnett
David Barnett
1 year ago

SVB and Woke. If you don’t understand that the the Risk Officer was chosen for woke allegiance rather than competence and was intellectually AWOL, you are missing an important part of the picture. However, the problem goes deeper than that, because its investment strategy (long term treasuries) was effectively dictated by a handful of wokish VC funds. when the interest rate risk got out of hand, these same VCs forced a run (which meant liquidating those long term treasuries at a loss).

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
1 year ago
Reply to  David Barnett

I’m no economist but even I knew that pumping tons of printed money into the economy would devastate long term bonds. They were truly woke and economically stunted as most progressive are.

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
1 year ago
Reply to  David Barnett

I’m no economist but even I knew that pumping tons of printed money into the economy would devastate long term bonds. They were truly woke and economically stunted as most progressive are.

David Barnett
DB
David Barnett
1 year ago

SVB and Woke. If you don’t understand that the the Risk Officer was chosen for woke allegiance rather than competence and was intellectually AWOL, you are missing an important part of the picture. However, the problem goes deeper than that, because its investment strategy (long term treasuries) was effectively dictated by a handful of wokish VC funds. when the interest rate risk got out of hand, these same VCs forced a run (which meant liquidating those long term treasuries at a loss).

Rob N
RN
Rob N
1 year ago

“However, six months later, when pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, Tucker rushed to depict that riot as a frame-up — or, depending on the day, to valorise the perpetrators as peaceful patriots.”
The author must have seen different Tucker Carlson segments to the ones I saw where he clearly said that there were some vandals, idiots, troublemakers etc aka rioters in the crowd but how most of the people seemed to just be peaceful protestors who got caught up in it all but still stayed peaceful and calm.
TC also pointed out how odd all the law enforcement was that day and how much evidence there was of either police or AntiFa infiltrators who blew the whole thing up.

Jay Chase
JC
Jay Chase
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

He also talked about how he invited Sydney Powell on the show to present her evidence that there was widespread voter fraud in the election, saying she could have a whole hour if she wanted, but that she refused to come on. This was in late January when her and Lin Wood were still making the same outrageous claims that provoked the “Hang Mike Pence” rioters.
That said, I think Rupert Murdoch’s idea of having all three prime time hosts rebuke the voter fraud claims would have been great. And as time passed there was an attempt to whitewash the riot to an extent by conservative media or blame it on Antifa.

Jay Chase
JC
Jay Chase
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

He also talked about how he invited Sydney Powell on the show to present her evidence that there was widespread voter fraud in the election, saying she could have a whole hour if she wanted, but that she refused to come on. This was in late January when her and Lin Wood were still making the same outrageous claims that provoked the “Hang Mike Pence” rioters.
That said, I think Rupert Murdoch’s idea of having all three prime time hosts rebuke the voter fraud claims would have been great. And as time passed there was an attempt to whitewash the riot to an extent by conservative media or blame it on Antifa.

Rob N
RN
Rob N
1 year ago

“However, six months later, when pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, Tucker rushed to depict that riot as a frame-up — or, depending on the day, to valorise the perpetrators as peaceful patriots.”
The author must have seen different Tucker Carlson segments to the ones I saw where he clearly said that there were some vandals, idiots, troublemakers etc aka rioters in the crowd but how most of the people seemed to just be peaceful protestors who got caught up in it all but still stayed peaceful and calm.
TC also pointed out how odd all the law enforcement was that day and how much evidence there was of either police or AntiFa infiltrators who blew the whole thing up.

Jay Chase
JC
Jay Chase
1 year ago

As a long-time fan of Tucker’s show I generally agree with this. There was definitely a change in the show after the 2020 election, I completely stopped watching in 2021. Having bird-brain QAnon conspiracist Marjorie Taylor Greene on repeatedly and lobbing her softball questions every time was hard to swallow, constantly having Alex Berenson on (who was wrong about virtually everything regarding the virus), and obsessively focusing on abortion and rapid-fire assault rifles and other red-meat evangelical issues were also big changes from how the show started out.
He also had the power to push back on the many, many lunatic conspiracy theories which were circulating among Republicans (Qanon, Plandemic, Died Suddenly), but he chose not to, and Republicans were rightfully mocked for believing in that garbage and were crushed in the mid-term elections.
He still has a good segment here or there but I consider him a slightly better Hannity at this point, and his emails indicate he’s no longer saying what he really thinks.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Chase

they didn’t do as well as expected but hardly “crushed,” as they won back the House and a bunch of governorships. Only the election deniers were defeated badly.

Jay Chase
JC
Jay Chase
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Considering the near-universal unhappiness with the direction of the country, rising crime and mis-rule by the Democrats, the Republicans should have won huge gains. Their performance against a hated ruling party was pitiful in large part due to the fact they were such an unappealing alternative.

Jay Chase
JC
Jay Chase
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Considering the near-universal unhappiness with the direction of the country, rising crime and mis-rule by the Democrats, the Republicans should have won huge gains. Their performance against a hated ruling party was pitiful in large part due to the fact they were such an unappealing alternative.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Chase

they didn’t do as well as expected but hardly “crushed,” as they won back the House and a bunch of governorships. Only the election deniers were defeated badly.

Jay Chase
JC
Jay Chase
1 year ago

As a long-time fan of Tucker’s show I generally agree with this. There was definitely a change in the show after the 2020 election, I completely stopped watching in 2021. Having bird-brain QAnon conspiracist Marjorie Taylor Greene on repeatedly and lobbing her softball questions every time was hard to swallow, constantly having Alex Berenson on (who was wrong about virtually everything regarding the virus), and obsessively focusing on abortion and rapid-fire assault rifles and other red-meat evangelical issues were also big changes from how the show started out.
He also had the power to push back on the many, many lunatic conspiracy theories which were circulating among Republicans (Qanon, Plandemic, Died Suddenly), but he chose not to, and Republicans were rightfully mocked for believing in that garbage and were crushed in the mid-term elections.
He still has a good segment here or there but I consider him a slightly better Hannity at this point, and his emails indicate he’s no longer saying what he really thinks.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago

My experience with Canada is that it is like two countries. The rich part, the Trudeau part in Quebec is French. The rest is much nearer to American. Every policy then has to balance the two parts. A bit like PR with only two parties.
When I was there, working and visiting, people told me all kinds of things from one extreme to the other. But I think that most of Trudeau’s popularity is inherited from his father. People have fond memories of Trudeau senior. There is certainly a difference when you cross the border between Ontario and Quebec.

Russell Hamilton
RH
Russell Hamilton
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I was kind of impressed with this observation of the truckers: “these “populists” were not speaking on behalf of the people, but were often privileged members of the political class, who egged on the mob and used the name of the people to indulge their own ambitions”. They were also, apparently, 1960s anarchists.

And there I was thinking we in Australia were rednecks, when in Canada, their ‘privileged members of the political class’ are driving big trucks!

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Canada is much like the US. You have the rich coastal elites in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal – and the rest of the country. Trudeau won the last election with 32% of the vote, while the second place Conservatives had 36% of the vote.

Trudeau can hammer on the farmers, miners and oil producers of Canada because he won’t ever get their vote and he doesn’t need it to win elections.

Jane H
JH
Jane H
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

His father????? Every Canadian knows his father was Fidel Castro!!!!!!!!!!

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I was kind of impressed with this observation of the truckers: “these “populists” were not speaking on behalf of the people, but were often privileged members of the political class, who egged on the mob and used the name of the people to indulge their own ambitions”. They were also, apparently, 1960s anarchists.

And there I was thinking we in Australia were rednecks, when in Canada, their ‘privileged members of the political class’ are driving big trucks!

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Canada is much like the US. You have the rich coastal elites in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal – and the rest of the country. Trudeau won the last election with 32% of the vote, while the second place Conservatives had 36% of the vote.

Trudeau can hammer on the farmers, miners and oil producers of Canada because he won’t ever get their vote and he doesn’t need it to win elections.

Jane H
JH
Jane H
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

His father????? Every Canadian knows his father was Fidel Castro!!!!!!!!!!

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago

My experience with Canada is that it is like two countries. The rich part, the Trudeau part in Quebec is French. The rest is much nearer to American. Every policy then has to balance the two parts. A bit like PR with only two parties.
When I was there, working and visiting, people told me all kinds of things from one extreme to the other. But I think that most of Trudeau’s popularity is inherited from his father. People have fond memories of Trudeau senior. There is certainly a difference when you cross the border between Ontario and Quebec.

Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
1 year ago

Always worth noting the recent revelations about What Tucker was saying in private about Trump around the time of the Capitol, ‘tourist visit’, while saying in public what a jolly fine chap he was etc:
“I hate him passionately.”
“All of [his businesses] fail, what he’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that.”
“demonic force, a destroyer.”
“That’s the last four years. We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isn’t really an upside to Trump.”

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago

Always worth noting the recent revelations about What Tucker was saying in private about Trump around the time of the Capitol, ‘tourist visit’, while saying in public what a jolly fine chap he was etc:
“I hate him passionately.”
“All of [his businesses] fail, what he’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that.”
“demonic force, a destroyer.”
“That’s the last four years. We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isn’t really an upside to Trump.”

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Yeah, but apart from all that… and don’t forget: out of the mouths of babes and sucklings! If you listen carefully you’ll hear veins of truth marbled into all the lies and distortions (a good lie has to have those or no-one will believe it, mot even the credulous.. so if you’re smart enough to mine those veins he’s definitely worth watching… for entertainment if nothing else!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Yeah, but apart from all that… and don’t forget: out of the mouths of babes and sucklings! If you listen carefully you’ll hear veins of truth marbled into all the lies and distortions (a good lie has to have those or no-one will believe it, mot even the credulous.. so if you’re smart enough to mine those veins he’s definitely worth watching… for entertainment if nothing else!

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
1 year ago

Sounds like people are looking for a reasoned analysis of the Trucker protest in Ottawa rather than a childish take down of Tucker. Would you like to do an hour long opinion piece everyday and get everything 100% right.

Peter Lee
PL
Peter Lee
1 year ago

Sounds like people are looking for a reasoned analysis of the Trucker protest in Ottawa rather than a childish take down of Tucker. Would you like to do an hour long opinion piece everyday and get everything 100% right.

Michael McElwee
MM
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

If Donald Trump had won the 2020 election, and deeply disappointed voters on the left had gathered in Washington DC, in exactly the same numbers, on exactly the same date, and behaved in exactly the same way the MAGA voters behaved, right down to every detail, would the word “insurrection” have been used?

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
MM
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

If Donald Trump had won the 2020 election, and deeply disappointed voters on the left had gathered in Washington DC, in exactly the same numbers, on exactly the same date, and behaved in exactly the same way the MAGA voters behaved, right down to every detail, would the word “insurrection” have been used?

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael McElwee
harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago

Or what you just wrote.

Robert Pruger
Robert Pruger
1 year ago

There’s a reason Tucker Carlson is the most watched commentator on cable news. His opening monologues are the closest thing to thoughtful analysis, well articulated, with a bit of humor thrown in. There’s a reason Biden’s Press Secretary would like Fox be regulated by the FTC. Tucker, frames the debate, and exposes the Biden administration and his family’s flaws; they are huge. Biden’s FTC would have Fox News in constant litigation.

The number of times that Tucker has exposed the lies is huge: authoritarian lock downs, face masks are close to useless, J Smollet’s story was a hoax, the Covington students were framed, Kyle Ritenhouse interview was masterful — letting that young man have his say, pointing out the existential threat of the U.S.’s proxy war with Russia, the list is very long. Whatever Tucker’s flaws, we need him.

Robert Pruger
RP
Robert Pruger
1 year ago

There’s a reason Tucker Carlson is the most watched commentator on cable news. His opening monologues are the closest thing to thoughtful analysis, well articulated, with a bit of humor thrown in. There’s a reason Biden’s Press Secretary would like Fox be regulated by the FTC. Tucker, frames the debate, and exposes the Biden administration and his family’s flaws; they are huge. Biden’s FTC would have Fox News in constant litigation.

The number of times that Tucker has exposed the lies is huge: authoritarian lock downs, face masks are close to useless, J Smollet’s story was a hoax, the Covington students were framed, Kyle Ritenhouse interview was masterful — letting that young man have his say, pointing out the existential threat of the U.S.’s proxy war with Russia, the list is very long. Whatever Tucker’s flaws, we need him.

N Satori
N Satori
1 year ago

A quite interesting piece. Amusing to see how Mr Cuenco’s take on those favourite populist issues has rattled the below-the-line keyboard warriors here at UnHerd. Still, we must remember that being rattled and expressing outrage is what conservative keyboard warriors do. In fact it’s the only thing they do. Hardly surprising that the legions of Woke have taken so much institutional territory.
By the way, did the protesting truckers really describe themselves as “the Woodstock of our time”?

N Satori
NS
N Satori
1 year ago

A quite interesting piece. Amusing to see how Mr Cuenco’s take on those favourite populist issues has rattled the below-the-line keyboard warriors here at UnHerd. Still, we must remember that being rattled and expressing outrage is what conservative keyboard warriors do. In fact it’s the only thing they do. Hardly surprising that the legions of Woke have taken so much institutional territory.
By the way, did the protesting truckers really describe themselves as “the Woodstock of our time”?

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

A bit rambling but gist of it that Populists almost always actually just protect a specific elite (usually v rich) whilst chucking red meat to the masses not a new idea. Eventually the veil draws back and more see it for what it is, but Buyers remorse and the Sunk Cost fallacy always mean it takes longer than it should for many folks to grasp they’ve been had.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

The goal of populism is to change the political debate, forcing established parties to adopt policy positions that reflect the wishes of the many people who are dissatisfied with the current political elite.

It’s working to some degree in Canada. Soon after the trucker protest, the Conservatives dumped Trudeau clone Erin O’toole as their party leader and elected Pierre Poilievre, the closest thing to a populist leader I ever recall in Canada.

And soon after the trucker protest, almost every province in the country dropped their Covid restrictions.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

yeah, as did the rest of the western world, which shows the truckers “revolt” was entirely unnecessary.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

yeah, as did the rest of the western world, which shows the truckers “revolt” was entirely unnecessary.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I totally agree. So-called “populists” are not concerned with the populus, but merely with protecting their own positions, much like the so-called “progressives”.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Populist movements arise when large segments of the population no longer believe the ruling elite and its institutions represent their interests.

Evidence of this is everywhere – 94% of Washington voters support the Democrats, something like 90% of academics vote Democrat, 98% of big tech political donations go to the Democrats.

If half the population doesn’t support the Democrats, but virtually everyone in the social and political institutions do support them, there is obviously a disconnect taking place.

That’s why populism emerges. Populist politicians may be exploiting this cleavage, and using it to further their own selfish goals, but it’s not to protect their own interests.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Veenbaas
N Satori
NS
N Satori
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Well, I guess it’s quite obvious why populist movements arise but we should be more concerned about where they are headed. A populist movement must be able to see beyond the immediate goal of bringing down the ruling elite. That requires vision, intelligence and wide cooperation. The machinery of governance is deep and complex.
When we voted to leave the European Union in 2016 the populist fantasy was that Britain would be a free-wheeling nation once more – no longer burdened by EU’s restrictions, free to do business with the world. Decades of living within those restrictions have, unfortunately, taken their toll. Britain was unprepared for that freedom. We are like institutionalised prisoners anxious about freedom and unsure what to do outside of the regulated environment.
Did I vote to leave? Yes. Do I regret it? No.

N Satori
N Satori
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Well, I guess it’s quite obvious why populist movements arise but we should be more concerned about where they are headed. A populist movement must be able to see beyond the immediate goal of bringing down the ruling elite. That requires vision, intelligence and wide cooperation. The machinery of governance is deep and complex.
When we voted to leave the European Union in 2016 the populist fantasy was that Britain would be a free-wheeling nation once more – no longer burdened by EU’s restrictions, free to do business with the world. Decades of living within those restrictions have, unfortunately, taken their toll. Britain was unprepared for that freedom. We are like institutionalised prisoners anxious about freedom and unsure what to do outside of the regulated environment.
Did I vote to leave? Yes. Do I regret it? No.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Populist movements arise when large segments of the population no longer believe the ruling elite and its institutions represent their interests.

Evidence of this is everywhere – 94% of Washington voters support the Democrats, something like 90% of academics vote Democrat, 98% of big tech political donations go to the Democrats.

If half the population doesn’t support the Democrats, but virtually everyone in the social and political institutions do support them, there is obviously a disconnect taking place.

That’s why populism emerges. Populist politicians may be exploiting this cleavage, and using it to further their own selfish goals, but it’s not to protect their own interests.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Veenbaas
Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

There may well be some truth in what you say, but you overlook the fact that the only reason populists become popular is because the established politicians and governments are so far removed from the priorities of those who they are supposed to represent. This gap is certainly wider now than it ever has in my lifetime, to the point where it appears that governments are often working against their populace.

In an ideal world, where democracy is functioning properly, the populists are able to influence the mainstream politicians and force them to adapt their policies. Then most of the population would revert to the tried and tested mainstream and all would be broadly well with the world.

What we have now is the mainstream looking to censor the populists and anyone , and worse. Look at the freezing of people’s bank accounts during the trucker protests, look at the attempts to jail Trump on the flimsiest of procedural misdemeanor (and contrast this against the treatment of Hunter Biden).

This unfortunately backs people into a corner where people could believe- even know – what you have said to be true, but still vote for the populist because it’s the only way to force the changes that the vast majority of people other than the politicians agree is needed. And your solution – which is essentially “let’s prolong the current sh1tshow because the alternative might be worse” – ceases to be appealing.

Populism is always a symptom not a cause.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Haynes

Well said. Trump wasn’t the cause of political cleavage in the US. He arose because of it.

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Absolutely Jim. And for all those who like to make mostly false comparisons between people in the present era and nazism, it should absolutely noted that nazism arose out of the financial turmoil of the 1930s, and the enormous gap that arose between the politicians and the population.

Yet today’s political class seem determined to repeat the same mistakes. Some seem to think that the current crises are actually helpful to them.

The elites are getting more authoritarian by the minute, and the next populist (and there will be one before long) is likely to be far nastier and far more brutal than Donald Trump.

We ignore history at our peril.

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Absolutely Jim. And for all those who like to make mostly false comparisons between people in the present era and nazism, it should absolutely noted that nazism arose out of the financial turmoil of the 1930s, and the enormous gap that arose between the politicians and the population.

Yet today’s political class seem determined to repeat the same mistakes. Some seem to think that the current crises are actually helpful to them.

The elites are getting more authoritarian by the minute, and the next populist (and there will be one before long) is likely to be far nastier and far more brutal than Donald Trump.

We ignore history at our peril.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Haynes

Yes to outline the malign and mendacious playbook adopted by Populists is not the same as saying the populous does not have many legit grievances. The point is Populists aren’t primarily interested in really solving those problems. They just want to surf the wave for their own benefits.
As to whether there is a ‘populist’ mainstream in the populous, well of course who wouldn’t want lots of problems solved with minimal consequences and trade offs. The added problem with Populist politicians, and their supporting Populist media friends, is it encourages the infantalisation of voters.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Haynes

Well said. Trump wasn’t the cause of political cleavage in the US. He arose because of it.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Haynes

Yes to outline the malign and mendacious playbook adopted by Populists is not the same as saying the populous does not have many legit grievances. The point is Populists aren’t primarily interested in really solving those problems. They just want to surf the wave for their own benefits.
As to whether there is a ‘populist’ mainstream in the populous, well of course who wouldn’t want lots of problems solved with minimal consequences and trade offs. The added problem with Populist politicians, and their supporting Populist media friends, is it encourages the infantalisation of voters.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

The goal of populism is to change the political debate, forcing established parties to adopt policy positions that reflect the wishes of the many people who are dissatisfied with the current political elite.

It’s working to some degree in Canada. Soon after the trucker protest, the Conservatives dumped Trudeau clone Erin O’toole as their party leader and elected Pierre Poilievre, the closest thing to a populist leader I ever recall in Canada.

And soon after the trucker protest, almost every province in the country dropped their Covid restrictions.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I totally agree. So-called “populists” are not concerned with the populus, but merely with protecting their own positions, much like the so-called “progressives”.

Guy Haynes
GH
Guy Haynes
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

There may well be some truth in what you say, but you overlook the fact that the only reason populists become popular is because the established politicians and governments are so far removed from the priorities of those who they are supposed to represent. This gap is certainly wider now than it ever has in my lifetime, to the point where it appears that governments are often working against their populace.

In an ideal world, where democracy is functioning properly, the populists are able to influence the mainstream politicians and force them to adapt their policies. Then most of the population would revert to the tried and tested mainstream and all would be broadly well with the world.

What we have now is the mainstream looking to censor the populists and anyone , and worse. Look at the freezing of people’s bank accounts during the trucker protests, look at the attempts to jail Trump on the flimsiest of procedural misdemeanor (and contrast this against the treatment of Hunter Biden).

This unfortunately backs people into a corner where people could believe- even know – what you have said to be true, but still vote for the populist because it’s the only way to force the changes that the vast majority of people other than the politicians agree is needed. And your solution – which is essentially “let’s prolong the current sh1tshow because the alternative might be worse” – ceases to be appealing.

Populism is always a symptom not a cause.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

A bit rambling but gist of it that Populists almost always actually just protect a specific elite (usually v rich) whilst chucking red meat to the masses not a new idea. Eventually the veil draws back and more see it for what it is, but Buyers remorse and the Sunk Cost fallacy always mean it takes longer than it should for many folks to grasp they’ve been had.