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by • February 16, 2024 • Weekly ColumnComments (0)160

Tucker Carlson’s Love Affair with Moscow is Fueled by His Dream of an Authoritarian White Supremacist State

Carlson’s Crude Propaganda Betrays our Values and Undermines National Security

There are members of the Republican Party, such as Donald Trump, one suspects of being compromised by Russian kompromat. Former FOX News windbag Tucker Carlson isn’t one of them. The unconstrained gusto and glee in which he promotes Putin’s police state emanates from a place of fealty, not fear. While others may be useful idiots or blackmailed assets, Carlson is a giddy, full-fledged comrade in arms. One gets the sense that Carlson is using Putin to further his historical revisionism as much as the dictator is using the bloviator to advance his revanchism.

What appears to inspire Carlson’s gushing, pro-Putin viewpoint is unadulterated white supremacy. On FOX News he promoted the “Great Replacement,” a deranged conspiracy that claims Jews and liberals are furtively importing immigrants of color to replace white, Christian Americans. These new arrivals, in their warped minds, are beholden to vote for Democrats and instructed to turn Caucasians into second class citizens in their own country.

We could laugh this off as farcical, if it weren’t for the alarming fact 7 in 10 Republicans believe it to be true. The New York Times reported that Carlson promoted the Great Replacement theory on more than 400 episodes of his now-canceled show. The Great Replacement is brilliant hatemongering because it incorporates immigrant bashing, antisemitism, racism, nationalism and attacks against the Democratic Party, in one neatly packaged Big Lie.

Carlson, however, realizes that American demographics are not in his favor and white supremacy isn’t a winning electoral issue in a diverse nation. The GOP is an unpopular party that continues to win due to undemocratic quirks in the U.S. Constitution, such as the Electoral College. In The Hill, columnist Myra Adams pointed out the pathetic state of the Republican Party and eluded to the demographic trap the GOP can’t escape:

2024 will mark a sorry anniversary for the Republican Party: 20 years since President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign won both the popular and Electoral College votes. That feat has since eluded three GOP presidential nominees and one incumbent. 

The critical question is, “Are Republicans capable of nominating a winning ticket to halt this embarrassing losing trend?” I doubt it since rapidly changing demographics are reducing the Republicans’ popular vote count in battleground states.

Carlson’s dripping disdain for democracy comes from simple arithmetic: There will never be enough black, Asian, Jewish, LGBTQ or Latino people to vote in favor of a white, Christian ethno-state. The only way Carlson can achieve his perverse dream is through the elevation of an authoritarian “strongman” who privileges white Americans. This is why Carlson is an obsessive purveyor of the Big Lie. He was so consumed by overthrowing democracy by force that it cost him his gig at FOX, despite his high ratings.

The two role models for Carlson’s demented vision are Hungary’s oppressive Prime Minister Viktor Orbàn and war criminal Vladimir Putin. Both tyrants present themselves as stalwart defenders of traditional values and protectors of white culture, whatever that is. Are they talking about hot dogs and beer, because democracy, human rights and free speech aren’t on these dictators’ cultural menus?

In this sickening political stew, it appears that Carlson fancies himself a modern Joseph Goebbels, a veritable Minister of Propaganda, whose role is to make fascism appear fun and present subjugation as sublime. Unfortunately for Carlson, he lacks Goebbels smarts and sophistication.

Carlson’s recent foray to Mother Russia is a professional humiliation that began with his widely mocked Putin interview. His sycophantic questions were so obsequious, that even Putin was underwhelmed with Carlson’s timidity. Rolling Stone reported:

Speaking to Russian state TV anchor Pavel Zarubin earlier this week, Putin said that he “thought he [Carlson] would behave aggressively and ask so-called sharp questions. I wasn’t just prepared for this, I wanted it! 

The whiny, wimpy Carlson continued his flaccid Russian flattery tour by producing amateurish videos so outlandish they conjured memories of Baghdad Bob. In one clownish segment, Carlson compares the United States subway system to a beautiful metro station in Moscow.

“What we found shocked us,” Carlson incredulously declares in his video. “It’s perfectly clean and orderly. And how do you explain that? We are not even going to guess! That’s not our job, we are only going to ask the question. And if your response is to shout at us slogans dumber than the ones we used to call ‘Soviet’ [air quotes his], and mock, that’s not really an answer. How does Russia, a country we are told is a gas station with nuclear weapons, have a subway station…that is nicer than anything in our country.”

Carlson’s childish video takes us on a tour of a U.S. subway station by crudely showcasing rats, graffiti and bums. Then he descends into the Moscow station while uplifting classical music soars in the background. He seems to have no historical awareness of how dictatorial police states routinely create Potemkin Villages, designed to impress the gullible and render them awestruck, so they will be more likely to submit to the state. I suggest Carlson visit Pyongyang next, so he can rave about the astonishing monuments, while unseen people starve in the countryside.

Carlson isn’t a serious journalist. Had he been one, he would have provided his simpleton viewers a glimpse of the Real Russia by visiting dissident Aleksei Navalny in his arctic prison. Perhaps, he could have used his clout to create better conditions for Navalny and prevented this brave activist from dying in a frigid prison yard at the age of 47.

But, hey, Moscow has a nice subway where Tchaikovsky wafts through the air, so why should we care about human rights, democracy or Russians being forced to call the bloody war in Ukraine a “special military operation”?

Carlson’s shallow commentary also fails to explore why American subways are falling apart. Much of the deterioration has to do with Republicans in Congress kowtowing to their rural base, by serially blocking federal funds to improve urban infrastructure. As far back as I can remember, Republicans have obstructed efforts to improve Amtrak or use federal money to beautify our airports.

They consistently put bullets in the back of efforts to build bullet trains and until President Joe Biden spearheaded a successful infrastructure law, Republicans stymied attempts to even improve roads and bridges. Like the immigration issue today, Republicans want problems to bitch about instead of working to find solutions that improve the lives of the American people.

Modern conservatism, the kind embraced by Carlson, has divided America and pitted rural interests against urban ones. They cynically portray city-dwellers as stuck-up elites, and urban areas as the sinful playgrounds of loose, abortion-loving women and homosexuals. FOX News paints an inaccurate portrait of cites as irredeemable, dangerous hellscapes run amok by gun-toting racial minorities.

Unlike Germany, where citizens are taught to have pride in Berlin, or France, where people are brought up to revere Paris, American conservatism has trained its ignorant cult followers to despise New York City and spit on San Francisco. The result is underfunded subways, bumpy roads and underwhelming airports.

Tucker Carlson is an unreconstructed bigot who is working to bring his fantasy of a white supremacist authoritarian state to fruition. To that, I join most Americans in adamantly saying “nyet.”

If Carlson is so in love with Russia’s transportation, I suggest he pack his bags and use it to move to Moscow. While the Great Replacement is a conspiracy theory, it’s undeniable that our nation would be better off if he were replaced by someone who loved our country. Carlson is a disloyal Putin mouthpiece who has betrayed our values and continues to jeopardize national security, all while cynically pretending he stands for an “America First” agenda.

 

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