Friday, January 29, 2016

An Awesome Tucker Carlson Column About the GOP Establishment

Let that sink in. Conservative voters are being scolded for supporting a candidate they consider conservative because it would be bad for conservatism? And by the way, the people doing the scolding? They’re the ones who’ve been advocating for open borders, and nation-building in countries whose populations hate us, and trade deals that eliminated jobs while enriching their donors, all while implicitly mocking the base for its worries about abortion and gay marriage and the pace of demographic change. Now they’re telling their voters to shut up and obey, and if they don’t, they’re liberal
It turns out the GOP wasn’t simply out of touch with its voters; the party had no idea who its voters were or what they believed. For decades, party leaders and intellectuals imagined that most Republicans were broadly libertarian on economics and basically neoconservative on foreign policy. That may sound absurd now, after Trump has attacked nearly the entire Republican catechism (he savaged the Iraq War and hedge fund managers in the same debate) and been greatly rewarded for it, but that was the assumption the GOP brain trust operated under. They had no way of knowing otherwise. The only Republicans they talked to read the Wall Street Journal too.

On immigration policy, party elders were caught completely by surprise. Even canny operators like Ted Cruz didn’t appreciate the depth of voter anger on the subject. And why would they? If you live in an affluent ZIP code, it’s hard to see a downside to mass low-wage immigration. Your kids don’t go to public school. You don’t take the bus or use the emergency room for health care. No immigrant is competing for your job. (The day Hondurans start getting hired as green energy lobbyists is the day my neighbors become nativists.) Plus, you get cheap servants, and get to feel welcoming and virtuous while paying them less per hour than your kids make at a summer job on Nantucket. It’s all good.

When was the last time you stopped yourself from saying something you believed to be true for fear of being punished or criticized for saying it? If you live in America, it probably hasn’t been long. That’s not just a talking point about political correctness. It’s the central problem with our national conversation, the main reason our debates are so stilted and useless. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t have the words to describe it. You can’t even think about it clearly.

This depressing fact made Trump’s political career. In a country where almost everyone in public life lies reflexively, it’s thrilling to hear someone say what he really thinks, even if you believe he’s wrong. It’s especially exciting when you suspect he’s right.
A temporary ban on Muslim immigration? That sounds a little extreme (meaning nobody else has said it recently in public). But is it? Millions of Muslims have moved to Western Europe over the past 50 years, and a sizable number of them still haven’t assimilated. Instead, they remain hostile and sometimes dangerous to the cultures that welcomed them. By any measure, that experiment has failed. What’s our strategy for not repeating it here, especially after San Bernardino—attacks that seemed to come out of nowhere? Invoke American exceptionalism and hope for the best? Before Trump, that was the plan.

Read all of it.


  1. That is a great article, should be required reading by the GOP "strategists" and other poobahs.

    For further insight, read Scott Adam's blog (he's the Dilbert author) at He writes a daily post and is convinced that it will be "President Trump". Not because he supports Trump (he doesn't), but because Trump understands people and how to relate to them. Including things like Carleson's relating how Trump handled Hillary's "sexism" charge.

    I'm personally undecided on who to support, but I'd be quite happy with either Trump or Cruz.

  2. Speaking as a mathematician, when mathematicians "crossed the border" after the Soviet Union collapsed, I did not regard it as a crisis.

    On the other hand, I must admit many mathematicians inside the United States did regard an earlier wave of refugee mathematicians as a crisis. In particular, Harvard kept out mathematicians fleeing the National Socialists. (Harvard's motto: We're Harvard; we can get away with anything.)

  3. I don't think most Washington types understand what most Americans are going through. We've had median wages decline, and the stability of jobs that are out there for 90% of workers is terrible. Yet the folks in Washington are insulated from all that and are doing fine. The GOP and the Democrats both think the TPP is great, but most Americans have concluded that "free trade" isn't "fair trade", and that unmanaged immigration is hurting them and their children, for example. Yet it's only Trump and Bernie who were willing to buck the established Washington wisdom.

    My prediction: Trump will win the election if he really wants to be president, and he'll do it on the backs of "Trump Democrats". It will be much like the blue collar revolution that put Reagan into office to kill stagflation and unindexed taxes that will killing the middle class, and for the same reason: both political parties have settled into a consensus on economic policies that the American workers don't agree with. There was more to Reagan, but it was his attention to economics and willingness to buck the establishment that won Democrats to his camp.

    (No, I don't like Trump for many policy reasons. But after the Omnibus budget just passed and the immigration amnesty deal that was almost passed, I don't think you could say that any GOPer from Washington can make a creditable claim to being able to govern differently than Trump would. And that's the GOP's real problem fighting Trump right now: they've lied and underperformed for too long to be able peel voters away from Trump by trying to adopt his positions.)