Saturday, January 26, 2019

Tucker Carlson’s Firebell

From Chronicles:
Tucker Carlson shook the punditariat, liberal and conservative alike, with his incisive analysis, delivered during one of his show monologues, of the breakdown of the American family, a genuine four-alarm crisis that cannot be exaggerated. In it, he fingered long-standing economic policies pushed by Swamp residents and their donors for the benefit of a rootless elite class and an establishment about whom we might be tempted to say, “They hate normal Americans,” except that it is not clear at all whether they know normal Americans exist. The latter is the best construction. Factories closed, jobs shipped overseas, Midwestern wasteland towns, stagnant wages for men in what jobs remain, illegal aliens winked at in order to depress wages and increase the bottom line: These are major factors contributing to the decline of marriage rates, the delay of marriage, and the increase in bastardy and single-parenthood, and Carlson risked a great deal in saying so, on a program that depends on the advertising dollars of major corporations.

The monologue came during the 12 days of Christmas, and I for one consider it a gift to the American people. It is an argument made by various and sundry writers in Chronicles over many years, now put to a much wider audience but without sacrificing its moral clarity and conviction.

Not everyone agrees, of course. National Review deployed David French to make the bootstraps/land-of-opportunity argument, and Ben Shapiro deployed himself on his own website to laud and magnify the profusion of quality, affordable retail goods in the free market and high-five the Invisible Hand. These platitudinous responses remind us why Mitt “Bain Capital” Romney will henceforth win elections only in Utah (and possibly on Kolob): Hardly anyone truly believes them, having witnessed life in the real world in such places as Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia—the list goes on—and those who do believe them are concentrated in very particular areas of the country and ensconced in very specific sorts of neighborhoods. (Read more.)

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