As I get a little older I’ve become less and less interested in professional political punditry for a myriad of reasons. But I still find myself fascinated by Tucker Carlson. I’ve been to several events where Carlson has spoken and he’s way too entertaining and thoughtful to be a mere hack.
Carlson, of course, likes to push the GOP out of its comfort zone, which seems wise given that, at the national level, the party has contributed to some colossal failures on the debt and the spending crisis, not to mention foreign policy. And like Carlson, I have a fairly low view of most politicians. One only needs to spend a minute watching the debt clock to look at the cowardice of the majority of lawmakers in Washington.
Carlson understands that Washington is broken. He understands people and he understands so well the liberal enclaves in his own neighborhood within the Capital Beltway. More importantly, he knows that representatives in Washington, by and large, no longer have much in common with the citizens they represent. This path is a recipe for disaster in our nation. Afterall, Trump is largely a symptom and vessel of our broken politics, neither a heroic savior or the personification of evil. The shortsighted angst over Trump on much of the hyper-politicized left and right still totally miss that there is a deeper and more profound fragmentation brewing in our nation. Hopefully, that division never turns violent.
A little over a year ago Carlson gave an address to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), which was pretty spot on and borders on brilliant. Fortunately, he’s more than willing to talk beyond the incessant partisan noise and offer thoughtful analysis on many of the problems that plague this country. Video of his remarks can be found below and he admits early on that traveling the country and meeting real people, changed his politics.
Carlson has undergone a professional transformation of sorts too. He was more of an establishment conservative during his tenure as host of CNN’s “Crossfire.” He may have more of a populist bent now, but I think he’s just more apt to call it like he sees it.
Carlson resonates in a crowded field of media pretenders, where often fake outrage dominates because I think there’s a deeper level of sincerity to him as well as intellectual curiosity.