I just read this intriguing piece about Tucker Carlson and right-wing populism. Excerpt:
“Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.
“America’s ‘ruling class,’ Carlson says, are the ‘mercenaries’ behind the failures of the middle class — including sinking marriage rates — and ‘the ugliest parts of our financial system.’ He went on: ‘Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.’
“He concluded with a demand for ‘a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don’t accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement.’
“The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, ‘Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars.’ More broadly, though, Carlson’s position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.”
Carlson seems to have digested the contradiction on the right between attributing the woes of the white working class to economic forces beyond their control, while attributing the problems of communities of color to supposed minority cultural pathologies.
This isn’t an endorsement of Mr. Carlson, whom I consider another of Donald Trump’s cheerleaders when push comes to shove. But it’s an interesting read nonetheless and, I would suggest, ties in to what Booman has written on the subject of re-engaging the white working class with the Democrats’ program.