Firebrand Tucker Carlson is the poster boy for the radical Right. His fans are far outside the mainstream. They’re the “deplorables”: the alt-right, white nationalists, and so on. Pragmatic politicians should pick positions halfway between Tucker Carlson’s and those of his counterpoise on the Left—say, Rachel Maddow. These middling positions—flowers across the land of the moderates; reeds across the still waters of the independents—will win elections.
That’s what many believe, anyway. But why? The mere existence of polar opposites does not, in fact, imply a virtuous mean. Some people murder a lot of people. Some people murder no people. Murdering some people is not, however, the good or pragmatic thing to do.
Are Tucker Carlson and his fans extremists? Look at his 2018 book, Ship of Fools, for an answer. Carlson’s first chapter addresses the Democratic Party. He argues that it is deeply out of touch with the middle-class American voter. Americans agree. “[T]he Democratic Party is viewed as more out of touch than either [President] Trump or the [Republicans],” the Washington Post reported from a 2017 Washington Post/ABC News poll. “Two-thirds of Americans think the Democrats are out of touch—including nearly half of Democrats themselves,” the Post (no doubt grudgingly) went on to admit.
Just this year in Buffalo, New York, where voters are virtually all Democrats, the Democratic Party lost the mayor’s race. First, the incumbent mayor lost the Democratic Party primary to a leftist. But then, he won the backing of the Republican Party, sought write-in votes for the general election, and handily beat the leftist challenger, whom the Democratic Party leadership stood behind. What else might we call this but a demonstration of the accuracy of Carlson’s assessment of the Democratic Party?
Even on immigration, the issue over which Carlson raises the most ire from the Left, he is no extremist. He makes the case that there should be less immigration. American residents are split. A third think that there should be less, a third more, and a third think that it should stay the same. That’s according to the latest Gallup poll. Yet when asked in the latest Rasmussen poll how many “new immigrants the government should be adding” per year, 74 percent of American citizens likely to vote said a million or fewer, with the majority saying 750,000 or fewer. That’s a smaller number than the little over a million our country has been admitting legally almost every year since 2001, according to official statistics from the Department of Homeland Security.
Countless more come without permission. And on that, Carlson’s view is well within the mainstream. About half of all voters think that “illegal immigration” is a “critical threat to the vital interests of the United States in the next 10 years.” That’s according to a recent poll by Politico and Morning Consult. A whopping 78 percent call it at least an “important” threat. None of the issues leftist media and leftist politicians are prone to squawk about seem to move voters: not global warming, not race inequality, not even so-called “white supremacy”—even though Joe Biden strangely centered his inaugural address around the subject.
What about cyber attacks? In the Politico/Morning Consult poll, Americans most often said that cyber attacks threatened America’s vital interests. Joe Biden didn’t even mention cyber attacks in his inaugural address. Politicians don’t talk about that issue much.
Leaders of both parties ignore the issues that really matter and distract us with the issues that don’t because they are incompetent to do anything about the important things, according to Tucker Carlson. Americans also seem to agree with that. For the last decade and a half, Congress’ approval rating in Gallup polls has rarely topped 30 percent.
On most issues, the so-called deplorables are deep within the American mainstream. Only 34 percent of Americans favor transsexuals playing on the wrong sports teams, for example; 62 percent oppose. Only 38 percent of Americans who know what it is favor critical race theory; 58 percent disfavor it, a majority strongly—and 55 percent say that teaching it is “bad for America.”
What about President Trump? Is he proof of an extremist Right? Americans would elect him over Joe Biden in an election held today, according to a recent Harvard-Harris poll. Trump left office with only about 40 percent of voters viewing him favorably. So why would so many who had disfavored the man want him back after less than a year? Because he’s the mayor of Mainstream, USA. That’s why he got elected in the first place and that’s why he can get elected again.
Yet oddly, leftists claim the people’s mandate in all their ends. They claim it in their quest to overthrow the independent Supreme Court. To do that, they seek to abolish the over 215 year-old requirement in the Senate that most matters pass with supermajority support in order to carry out their plan to pack the Court with leftist judges.
After using the supermajority threshold to their own advantage 327 times just last Congress, including at least nine times to block major bills, now leftists want a change. Why? Because too many Supreme Court Justices espouse what they say is an extremist judicial philosophy. What is this philosophy? That the Supreme Court should abide by the Constitution instead of making it up to enact laws too unpopular for the democratically elected Congress to pass. It’s the Constitution itself leftists seek to overthrow. And our democracy along with it. That’s insurrection.
Overwhelmingly, Americans want the Supreme Court and the Senate supermajority threshold protected against leftist attacks, polls show. So, to justify themselves, leftists adopt a strange arithmetic: when Senators Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) or Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) oppose the Left’s plan to abolish the supermajority threshold, “one senator,” they say, thwarts the will of the whole country.
Populist conservatives could adopt for themselves the Left’s strange arithmetic. After winning just one more Senate seat, Republicans would regain the majority. Then every Republican Senator could vote only as Tucker Carlson would. At least that would better match what the people actually think.
If you’re a Democratic Party voter and you dislike that proposal, then the time to repudiate the fevered Left is now. There is no radical Right. And for Democratic Party voters, there is no mainstream Left, either.