The Truth Tellers

When Fox News unceremoniously and inexplicably ousted its most popular host Tucker Carlson last month, people naturally speculated as to why. Was it because of his reporting about the events of January 6, 2021? Or the corrupt relationship between Big Pharma and the media? Or was it a condition of the Dominion settlement with Fox as revealed this week by the O’Keefe Media Group? Whatever the reason, one thing was clear: Tucker spoke truth and had to be stopped.

The clock started ticking the moment he questioned—perhaps one too many times—the institutional narratives meant to herd us into groupthink. That, coupled with the fact he had a national audience in the millions and was hitting key target demographics—bringing eyeballs and ratings to Fox that its competitors could only dream of having—meant Tucker was the dominant voice in cable news. In this bizarre, anti-reality age in which we find ourselves, it’s frankly amazing that he lasted as long as he did.

Tucker gives us a glimpse into his own journey—how he used to think X but now thinks Y, even expressing profound regret for past conduct. His authentic humility makes us want to hear more. “Past conduct” does not refer to those fake gotcha! behind-the-scenes videos released by Media Matters in partnership (most likely) with Fox. These clips—which include a periodic f-bomb and middle finger salute—endear the man to millions of us who feel the exact same way and who do the exact same thing. It’s a form of therapy having to deal with cultural rot on every front.

Tucker also has something ironically rare in the media world: likeability. His sense of humor and delivery—with that epic laugh and expressiveness—make what he’s saying all the more compelling. Even though Rome is burning, it’s important we Americans never forget what a belly laugh feels like. And if I may reclaim a butchered phrase, Tucker reminds us who we really are: good natured, generous, feisty.

Put all of those qualities together and what you have is someone profoundly dynamic in front of a camera. So on April 26, when he released his first statement following his separation from Fox, the level of interest in what Tucker had to say was, of course, off the charts.

In the short video, he spoke of the immovable nature of telling the truth and telling lies. Note also his advice:

When honest people say what’s true, calmly and without embarrassment, they become powerful. At the same time, the liars who’ve been trying to silence them shrink and they become weaker. That’s the iron law of the universe. True things prevail. 

Just a few days before that, Tucker had delivered a fantastic keynote at the Heritage Foundation’s 50th Gala, hitting on the same theme.

The truth is contagious. Lying is, but the truth is as well. And the second you decide to tell the truth about something, you are filled with this—I don’t want to get supernatural on you—but you are filled with this power from somewhere else. Try it. Tell the truth about something. You feel it every day. The more you tell the truth, the stronger you become. That’s completely real. It’s measurable in the way that you feel.

Truth tellers are feared because they challenge the weaponization of human nature. They counter the worst consequence of the herd instinct—the desire to be and think like everyone else in order to be accepted by a particular group—with the gift of curiosity. They do this by encouraging something so small but full of incredible potential—a pause—the merest of hesitation in a line of thinking or an action of some kind that can lead to understanding.

A pause can take you many places the deep state doesn’t want you to go, can’t afford for you to go, and make you question the “reality” with which you are presented. And once you see the matrix, so to speak, you can’t go back.

Seeing clearly is a form of resistance to be sure, but we are up against something baked into  the cake of our DNA. Again, at Heritage, Tucker identified the culprit.

[It] is inherent to be like everyone else and not to be cast out of the group, not to be shunned. That’s a very strong impulse in all of us from birth. And it takes over unfortunately in moments like this and it’s harnessed, in fact, by bad people in moments like this to produce uniformity.

So, if you’re rusty, fret not. First, turn off that ridiculous television and mute the commercials. Second, get your hands in the dirt, literally, and connect with the land. Third, practice what Tucker does so well, and start asking basic questions. And finally, follow the white rabbit.

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About Samantha Strayer

Samantha Strayer writes and edits for Hillsdale College by day and freelances by night. She is a Claremont Institute Lincoln fellow (class of 2017), and graduate of the Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College. Samantha is active in local politics, serving as precinct delegate for the Republican Party in the state of Michigan.

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