In this instance, from 2018, involving none other than Tucker Carlson, showcasing his newly-red-pilled status in his pre-Fox-juggernaut days. Via Brother Bob:
An Interview With Tucker Carlson on What Makes Trump a ‘Political Genius’
Tucker Carlson, host of the popular Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” spoke to Daily Signal Editor-in-Chief Rob Bluey at The Heritage Foundation’s 41st annual Resource Bank meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Carlson received the prestigious Salvatori Prize, recognizing his work to uphold and advance the principles of America’s founding. The full video, plus an edited transcript of the interview, is below.
Rob Bluey: It is a true honor to celebrate the work that you’ve done, and I want to begin with the advice that you left this audience on how conservatives can take back the culture. You had two pieces of advice. Tell us about them.
Tucker Carlson: Well, have more children. I grew up in a world where it was considered embarrassing to have more than two children. I don’t think that’s the case now among middle-class, upper middle-class people, but it was.
First of all, it’s the most rewarding, greatest, most fun thing you can do. But it’s also the most profound thing. If you don’t like the direction of the country, have children, raise them the way that you want, consistent with your beliefs. It seems like all the answers are basic, nature-based answers, in my opinion. To everything. That’s the most basic of all, have more kids. Raise decent children.
And the second was just say what you think is true. I don’t actually think you get a ton out of confronting people and getting in people’s faces. I don’t think you’re going to convince anybody that way. But I think there’s inherent value in speaking principle out loud without shame or fear. And again, without the expectation that you’re going to win people over right away, because most times you’re not going to.
Aggression really doesn’t help much. I’ve definitely concluded that after years of being aggressive. But I think telling the truth is an inherently valuable act.
Bluey: You’ve had tremendous success with your show. It’s highly rated and millions of people are tuning in. How does that last point inform the work that you do on a day-to-day basis?
Carlson: The show’s successful because it’s on Fox News, which is successful. I’ve worked at a lot of different TV networks, and the network is what matters most.
I don’t imagine that my show is successful because I’m so great. I do think much more about what I say because there’s a bigger audience and because we’re in the middle of this revolutionary moment, and I’m counterrevolutionary.
I don’t say a lot of things without thinking them through, which is good. I mean, occasionally I do and get in trouble for it. But I really try to think through what I really believe and what I really think is true.
Good stuff so far, to be sure, but now we come to the real meat of the matter, at least in regards to the Trump mention in the piece’s title (bear in mind, Trump was still President at the time this interview was published).
Bluey: But I’d say the topics you cover and the way that you conduct your questioning is different and unique from other TV hosts.
Carlson: Well, I don’t have a lot to add. I would just say two things. I think President Trump is interesting, and I agree broadly with his agenda. I certainly agree with immigration, that’s for sure. But I don’t think that every story is about Donald Trump, and most other people at the other networks think every story is about Trump.
I don’t have anything to add to that; I don’t think it’s that interesting. I don’t want to talk about Trump five hours a week, I just don’t. And not because I have some political agenda and it’s bad to talk about; I’m just not that interested, actually. There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on. I try to talk about that.
…The book, like the show, is based on the most obvious questions. I’m not a super-clever person, I try to keep it very simple. Why would America elect Donald Trump president?
And the explanation in Washington is, well, they didn’t really. Putin did. Or voters were just so dumb, they didn’t know the difference. Or America’s racist, so they elected a racist. Those are contemptible nonexplanations. Those are stupid.
The real answer, obviously, is that people were so dissatisfied with the leadership in place as of the first Tuesday in November of 2016, that they decided to punish them by electing Trump.
This was a referendum on the ruling class; and by the way, we have a ruling class, and I’ve lived in it most of my life, so I know it’s real. It’s not a conspiracy, but we have a class system, increasingly, in this country.
The people in charge have done a really bad job on the big things, on foreign policy and the economy; and they’ve gotten us into a number of counterproductive wars. That was a bipartisan effort. It was started by Bush, but it was applauded by Clinton. So it wasn’t one party, it was both parties.
They made a bunch of assumptions about the economy that turned out to be wrong, and they helped destroy the American middle class, and then they don’t care. So they’re terrible. They’re deeply unwise and selfish and stupid.
Trump is the result of decades of unwise, selfish, and stupid leadership. It’s so obvious. I’m not a genius, I’m hardly a genius. It’s just so clear, and no one says that. I’m not sure why.
Lots more to it yet, and it’s all fascinating. I’ve read before in many other places that Tucker was a pretty solidly anti-Trump guy early on, and maybe he was at that, I couldn’t really say. But from this interview, it’s quite clear that Carlson really GOT the whole Trump phenomenon better than just about any other of his big-media confreres did, well before they did—those few of them who actually did come around to understand it, that is.
Perhaps unrelated, but purely in the interests of safeguarding my prized rep as a gadfly-contrarian against any unfounded accusations of being a Trump-licker, I’ll just throw this in too, from Margolis’s Meme-manic Monday email.
For whatever it’s worth, I checked a cpl of the above quotes I wasn’t totally sure about, and yes, it appears he really DID say all those puzzling-at-best things. I dunno, go figure; I ain’t even gonna try to explain what, if anything, it might mean. I’ve defended Trump plenty over the last six-eight years; I’m just about all “defended” out over here, frankly.
At this point, either you love him or hate him, and are probably no longer subject to persuasion either way. As I’ve said, I believe Trump could still have a significant, positive role to play in what’s to come, but not as President; that, he oughta just give up and walk away from, it’s a total waste of his time and effort.