Tucker’s Treatise

Tucker’s Treatise, by Steve Sailer.

At age 49, Carlson is in his prime and is likely to stay there for quite a while. Like Pat Buchanan, he’s genial off camera and a tiger when the red light turns on. He’s starting to run into the Ali G problem that top PR advisers have now heard he’s trouble for their clients, so he’s getting sent mostly second stringers to thrash.

Moreover, he’s brought to the often ossified world of cable news a relatively fresh perspective that had previously largely been kept out of the mainstream media, if I say so myself.

Carlson, a rich kid from La Jolla, isn’t a populist outsider by upbringing or personality. His father was a Republican ambassador and his stepmother was an heiress and a niece of Sen. William J. Fulbright (D-AR), a leading insider opponent of the Vietnam War. A witty man, Carlson seldom pretends to be anything other than a member of the elite he insightfully criticizes. …

The central theme of Ship of Fools is that the convergence toward the reigning elite consensus of economic conservatism and social progressivism is better for the people at the top of society than for maintaining a stable middle-class democracy:

The marriage of market capitalism to progressive social values may be the most destructive combination in American economic history. Someone needs to protect workers from the terrifying power of market forces, which tend to accelerate change to intolerable levels and crush the weak.

Today, though:

Companies can openly mistreat their employees (or “contractors”), but for the price of installing transgender bathrooms they buy a pass. Shareholders win, workers lose. Bowing to the diversity agenda is a lot cheaper than raising wages. …

Carlson is struck by how many 20th-century progressive shibboleths have been forgotten as the long march through the institutions has triumphed:

The majority of journalists and intellectuals in 1975 would never have accepted the lame excuse that silencing, firing, and ruining people for holding an opinion was fine, as long as it wasn’t specifically the government doing it. They would have declared that a free society depends above all on free minds. …

Interestingly, despite his clarity of expression, almost nobody has noticed Carlson’s growing ideological centrism. But that’s because what matters most to contemporary intellectuals is not policy but keeping the alliance of the margins together by blaming straight white males. And Carlson is the exemplification of straight white maleness.