No, that’s not a typo. Proving once again that Fox News is not a monolithic hotbed of conservatism, Tucker Carlson heaped praise upon none other than Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on his show last night. A few months ago, I pointed out that the Fox host sounded a lot like Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Now, he is openly praising Warren’s economic policy.
Carlson began by quoting a long, anti-corporate diatribe by Warren in which the Massachusetts liberal said, “Giant American corporations… wave the flag — but they have no loyalty or allegiance to America.”
“These American companies show only one real loyalty,” Warren said, “to the short-term interests of their shareholders, a third of whom are foreign investors. If they can close up an American factory and ship jobs overseas to save a nickel, that’s exactly what they will do — abandoning loyal American workers and hollowing out American cities along the way. Politicians love to say they care about American jobs.”
“But for decades, those same politicians have cited ‘free market principles’ and refused to intervene in markets on behalf of American workers,” Warren continued. “And of course, they ignore those same supposed principles and intervene regularly to protect the interests of multinational corporations and international capital. The result? Millions of good jobs lost overseas and a generation of stagnant wages, growing inequality, and sluggish economic growth.”
“What part of that statement did you disagree with?” Carlson then asked. “Was there a single word that seemed wrong? Probably not.”
“Many of Warren’s policy prescriptions make obvious sense,” Carlson added before gushing, “She sounds like Donald Trump at his best.”
I’m not sure whether that is more of an indictment of Trump or Warren.
Despite his embrace of Warren's economic policies, Carlson did stop short of endorsing her completely. He decried her “race hustling, gun grabbing, abortion extremist” positions and then said, “That is exactly the problem, not just with Warren, but with American politics.” In Carlson’s world, both Democrats and Republicans are “resolutely libertarian” while Democrats “nod in total agreement” because they are “on the same page” with respect to the defense of free markets and liberal social issues, such as the legalization of marijuana.
Carlson embraces President Trump’s “innovative new way to protect American workers from the ever-cascading tidal wave of cheap third-world labor flooding this country,” his plan to tax American consumers and businesses in hopes that the economic pain will trickle across the border to Mexico where it would, ironically, probably spur more economic refugees to cross the border in search of new opportunities in the United States. He also fails to note reports that Donald Trump supports legislation that would allow the states to decriminalize marijuana.
What Carlson admits that he wants is not a small government, conservative policy but big government economic policy paired with conservative social policies. In his own words, Carlson wants candidates who are “nationalist on economics, fairly traditional on the social issues.”
“Would you vote for someone like that?” Carlson asks. “My gosh. Of course. Who wouldn’t? That candidate would be elected in a landslide. Every single time.”
The Fox host asks rhetorically, “What if the Republican leadership here in Washington had bothered to learn the lessons of the 2016 election? What if they’d understood, and embraced, the economic nationalism that was at the heart of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign?”
Yet Carlson overlooks the fact that Donald Trump did not win in a landslide in 2016, losing the popular vote and winning the Electoral College by a margin of only 50,000 votes over a handful of states. He also seems to forget the drubbing that Trumponomics took in the 2018 midterms. Donald Trump’s economic policies have propelled him to a 42 percent average approval rating and, since the onset of the trade war, President Trump is even underwater in many typically red states. Polling shows that Americans are opposed President Trump’s tariff war by about a two-to-one margin.
Carlson is correct that “almost nobody speaks for the majority of voters,” but not in the way that he means. Where the parties come together is on spending more and on expanding government influence to control a larger share of American life. They just don’t agree on what to spend on or how they want to exercise that control. Voters need a candidate and party that will leave them alone to live their lives without government interference.
I’d vote for that.
Originally published on The Resurgent
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