The Senior Douchebag of Fox News, and host of Tucker Carlson Tonight, has been making news this week. In an “interview” with Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, Carlson was beaten to a pulp and exposed as an intellectual lightweight who has no grasp of facts or common sense. It was delicious to see him squirm and stutter.
You would think that after such an embarrassing display, Carlson would try to rehabilitate his tattered reputation. You would be wrong. On Friday’s episode, Carlson hosted Univision anchor Enrique Acevedo for a discussion on immigration. Carlson began his inquisition by framing the entire debate as a measurement of the immigrant population of the country. His premise was that the more immigrants, the worse off the nation is. And he expressed a longing for the past, which he perceives as being more homogeneously white. It wasn’t. It’s just that the majority white population was more in control. But Carlson viewed that as better:
“When I was born in this country, the percentage of people who were living here, who were foreign-born, was under five percent. It’s now about fourteen percent. So that’s a three-fold increase. That’s a huge change – huge change – in less than fifty years. Is the country better or worse for that, would you say?”
Acevedo responded that the country is better off, as is the economy. Well, he tried to respond, but Carlson cut him off after about twelve seconds. Then, when Acevedo tried to inform Carlson that two-thirds of GDP growth since 2011 was due to immigration, he was interrupted again after twelve seconds. Does Carlson have an “interrupter clock”?.
The debate then shifted to the immigrants themselves, and whether they merited entry to America. Carlson argued that most immigrants were poor and undeserving of entry. You know, the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” He couldn’t comprehend the reality that even poor immigrants contribute to the country, either by filling jobs that Americans won’t do, or by rising up through hard work and innovation to found companies like Apple and Google.
Carlson then asserted that there is something undemocratic about current immigration policy because all the polls say that Americans want less of it. That, however, isn’t true. In fact, most polls show that broad majorities of Americans (75%) favor immigration in general, and are opposed to a border wall in particular.
But Carlson never lets facts get in the way of his rank bigotry. In the following exchange, Carlson let slip that he looks back longingly on a bygone era when white nationalists like himself reigned unencumbered by those pesky minorities demanding civil rights. Acevedo asked Carlson what period in the past he was advocating as superior to the present. Carlson replied:
Carlson: When I was born it was fine. It was a better country than it is now, in a lot of ways.
Acevedo: In what sense was it a better country? By what metric?
Carlson: It was a more cohesive country.
Acevedo: It was a less diverse country, maybe?
Carlson: No. It’s not about race. The middle-class was vibrant when I was born. It’s dying now. And [cutting him off] we’re out of time.
To the extent that the middle-class is less vibrant today, it’s due directly to the policies of Carlson’s Republican Party. Their agenda of tax cuts for the rich and regulation cuts for corporations is the single biggest factor in the shift of wealth from the middle-class to the top one percent. America’s economy is booming, but average Americans aren’t seeing any of the benefits. It’s a certainty that Carlson doesn’t want to roll that back.
As for his nostalgia, Carlson was born in 1969. That was just a few years after the Civil Rights Act was past. The country was still unwinding the decades of Jim Crow laws that dominated most of the South. Martin Luther King was assassinated only one year prior and his work was far from over, as evidenced by his murder. There was one African-America senator, and only six members of the House. But that’s the wonderfully “cohesive” time that Carlson wishes America would return to. With this rhetoric it seems that he’s not even trying to disguise his racism anymore. And Fox News is apparently cool with that.
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