As my colleague Brandon Morse reported, the left’s Great Outrage Machine turned its sights (again) on Tucker Carlson Sunday, when quotes from a years-ago appearance on the “Bubba the Love Sponge” radio show suddenly, miraculously, and totally randomly (/sarc) reappeared online.
Carlson’s first replied with a simple tweet.
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) March 11, 2019
On his Monday show, he torched the Great American Outrage Machine, Republicans who are too gutless to stand up to it, and what will happen to anyone who bows to the mob.
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) March 12, 2019
The Great American Outrage Machine is a work of art – and that’s not meant in a positive light. Since it’s been so successful, at this point it’s a well-oiled, efficient machine, striking people when they least expect it. Carlson described having a peaceful Sunday with his family when suddenly his telephone blew up with questions from reporters.
“[T]hey read you snippets from a press release written by Democratic party operatives. They demand to know how you could possibly have said something so awful and offensive. ‘Do you have a statement on how immoral you are?’ It’s a bewildering moment, especially when the quotes in question are more than a decade old.
Having been exposed to the Machine’s tactics, Carlson knew that if he bowed to them, he’d lose.
“There’s really not that much you can do to respond. It’s pointless to try to explain how the words were spoken in jest or taken out of context or, in any case, bear no resemblance to what you actually think or would want for the country.
“None of that matters. Nobody cares. You know the role you’re required to play. You are a sinner begging the forgiveness of Twitter. So you issue a statement of deep contrition. You apologize profusely for your transgressions. You promise to be a better person going forward. With the guidance of your contrition consultants, you send money to whatever organization claims to represent the people you supposedly offended.
“Then you sit back and brace for a wave of stories about your apology, all of which are simply pretexts for attacking you again.
“In the end, you get fired. You lose your job. Nobody defends you…you are ruined.”
As Carlson explains it, all of us (because one never knows when the Great American Outrage Machine can be turned on them) are like Emmet in the Lego Movie. We know what our roles are and what we are allowed to say. Some, sadly, become so accustomed to what’s allowed that they become blind to what is.
“And yet, no matter how bad it gets, no matter how despised and humiliated you may be, there is one thing that you never can do, one thing that is absolutely not allowed. You can never acknowledge the comic absurdity of the whole thing. You can never laugh in the face of the mob. You must always pretend that the people yelling at you are somehow your moral superiors. You have to assume that what they say they’re mad about is what they’re actually mad about. You have to take them at face value. You must pretend that this is a debate about virtue and not power, that your critics are arguing from principle, and not from partisanship.
No matter what they take from you in the end, you must continue to pretend that these things are true: You are bad. They are good. The system is on the level.
What if one were to stop the pretense? Carlson’s attempting to do just that.
“But what if we stopped pretending for a minute? What if we acknowledged what’s actually going on? One side is deadly serious. They believe that politics is war. They’re not interested in abstractions or principles, rules or traditions. They seek power. They plan to win it, whatever it takes. If that includes getting you fired or silencing you or threatening your family at home or throwing you in prison, okay. They know what their goal is. If you’re in the way, they will crush you.
It’s not just the left we have to worry about, though, according to Carlson. Republicans in Washington have a really bad case of Stockholm Syndrome.
“What’s interesting is how reliably the other side pretends that none of this is happening. Republicans in Washington do a fairly credible imitation of an opposition party. They still give speeches. They tweet quite a bit. They make concerned noises about how liberals are bad. But on the deepest level, it’s all a pose.
“In their minds, where it matters, Republican leaders are controlled by the left. They know exactly what they’re allowed to say and believe. They know what the rules are. They may understand that those rules are written by the very people who seek their destruction; they ruthlessly enforce them anyway.
“Republicans in Washington police their own with a never-ending enthusiasm. Like trustees at a prison, they dutifully report back to the warden, hoping for perks. Nobody wants to be called names. Nobody wants to be Trump.”
If you erode the foundation upon which this charade is built – the enforced silence – what will happen? What happens to those who ask questions? Carlson says we should consider that this “whole conversation is an absurd joke.”
“This is a system built on deceit and enforced silence. Hypocrisy is its hallmark. Yet in Washington it’s considered rude to ask questions about how exactly it works.
“Why are the people who considered Bill Clinton a hero lecturing me about sexism? How can the party that demands racial quotas denounce other people as racist? After a while you begin to think that maybe their criticisms aren’t sincere. Maybe their moral puffery is a costume. Maybe the whole conversation is an absurd joke. Maybe we’re falling for it.
“These are the people who write our movies and our sitcoms. They are not shocked by naughty words. They just pretend to be when it’s useful. It’s been very useful lately.
“The left’s main goal, in case you haven’t noticed, is controlling what you think. In order to do that, they have to control the information that you receive. Google and Facebook and Twitter are fully on board with that. They’re happy to ban unapproved thoughts, and they don’t apologize for it.”
In conclusion, Carlson said that the left has attempted to kill his show since the beginning and promised to never bow to the mob.
“They demand total conformity. Since the day we went on the air, they’ve been working hard to kill this show. We haven’t said much about it in public…but now it’s obvious to everybody. There’s no pretending that it’s not happening. It is happening, and so going forward we’ll be covering their efforts to make us be quiet.
“For now, just two points to leave you with. First, Fox News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day. Toughness is a rare quality in a TV network, and we are grateful for that.
“Second, we’ve always apologized when we’re wrong, and we will continue to do that…but we will never bow to the mob, ever. No matter what.”
His words remind me a lot of what Andrew Breitbart used to say. Breitbart saw this conflict between the radical progressive left and the rest of us as a war, and he wasn’t shy about telling them to shove their tactics where the sun doesn’t shine.
In this Hating Breitbart trailer, Andrew says:
“I am so sick of the media dictating the terms of the narrative in this country. I’m so sick of having to be apologetic for who I am. I’m so sick of people in Middle America being called flyover country or slope-headed.
“The left pits people against each other. Divide and conquer is the strategy. I don’t want to live in that world. It is the exact opposite of E Pluribus Unum.
“And the Tea Party movement…and all of the people that have gone out there against the media and said, you’re gonna call us potential racists? You’re gonna call us potential Timothy McVeighs? F**k you. War!”
That’s right. #ApologizeForWhat?
(Note: This post is not meant to address the content of Carlson’s comments, especially the ones regarding polygamist child rapist Warren Jeffs,.)
Follow Jennifer Van Laar on Twitter: @jenvanlaar or Facebook.