Tucker (Chadwick Moore)

In these latter days, two very different-seeming men embody the chthonic forces rising in America. Those forces are not ideological or political. Rather, they are manifestations of reality reasserting itself, against the anti-reality Regime which rules us. The first such man is Elon Musk, and we will discuss him later, in another piece, coming soon. The second, our topic today, is Tucker Carlson. Despite Carlson’s prominence, this book is the only biography, so far, of Carlson, and it is far from being the definitive Tucker Carlson biography. But it’s short and accessible, so it is as good a place as anywhere to start, and to discuss what the presence of Carlson on the public stage says about our present moment.

I have never been a regular watcher of Tucker Carlson (maybe I should not admit that, given he was kind enough, in 2022, to host me on his daytime program for an hourlong discussion). It is not that I am against watching Carlson; it’s just that I watch nearly zero video of any type. Still, I have always had a favorable impression of him, even when he was a young man on the move in media circles (some time ago; we are almost exactly the same age). My favorable impression came from knowing that he rejects, and has frequently attacked and demolished, the suffocating tissue of propaganda lies, the Narrative, which our rulers use to control us. To be sure, many people reject the Narrative, not only Carlson. But those, the little people, lack any ability to broadcast their message outside of small circles, though even that is a big problem for the Regime. Carlson is unique in that he both has had, and has used, a media platform with enormous reach to spread his message of truth, thereby creating a catastrophic problem for the Regime.

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What comes across more than anything else in this book is that Carlson marches, always and only, to his own internal drummer. Rather than wondering “how will this look to others?”, or trying to pin down the future with precision, he does what he wants and thinks is best at the moment. In other words, he does not calculate much. He is instead biased toward action to meet challenges as they arise, based on embedded knowledge and experience. (This is almost always true of successful men, because constant calculation leads to the error of thinking one can control events, and also tends to lock you into reactions when events, as always, take unexpected turns.) Total indifference to the opinion of others, rare in our present society, makes Carlson unpredictable, which, completely aside from Carlson’s possible leadership in remaking the future, makes him refreshing.

But this raises the obvious question, which is not addressed in this book or anywhere else I have seen—what does Carlson want? What drives him? What future does he anticipate or hope for from doing what he does? We learn in Tucker a good deal about Carlson’s thoughts on various matters, many non-political, and about his philosophy of life. But what is his ultimate goal, if he has one? It’s not clear, but I will, below, hazard some guesses.

Independence of thought makes Carlson dangerous to the Regime, which more than anything else fears that which it cannot control. This fear is natural, understandable, and even wise. After all, the Regime is Left, root and branch, but reality has a very strong right-wing bias. As a result, Regime control is fundamentally unnatural and thus eternally fragile. Therefore much of the energy of the Regime is spent desperately trying to convince the masses that reality is something other than what it is. Carlson is an existential threat not only because he reveals to the masses the emperor is naked, but because his wide popularity and the topics he addresses give them permission to notice and discuss among themselves forbidden truths, overcoming the isolation and stigma by which the Regime tries to stifle any opposition. Worst of all for the Regime, Carlson is willing to specifically identify, and to directly threaten, effectively, his enemies. This is the greatest sin possible for the Regime, which only allows, and that in very limited quantities, controlled opposition. Effective opposition is the Regime’s utmost nightmare, and much of what opposition there is today coalesces around Carlson. It is a wonder to me they have not tried to kill him.

The writing of this book, which seems to be more-or-less an authorized biography (it is based on extensive conversations between Carlson and the author, Chadwick Moore) appears to have followed the usual Carlson uncalculated path. Moore isn’t a professional biographer. He’s never written any other book, much less a biography. He’s a journalist, and a homosexual, and a conservative (although the latter two, obviously, sit uneasily together, at best). He first appeared on Carlson’s show Tucker Carlson Tonight in 2017, after he wrote a short piece in the New York Post about his “coming out as a conservative.” Moore was immediately fired as an editor by two homosexual publications for which he worked (as we all know, “inclusion” really means “total obeisance to left-wing dogma”), and Tucker deemed this worthy of interest. Thereafter, Moore became a “regular guest” (uncompensated) on Tonight, including (by chance) appearing on the final episode, before Carlson’s unexpected firing by Fox in April, 2023. He seems to have suggested he write a biography, and Carlson agreed.

The book did need a better editor. Errors and infelicities abound. Bryant Pond, where Carlson spent summers as a child and now has his Maine studio, is referred to in the paragraph after its introduction as Bryant Park, which, last I checked, was in New York City. A picture of Tucker and his brother on their “first day of school” is identified as “circa 1968,” when neither of them had been born, and that’s only one of several dates that are wrong. Still, Moore did the work, not only interviewing Carlson, but interviewing many others, including high school teachers. And he’s not biased against his subject, as nearly any more mainstream biographer would be. The result is worth reading, even with the problems.

Moore briefly sketches Carlson’s present life, including well-done descriptions of Bryant Pond and the violent 2020 attacks on his Washington, D.C. residence (for which, of course, nobody was arrested, much less punished, and which were encouraged by the Left as a whole) that led to him leaving D.C. (he now lives in Florida in the colder months). We then turn, for the first half of the book, to Carlson’s early life, which was happy, though somewhat irregular. He was born in 1969, in San Francisco, to one Richard Carlson, a local television reporter, and his wife. Richard Carlson, born Richard Boynton, as a baby was given up for adoption by his parents, lived for some time in an orphanage, and was adopted by a family named Carlson. In one of the sad episodes in the book, Tucker Carlson’s grandfather regretted placing his son in the orphanage, and concocted a plan to spirit away the boy and elope with the mother. But when the mother backed out, he shot himself.

This was not the only family trauma that would cause a weaker man to imagine he needed lifelong therapy. Carlson’s mother was a spoiled flower child from a wealthy family, and the apotheosis of selfish Boomerdom. Richard Carlson chose poorly, though his wife did give him two sons. The mother, when not taking drugs, aspired to be an artist, but mostly just attached herself parasitically to art-world types. She abandoned the family when Carlson was six; neither he nor his brother ever saw her again. A poignant passage in this book is when Carlson is told, in 2011, that his mother is dying; he and his brother agree that it’s not important, and a child’s soccer game that night is much more important. “I mean I felt sad for her, I guess. I don’t know much about her. She had shows, okay I guess, and all that, but she wasn’t part of my life. I wasn’t part of hers. And I just—I don’t know.”

When Carlson was ten, his father remarried, to a descendant of the Swanson food products fortune. Carlson is rich today from his own efforts, and sometimes people say that he grew up rich (I thought so before reading this book), but it appears that his mother did not get much, if any, money from the Swanson fortune, and Carlson’s upbringing seems to have been upper-middle class. They lived in La Jolla and they had a housekeeper, but do not appear to have been wealthy. Aside from his father’s marital turmoil, Carlson had the idyllic free childhood of a Gen X boy, with the additional benefits of living in southern California before it went to hell, and having a father with an interesting line of work, to which he regularly exposed the boys.

He was an indifferent student, with dyslexia, which resulted in “an uninterrupted string of Ds from about third grade until . . . the end of college.” Yet he was, and is, a voracious and broad reader. Dyslexia is usually associated with difficulty reading, but in Carlson’s case, it seems more associated with difficulty in spatial reckoning. It seems that Carlson is an extremely intelligent autodidact, a type that was once common in America, before forced routinized lowest-common-denominator government schooling became the norm (Abraham Lincoln is a classic example of the type). This self-starting, aggressive personality also shows in his dating the daughter of the new headmaster at his high school (a boarding school), and then marrying her, after concealing their relationship from her disapproving parents all through college. Further suggesting a devil-may-care approach is that Carlson didn’t even bother graduating from college, nor did his wife, Susan (whom he calls Susie). Instead, Carlson got a job, in 1992, as a writer at the Heritage Foundation’s Policy Review, later a flagship publication of the catamite Right, but back then very influential.

It was a fine job, and Carlson wrote some well-received long-form pieces, but it wasn’t exciting, so within the year, Carlson moved to Arkansas, as a newspaper reporter. By 1995, he was back in Washington, working for The Weekly Standard. He wrote more pieces that got him attention (though reading about the politics of this period gives one an odd feeling—it all seemed important at the time, but in retrospect was totally pointless, stupid, and irrelevant, as the Left solidified its hegemony and destroyed America while the Right argued about tax credits). He was, more or less, a standard conservative, as that type existed in that era. No doubt he worshipped Ronald Reagan; we all did back then. It was in the early 2000s that Carlson got into television, with his first major show being a place on the debate program Crossfire, which had been around since 1982. Moore notes how that time lacked the hatreds that the Left has brought to all discourse today. Thus, Hillary Clinton once unexpectedly showed up live on Crossfire, with a shoe-shaped cake for Carlson, who had said that if her memoir sold a million copies, he would eat his shoe. Everybody laughed and had a good time. That scene is unimaginable today.

In 2003, however, he was sent on assignment (by Esquire) to Iraq, where he discovered that everything we had been told about that conflict was lies, and that neoconservatives were of the devil, for they had fathered the lies. Ever since, he has opposed American intervention abroad, which now exists for the sole purpose of spreading globohomo—and it is largely due to Carlson that more than half the country realizes this fact. His opposition to America’s starting, and continuing, the Russo-Ukraine War, was, it appears, a major reason why Fox fired him. Since then, his positions have increasingly hewed to reality, and therefore diverged from those of the Republican Party, which after all has been for forty years, or maybe more accurately eighty, no actual threat to the Left, merely a device to keep a lid on the feelings and actions of real Americans, while destroying their lives and their country.

Moore goes into much detail about Carlson’s career, but that’s really the least interesting thing about Carlson. The only important matter is that during the past decade Carlson became the most popular talking head in politics, by a huge margin, because, not in spite of, his unique politics. Of course, his politics are far from unique among the American people; they are the closest thing to the mainstream there is. But they are unique among both the media (even the media that falsely pretends it is conservative or right-wing) and unique among the professional-managerial elite, at least among those who are allowed to speak their mind. As everyone knows, the vehicle for this rise was Carlson’s program on Fox, Tucker Carlson Tonight, a daily news show which premiered in 2016.

Carlson’s personality seems pretty much identical with the personality he shows on television, which became well-known as a result of his Fox program. His charisma and presence is obvious, much of it, again, coming from his independence. He does not seem to have any notable vices, though interestingly, he used to be a drunk. But he quit cold turkey twenty years ago, and now is a teetotaler. Another major strength Carlson has is his ability to be self-contained without being solipsistic. Most people who make their living in the public eye are desperate for approval, and only in part because their income depends on it. As Carlson says, “overwhelmingly [politicians] are hollow people who are in [politics] because they yearn for the affirmation of strangers, which is inherently sick. . . . That’s why they’re politicians, because they’re screwed-up people.” The downstream result of this groundedness is that Carlson easily connects to the common man, without pretending he is the common man, which would make it impossible to connect to the common man. He is also fatalistic. It’s an interesting set of personality traits—and, not without consequence, a set common among men of destiny, from Napoleon to George Washington.

At Fox, eventually his enemies were able to dethrone him from the position that was so dangerous to them. Now Carlson is trying to build a new media empire, one that cannot be strangled by his enemies. For several months he has posted videos, with great success, to Elon Musk’s X. Very recently he has started his own online network (you should subscribe). I cannot predict whether these efforts will be successful. It is commonly accepted that a large part of Carlson’s television audience was Boomers, the kind of people who still watch television at 6:30 p.m. sharp. That audience seems likely to be a much smaller part of an online network. But maybe the Boomers are sharing clips on Facebook. And maybe he will be able to reach many new viewers. I just don’t know.

So, we return to what Carlson wants. What does the future hold for Carlson? Does he want power? To what end? Does he just want the world to be better than what it is? Or to remake the world? He is open that he wants what every righteous man wants—safety and prosperity for his family and friends, and for his countrymen (though how to define that latter in today’s America is another question). But beyond that, what is Carlson’s aim? It matters, because while most men have aims (I, for example, aim to remake the society and politics of America on Foundationalist principles), most of those aims are vapor, mere words, at least right now, while Carlson actually has the power, and the connections, just maybe, if a card or two falls right, to accomplish some or all of what he wants.

One clue is something that at first seems anomalous, even disturbing. In his post-Fox career, Carlson has begun sometimes featuring not only the types of Regime enemies he commonly hosted before, but also what are commonly regarded as fringe figures and fringe ideas, even on the Right. He has talked to the Tate brothers, Andrew and Tristan, Rumanian pornographers who have, in the vacuum that exists for examples of real masculinity, developed a huge following among young men. He has endorsed the idea that UFOs are real, and hosted Alex Jones. A few days ago, he had Kevin Spacey, a famous left-leaning homosexual actor destroyed by the Regime, on his show.

Why? My first reaction was that these interviews were mistakes, caused by bad counsel from those around him. They seem like aberrational departures from being reality-based. But upon reflection, that doesn’t seem correct. Carlson’s wife is his most important counselor, it appears, and she hasn’t gone anywhere. It seems likely that he would have featured guests like this before, but was forbidden. What unites these people and ideas? They are all been made notable outcasts by the Regime, at the expenditure of significant energy, because they all directly threaten the Regime in a way that run-of-the-mill political opponents, castrati such as Mike Pence, do not.

Spacey, for example, has intimated that he is willing to expose the rampant sexual perversity, including routine child abuse, that binds together many elements of the Regime. Alex Jones, when you examine his career and thought, has been proven more often right than not in the crazy-seeming things he says about the Regime. The Tates, despite their glaring flaws, threaten to ignite real masculinity among young men, by far the greatest threat possible to the Regime, which relies on passivity and feminization to maintain control. UFOs are probably the farthest “out there” topic, and sometimes when discussing the topic Carlson seems too open to bizarre theories—but there is something about what are called UFOs that also materially threatens the Regime, as unclear as it is to us what that is (and Carlson does nod to the most likely possibility, that supposed aliens are actually demons, with whom the Regime communes).

In other words, Carlson’s purpose in giving a platform to those otherwise wholly deplatformed, other than his natural autodidact curiosity, seems to be to undermine the Regime maximally effectively. I conclude that Carlson’s aim is the total destruction of the Regime, and that he does not think that is possible by voting harder, but he does not think it useful to formally announce his goal. Instead, he’s doing his best to lay the groundwork for the open fight to come. I suspect, based on various evidence, that he’s considerably more right-wing than he lets on. He is perfectly aware that our supposed constitutional republic no longer exists; what he wants is to help create what comes next, which will of a certainty be very different.

What’s his proposed mechanism for achieving that goal, though? Carlson has shown little interest in elective office, and rightly so if he wants to change the world, but the idea has been floated of Carlson becoming Vice President in Donald Trump’s upcoming second term. Given Trump’s age, and the unhinged hatred of the Left for Trump, it would then be entirely possible that Carlson could become President. To be sure, as President, Carlson could accomplish nothing more than Trump, which is zero. The structures of the United States, wholly captured by the Left, can never be turned to use by the Right. But a Trump-Carlson ticket would accomplish, far better than, say, a Trump-Haley ticket, the goal of the Left overreaching itself immediately upon a Trump victory, and itself bringing down the pillars of the temple on their heads by turning to open, massive violence against the people of America, which could be repaid in kind, but ten- or a hundred-fold. Maybe that’s what Carlson is thinking.

But maybe not. If he is not interested in elective office, presumably Carlson is simply waiting to see what will happen, while preparing as best he can, as we all are. To be sure, perhaps this is all projection on my part. Maybe Carlson, in his uncalculating way, is just doing what he does with no very specific end in mind. I suppose it doesn’t really matter; in ages of turmoil, men of destiny are tossed upon the tides as much as everyone else. In twenty years, it will be fascinating to look back and see what the times brought Carlson, and what Carlson brought to the times.

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