Tucker Carlson, Ilhan Omar, and Loving America

Here's the video, from last week:

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/07/11/tucker_carlson_rep_il...

One laughs in amusement at Tucker Carlson's litmus test for our politicians: "do they love America?" Lost to Carlson, of course, is any discussion of the other big litmus test, "will they do good things for us?" Should I admit my guilty pleasure, that of asking politicians to do good things for us?

Also it's amusing to consider Tucker Carlson's portrayal of America, which of course leaves out anything William Blum ever said about those who act in America's name.

William Blum was the son of immigrants. He documented, quite thoroughly, some rather egregious misdeeds of those claiming to act in America's name. Google "William Blum Rogue State PDF," and you will find a PDF of Blum's book Rogue State, on the CIA's website (of all places). This is, of course, weird, given Blum's damaging critique of CIA actions, but I guess since Osama bin Laden endorsed Rogue State, the CIA can say "this is what the other side says of us." Are we to believe that America is merely a nation of kind, cute teddy bears who would never harm anyone?

Tucker Carlson again: "For all of our country's flaws this country is the best place in the world. Most immigrants know that."

Jeez, maybe they come here because they can't get into the EU, and the EU doesn't count as a "country"? The EU has 28 countries in it, each of which might count as the "best place in the world" for at least a few days each year.

Tucker Carlson again:

"The US is the kindest, most open-minded place on the planet. The US has done more for other people, and received less in return, than any nation in history by far."

I'm sure that some parts of the US have been generous. Carlson's statement above is, of course, a way of dignifying a global hegemon, but it is also a way of allowing the many unkind people who claim to represent America but only succeed in giving it a bad reputation to piggyback upon those Americans we should in fact respect for their kindness, open-mindedness, and generosity.

The key to asking whether or not individual people "love America," as Carlson does, is to trick them into unwittingly acquiescing in the notion of America as a homogeneous, universally-friendly entity, rather than as a nation of fools, wise people, and bystanders, or as a nation of Ferguson, Missouri, San Marino, California, and Quantico, Virginia, all of which broadly differ in their effects upon the world but which are are nonetheless America. I would move that we all agree to love America, and then start in on substantive issues, distinguishing wisdom from folly for instance.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

he's trying to play both sides and on Fox, that's a real challenge! Pleasantry

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“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

@Raggedy Ann

(grandiose hattip and bow from the waist to Jim Hightower)

In 1979, when Tucker was 10 years old, his father married Patricia Caroline Swanson. An heiress to the Swanson frozen-food fortune, Swanson is the daughter of Gilbert Carl Swanson, as well as the granddaughter of Carl A. Swanson and the niece of Senator J. William Fulbright.[8][3]

In first grade, Tucker and his younger brother moved to La Jolla, California, where they grew up.[9] While living in La Jolla, Tucker briefly attended La Jolla Country Day School. He then attended high school at St. George's School, a boarding school in Middletown, Rhode Island. After graduating from high school, he studied at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he graduated in 1991 with a BA in history.[3]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucker_Carlson

Of course, Fulbright was Bubba Clinton's mentor, which is how Bubba got fast tracked into the Democratic Party. ("It's a big club and you ain't in it....And they're coming for your Social Security." George Carlin)

Carlson picks up where fellow xenophob--and fellow MSNBC alum, Pat Buchanan, leaves off.

Most folks who know about Carlson are aware how highly offensive and racist he can be, but his latest statements on immigration have take things to a new level. On a Dec. 2018 episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight, the Fox News host said, “We’re getting waves of people with high school educations or less. Nice people, no one doubts that, but as an economic matter this is insane. It’s indefensible, so no one even tries to defend it. Instead, our leaders demand that you shut up and accept this. We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”

https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/what-is-tucker-carlsons-net-wor...

There goes the neighborhood!

See? Immigrants dirty and litter up Carlson's personal property, the USA, and bring down its educational level and tone--unlike George Bush who, while in the Oval Office, worried, "Is our children learning?"

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Raggedy Ann's picture

@HenryAWallace
might have employed Mexicans as housekeeping and landscaping. If so, I understand why he has this view, because he’s chosen to keep his mind completely shut regarding this population. The sad thing is that he has a voice, he’s being heard, and, in many cases, he’s con-vincing-verting-ning his viewers.

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“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

@Raggedy Ann

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Centaurea's picture

@HenryAWallace
against the establishment's pro-interventionist, MIC-controlled foreign policy, though.

That seems to be his point of agreement with Tulsi Gabbard.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea was a consistent skeptic on Russiagate. I recall a skewering of Adam Schiff on his show. All to his credit. There was only hand-holding of R-gate proponents on Msnbc and CNN; they never allowed on skeptics.

So two areas where he shows honesty, intelligence and a tough-minded skepticism which we hope to see in journalists.

But apart from these two items, afaict, he marches in lockstep with the herd.

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@Centaurea

Rightist libertarians, as best I can tell, differ from Republicans mostly on military matters. It doesn't seem to me that's because they oppose killing as much as it is because they oppose paying taxes for anything, including the military. Republicans on the other other, don't want government spending on much of anything besides the military.

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Centaurea's picture

@HenryAWallace I don't listen regularly to Tucker, so I'm not conversant on his philosophical stance. That would certainly explain it, though.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

does not belong to me) and people.

Anyone who doesn't care about America's people needs to just sit down and shut up about America.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@HenryAWallace

Anyone who doesn't care about America's people needs to just sit down and shut up about America.

I have been peeved by the "love it or leave it" mentality. The better approach is "love it AND make it better". This is not MAGA because MAGA is love it or leave it at its root.

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@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed How can you interpret those four words to mean love it or leave it and America is fine exactly as it is?

As much as posters on this site would love to deny it, the bottom line is the US overall has shown regular improvement on a huge range of issues.

The biggest stickler to people here seems to be that the wealthy run everything (and there are negative resulting consequences.) Well, that is an issue everywhere and is not unique to the US.

Further, to deny that there are people who hate America, just like women who hate men and non-whites who hate whites, is simply not realistic.

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dfarrah

@dfarrah
you interpret "Make America Great Again" as consistent with "Love it or leave it." or "Throw her out" but a large crowd under the smiling approval of President Trump did just that.

America has made progress in a number of areas, but the country continues to fall further behind the rest of the developed world in health care. Medical bills remain the leading cause of bankruptcy. The U.S. has been an anchor rather than a leader in the environmental movement. America has the greatest concentration of wealth among industrial countries and wealthy people are using that wealth to change laws and confiscate more wealth. The US myth to the contrary, social mobility is less in the US than in most of the industrialized world.

Underneath it all, the first generation of Americans whose standard of living will be lower than their parents' is entering the workforce.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@FuturePassed 'Twas I who first used the analogy for MAGA in this essay as represented by some believers of "Love it or leave it." Nextly, the phrase at instance is 5 words, not four words. Thank you for your further attention to detail.

Finally, or thirdly if you prefer, the failings of America are as the tip of an iceberg. But John and Jane Q. Public know naught of the 90% below the waterline. That below water portion is the ever-increasing density of sexual (and other) perversion the further down the iceberg one goes until reaching its pointed nether tip.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@FuturePassed

Underneath it all, the first generation of Americans whose standard of living will be lower than their parents' is entering the workforce.

Actually, these (Millennials) are the third generation of Americans whose standard of living will be lower than their parents'. Millennials' parents, at least those in the middle classes, only managed to get those kids through school by way of hideous mountains of student debt and working both parents into the ground in the workforce just to get the kids raised. Then, of course, the Millennials themselves had to bury themselves in more decades of debt themselves just to qualify for the most menial of jobs that an eighth grader could easily perform.

It is only when we consider the Millennials' grandparents and great-grandparents, those in their 70's and older, that we encounter a generation of Americans whose standard of living is greater than or equal to that of their parents.

Bad

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides

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Centaurea's picture

@dfarrah

The biggest stickler to people here seems to be that the wealthy run everything (and there are negative resulting consequences.) Well, that is an issue everywhere and is not unique to the US.

Mom, to her teenage offspring: No, you may not stay out partying until 3 AM on a school night.

Teenager: But Mooooom! Kylie's mother lets her do it! Aidan's dad lets him do it! Everyone's parents let their kids do whatever they want! That's just not fair! I should be able to do it, too.

Mom: I don't care what everyone else's parents do. That's irrelevant to what we do in our family. It would be a lot easier for me to go along with everyone else, but I have to do what I think is best for us.

Further, to deny that there are people who hate America, just like women who hate men and non-whites who hate whites, is simply not realistic.

Unless I missed something, I didn't see anyone here deny that. But what does that matter?

All I can hear is George Bush the Lesser, 3 days after 9/11, saying, "Why do they hate us? They hate us for our freedoms."

I knew that was an emotionally manipulative pile of garbage when I heard it the first time.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@dfarrah
sorry not sorry

posters on this site would love to deny it

Are you looking in the mirror when you say that? Otherwise, please be specific. Which posters are you referring to? I think you are making stuff up to fit your narrative, and I don't know why you think that's cool. It's not.

C99 was not some big homogeneous group of like-thinkers until you showed up. Coming around telling us how we think is a waste of time. It is trolling, please stop. If you want to defend your specious views, I suggest you try doing it without the slander. good luck

PEACE

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Centaurea's picture

@eyo

Coming around telling us how we think is a waste of time.

It's also a form of gaslighting.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@dfarrah

immigrants, documented or not, from certain parts of the world--
"shithole countries," in his exact words, rather than, say, Norway--are counter to his idea of making America great again.

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@dfarrah

members on this site just finished a conversation about the issue of people trying to speak for the whole group. Those who participated pretty much said that they don't like that. You made an assumption about what I or others would 'deny'. Please don't do this.

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

Cassiodorus's picture

@dfarrah Bill McKibben demonstrates this quite convincingly in his book Falter. I can't quote it for you right now because my copy is in storage. Moreover, the problems with the affordability of education, housing, and health care in America have persisted for quite some time now, and do not show any signs of getting better.

As for "people who hate America," you might have missed my argument in the diary. This is the wrong litmus test for our politicians. What we want to know is if our politicians will or won't do good things for us while in office.

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"I was Zuckerberging people before Zuckerberg's balls dropped." -- the Devil, on "Rick and Morty"

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cassiodorus

As for "people who hate America," you might have missed my argument in the diary. This is the wrong litmus test for our politicians. What we want to know is if our politicians will or won't do good things for us while in office.

Because asking what politicians will do for us (and people like us, i.e., the 99%) is what we can do for our country!

Diablo

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@Alligator Ed

in my view.

Just for the record, though, nothing I've ever posted was negative toward you in any way. I know that it's eminently possible to have a heart for people while being for only entry into this country that complies with the laws of this country.

When I posted upthread, I was thinking of the kind of people who cheered Ron Paul when he mentioned ignoring people outside an emergency room door because they had no health insurance. I know he had not yet finished his sentence and I know that they were likely his paid debate attenders, there to applaud him no matter what he said. Still, they applauded, so they are shameful. But, that would not be you.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@HenryAWallace

But it IS a logical consequence of evaluating the worth of human beings in terms of dollars and cents AND NOTHING ELSE.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

lotlizard's picture

@HenryAWallace  
That was quite revealing of Republicans’ relative readiness to rely on Caesar rather than Christ.

https://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/ron-paul-addresses-boos-fr...

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ron+paul+golden+rule+foreign+policy+booed

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@lotlizard principled, consistent conservatives. They boo one of theirs for sensibly stating what is eminently reasonable. Then four years later another guy comes along, with a mostly similar message, and gets cheered.

Then turns around during his presidency and does a back-flip on stirring up trouble around the world, just short of a major new war (which by all indications might be on tap for next year if a nervous Don finds he needs some boosting in the polls). That's ok too with Republicans.

We may have to bring in George Will to try to explain what Republican conservatism stands for these days, other than worship of a tough-talking authoritarian leader.

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hecate's picture

is a goon. He’s for people who like to strap on a swastika armband and goosestep around the living room.

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@hecate Reich Minister of Propaganda for Fox News Corp., and here we are talking about it like it's normal. omg wtf
wiki fwiw:

He was one of Adolf Hitler's close associates and most devoted followers, and was known for his skills in public speaking and his deep, virulent antisemitism, which was evident in his publicly voiced views. He advocated progressively harsher discrimination, including the extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust.

one way or another
EPA rejects challenge of pesticide linked to brain damage
Exterminating the weak, the poor, the brown. It's the law. That is what makes amerika great for our duopoly.
pendulums suck
PEACE

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@eyo

prove beyond any reasonable doubt that we have little to no compunction about exterminating brown people, including those who supposedly represent the political party of "people of color" and members of other kinds of minorities. To the contrary, we seem over-eager so to do.

Despite a number calls from concerned, even frightened, citizens, we, with all our resources, did nothing to prevent 911. Because backlog! But, we were supposedly justified bombing impoverished Afghanis because we demanded that the Afghan government (tribal heads? the Taliban?) hand over Osama to us and no in Afghanistan handed him over?

With NSA and satellites, we couldn't even find Osame ourselves for a decade, ffs. And that is aside from the fact that he had used arms we provided to help get Russian invaders out of Afghanistan. Would we have turned over Lafayette to George III?

Despite two warnings from the Russian government, we didn't prevent the Boston marathon bombings. Because, I guess, Tsarnaev didn't confess when questioned by our ace government detectives? Should we have bombed ourselves?

Not to mention the bogus invasion of Iraq. Any Arab teen knew Osama and Saddam were enemies over Islam vs. hedonism and would never have teamed up to attack the US--or to knock over a fruit stand, for that matter. So, if the CIA and the FBI didn't know that, every fucker in those agencies should have been fired. Except they weren't, because they did know, just like Clapper knew what was what when he lied to Congress and didn't get fired.

Meanwhile, a British citizen tried to blow up a plane, foiled only by his own sweat. Did we go bomb and/or otherwise invade the UK and a half dozen or so other European countries in retaliation or "prevention?" For that matter, did we even invade Saudi Arabia or Egypt? So, I guess, even some brown, predomininantly Muslim countries are not as big "shitholes" as other brown, Muslim countries, not to Obama and not to Trump.

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lotlizard's picture

@HenryAWallace  
through various kinds of economic cooperation.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-africans-idUSTRE77U6O520110831

So our First Black President™ got Qaddafi overthrown and the African workers hunted down and killed or enslaved. Thanks, Obama!

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@lotlizard

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@hecate living rooms, well hidden from view so later full deniability is assured.

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