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  • Conservative Populism: Tucker Carlson vs David French

    Posted by David Foster on January 7th, 2019 (All posts by )

    Links at Ricochet, where the is an extensive (and pretty contentious) discussion.

     

    23 Responses to “Conservative Populism: Tucker Carlson vs David French”

    1. Grurray Says:

      Ok, I’m reading through it now, and right off the bat I see a problem:

      In Tucker’s monologue, he does make a few assertions that are not evident (e.g., women won’t marry men that make less money than themselves)

      If Tucker said this then he is correct. There have been lots of studies on female hypergamy, such as this one.

      The study shows a sharp drop off in the number of marriages with a higher earning wife. Interestingly, they also show that what sometimes happens when the wife is earning more is that she drops out of the labor force altogether. Overall, they measure the divorce rate 25% higher when the wife earns more than the husband. So the traditional gender roles of the man making more than the woman are much more prevalent in lasting marriages.

    2. Grurray Says:

      From French’s article:

      But he also says false things. He says that manufacturing “all but disappeared over the course of a generation.” It hasn’t. He says, “increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.” Yet a healthy, faithful marriage is often the gateway to affluence. Affluence is not a prerequisite for marriage.

      Well, the last part I just shot down in the previous comment. When traditional gender roles break down then marriages will follow. Culture is upstream from institutions, not the other way around. It seems to be a common mistake by those perplexed at what’s going on in our country and can’t understand why the government can’t simply throw together some earmarks or regulations to stop it.

      His first part is shot down by his own link. The CNBC article states,

      But while job growth has been strong lately, the total number of manufacturing employees is well off the sector’s heyday, a fraction of what it once was. Stephen Roach, an economics professor at Yale University and former chief economist at Morgan Stanley, told CNBC that despite the political focus on manufacturing, its role in the American economy continues to wane.

      While manufacturing increased in absolute terms, it still represents a smaller share of the economy than it used to. The sector represented 11.6 percent of U.S. GDP in 2017, down from 12.3 percent in 2011 and 28.1 percent in 1953. Manufacturing jobs peaked in 1979 at 19.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

      Wow, sloppy work by French. Did he think we weren’t going to read the link? Maybe he has gotten so used to fooling National Review’s uncritical and dwindling readership that he figured no one would notice.

    3. Brian Says:

      It is really quite amazing how much ignorance and contempt the National Review and the sort of cons who work for and read them has for working class Americans. They became unreadable during the 2016 campaign when their distaste for Trump transferred to contempt for anyone who might possibly support him. I’m pretty sure Reagan wouldn’t stand with them at all on this…

    4. Mike K Says:

      Maybe he has gotten so used to fooling National Review’s uncritical and dwindling readership that he figured no one would notice.

      It’s interesting to ponder why NR has gone off the deep end on Trump. Jonah Goldberg is unreadable and he used to be my go to guy.

      I have to suspect that they are dependent on big donors to keep the lights on and those donors have a Never Trump min set.

      French I never paid much attention to.

    5. Anonymous Says:

      Carlson has also gone off the rails. The social, political, cultural and economic issues he has identified are not the result of a market based economy, it is the result of populism in the sense of the political structure trying to give voters what they want (an unaffordable social safety net and no risk lives) in order to keep their support for governmental growth and catering to crony capitalists whose focus is government limiting of open markets and entry to their benefit.

      Carlson is equating crony capitalism with capitalism and sees government intervention as a (the) solution. This flies in the face of the capture incentives offered by government regulation, tax law based on special interest promotion and massive contracting/spending.

      As noted in one of the Ricochet comments, populism’s history is giving voters government expansion as a plausible solution for perceived ills. Very little of it has ever been a net benefit and most of it has resulted in larger political control by those with power. The current populism is little different and still is based on identifying issues, misdiagnosing the root causes and proposing solutions that either miss the mark or make the issues worse. The reason populism generally fails is it is not based on the principles of liberty and personal responsibility for one’s actions in accordance with the basic moral concepts we have traditionally embraced.

      Death6

    6. Brian Says:

      “Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to “the people”, often juxtaposing this group against a so-called “elite”. There is no single definition of the term, which developed in the 19th century and has been used to mean various things since that time.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populism
      That second sentence is the rub, no? All American movements fulfill the first sentence, pretty much. Those that are coherent enough to have specific solutions (socialism, etc.) get that name, rather than the populist label. Conservative populists are still trying to figure out a way to define what they want that isn’t hobbled by the fact that the GOPe will actively fight back against a movement that targets them too explicitly. We out here in the hinterlands can attack the fact that a shocking percentage of the political class is multi-generational, but of course that’s going to be anathema to the likes of Bush, Romney, etc. They’re basically bureaucrats, who are primarily interested in their position in the system.

    7. Ginny Says:

      Death 6 is obviously right and that is where Hilton’s populism wanders, too. It is, however, refreshing to listen to someone who seems to have taken Charles Murray, esp. Coming Apart, to heart. And the question in Murray – what makes for the good life – is central to Carlson’s show, most days. And Death 6’s conclusion bears thought:

      The reason populism generally fails is it is not based on the principles of liberty and personal responsibility for one’s actions in accordance with the basic moral concepts we have traditionally embraced.

      And we can always come back to subsidiarity – it cuts through virtue signaling and crony capitalism alike.

    8. Mike K Says:

      Populism is not necessarily a desire for more government. The Tea Parties were populist but a desire for less government.

      Carlson has a couple of videos that I like a lot. I don’t watch TV so I only see fragments off his program from time to time. He is the only one on Fox News that I will watch occasionally.

      Here is my favorite, a talk about his book.

    9. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Just as a side note — I really detest the expression “subsidiarity”, so beloved by the European Union and Europhiliacs in the US.

      “Subsidiarity” starts out with the idea that Stalin (or his pale imitations) rightfully belong in the center, ruling every aspect of the lives of all us peons. When it is convenient for the Political Class in the center, they can delegate some of their ruling powers to the Junior League would-be Political Classers in the provinces. Of course, the decision on what to delegate remains with the all powerful bureaucrats in the center, and they can at any time and for any reason take back whatever control over the peons they have delegated to the local operatives. That is why “subsidiarity” is such a disgusting concept.

      What we want is the reverse of “subsidiarity” — the good old American concepts of We the People and Federalism. The power rests in the People, not the rulers. The People can choose to delegate some authority to their elected representatives, and those representatives can in turn choose to delegate some authority to a center when it is beneficial to the People. Importantly, We the People can take back that authority any time we choose.

      Of course, Europhiliacs hate any American concept like Federalism, and instead push its hateful reverse, “subsidiarity”. “Subsidiarity” is a four-letter word!

    10. Brian Says:

      ““Subsidiarity” starts out with the idea that Stalin (or his pale imitations) rightfully belong in the center, ruling every aspect of the lives of all us peons.”
      Um, what?
      “Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. Political decisions should be taken at a local level if possible, rather than by a central authority”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidiarity_(Catholicism)

    11. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Brian — With respect, your quote from Wikipedia makes the point exactly. It would be hard to come up with an example of a more centralized, top-down organization than the Roman Catholic Church, led by the infallible representative on Earth of Jesus Christ himself.

      There is nothing wrong with subsidiarity as practiced by voluntary Believers in the Mother Church. But an organizational model which is entirely appropriate for a religious organization is definitely not appropriate for the political organization of a civil government … unless one wants a Stalinist or EU-type of top-down organization. Which, of course, is exactly what the proponents of “subsidiarity” want to impose on their peons.

      Those of us who do not feeling like enjoying a centralized governmental boot in our face forever should treat the concept of political “subsidiarity” with the contempt it deserves. Instead of the centralist model of “subsidiarity” where peons are supposed to look for guidance to the elite of the Political Class, we should be promoting the American model of the supremacy of the people and respect for the individual, where we delegate revocable authority to our representatives.

    12. Brian Says:

      Ok, sorry the word has Catholic cooties.

    13. Mike K Says:

      I’m reading a Napoleon biography right now and the random thought occurred that the best comparison I can come up with historically to the Never Trump movement on left and right is the pre-WWII Isolationist movement.

      The Chicago Tribune printed the “Rainbow Five” plan and 6 months later later disclosed that the Navy had broken the Japanese codes before Midway.

      The Democrats seem to be on a collision course with reality. The Kristol/French/Shapiro NeverTrumpers are also on a collision course with Republican voters who like what is happening.

      Best analogy I can come up with in modern times.

      I expect nothing will get done in Congress until this standoff is over. and that might be a while. I expect Trump to propose a deal on DACA and the Wall but that will have to wait until the Supreme Court reverses the 9th Circuit on DACA. I see no other course.

      Back to Napoleon which is far more interesting.

    14. Anonymous Says:

      Mike’s post reminded me that Ben Shapiro has a detailed critique of Carlson’s 15-minute capitalism shaming monologue. See the Daily Wire site for it. I don’t consider Ben a never Trumper, but he is certainly a skeptic. I note he often praises and supports Trump where warranted. The nevers give Trump no credit for anything.

      Death6

    15. Mike K Says:

      I note he often praises and supports Trump where warranted.

      So did Romney. Does that mean Romney is not a Never Trumper ?

      My point is that these guys damn Trump with faint praise and then go on about his “lies” and rudeness.

      When was the last time a president kept so many campaign promises ? The whole Democrat game plan is to make Trump into GHW Bush and the No New Taxes thing.

    16. newrouter Says:

      >I don’t consider Ben a never Trumper, but he is certainly a skeptic.<

      controlled "opposition" be ben and his act

    17. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      “Ok, sorry the word [“subsidiarity”] has Catholic cooties.”

      Brian — the distasteful nature of “subsidiarity” in a governmental sense has nothing whatsoever to do with Catholicism. The Wikipedia definition you quoted included: “… matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority ..”. Sounds fine. We can all agree with that. Now — Who decides in each case what is the “least centralized competent authority”? That is the central question.

      In true subsidiarity as practiced by the Roman Catholic Church, the decider clearly is the central authority, ultimately the Pope himself. And that is completely appropriate for a religious authority.

      In perverted “subsidiarity” as used by today’s EU, the decider again is the central authority. Just as Stalin decided whether (or not) the local Kazakh authorities could deal with certain issues in Kazakhstan, the EU decides whether (for example) the issue of fishing off the coast of Britain should be handled by the Brits or by the EU Commission. This is the reverse of Federalism, where (at least as originally conceived) the decision about whether something should be handled locally or somewhere else belonged to the people or the States.

      As used in government, “subsidiarity” is We the People on bended knee begging the central authority for permission to run our own affairs. Not good.

      Does any of this matter? I am influenced by George Orwell’s view that, yes, language does matter. The Far Left loves to pervert and misuse words to obfuscate what they are doing. There is no need for the rest of us to cooperate in that debasement of language … and ultimately thought.

    18. Mike K Says:

      The Far Left loves to pervert and misuse words to obfuscate what they are doing. There is no need for the rest of us to cooperate in that debasement of language … and ultimately thought.

      Powerline today makes the point that, to the left, the last world on any topic will be that of the left.

      Students of the Hiss and Rosenberg cases have learned that the left simply does not relent in its efforts to rewrite history. Before the revisionist history peddled in Truth takes hold, let us review “For the Record” for the record, as it were.

      The Rathergate, Dan Rather/Mary Mapes version lives on. The Democrats, and the communists for that matter, never stop lying. They will keep telling the same lie until everyone who knows the truth has passed on. The destruction of the US education system, and that of the UK as best I can tell, is part of a movement described by Antonio Gramsci.

      The bourgeoisie developed a hegemonic culture, which propagated its own values and norms so that they became the “common sense” values of all. People in the working-class (and other classes) identified their own good with the good of the bourgeoisie, and helped to maintain the status quo rather than revolting.

      Yes, it is necessary to destroy the Bourgeois common sense.

    19. Anonymous Says:

      Mike K, the most effective manipulation of words that I know of was that of the late Tim Russert when he referred to Republican states as “Red” rather than Dem. states (during coverage of presidential elections) on national TV. “Red” or “Reds” had been the term applied to communists and leftists for more than half a century and, rather than label the states with more of those leftist characteristics “Red” he did the opposite. A skillful of propaganda: the disruption of the meanings and nuances of words since, I do believe, he took the term out of popular lexicon.

    20. Mike K Says:

      Mike K, the most effective manipulation of words that I know of was that of the late Tim Russert when he referred to Republican states as “Red” rather than Dem. states (during coverage of presidential elections) on national TV.

      I agree but did not know it was Russert. It its an interesting example of leftist “newspeak.”

    21. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      “… the late Tim Russert when he referred to Republican states as “Red” …”

      It is indeed an interesting example of Leftist newspeak — especially after the long history of the Communist anthem ‘The Scarlet Banner’; and Russia’s civil war between the Reds and the Whites; and the USSR’s Red Army bearing the brunt of defeating the German invaders; and the Red Army Choir entrancing audiences around the world for decades; and the rise of Red China. Remind me, what color is the flag of Communist China?

      It is no surprise that Far Leftists in the US wanted to dissemble by dissociating themselves from their Communist brethern. The real surprise is that so many non-Leftists willingly rolled over and adopted the Left’s inverted newspeak. Some of that adoption of Red to represent the Not-The-Democrats may have been Democrat disinformation operations — I have sometimes wondered if the website Redstate was promoted by fellow travelers? But that does not explain why so many Not-The-Democrats happily adopted the Leftist media’s ahistorical travesty.

      Maybe the message is that advertising works. Even apparently sensible thinking people just surrendered in the face of an incessant barrage of Leftist media propaganda. Perhaps it is time for non-Leftists to fight back? If enough of us use Red in its proper historical sense of the color of the Far Left, the resulting confusion will render Red/Blue no longer useful to the media.

    22. rcocean Says:

      I wish these people would talk about actual issues rather than labeling people and blathering about “Conservatism” vs. “Populism”.

      Why is enforcing the immigration laws and negotiating better trade deals “Populist” vs. Something else?

      Nor do I understand what is “Conservative” about David French. He seemed A-OK with Hillary getting elected, or at least saw no difference between her and Trump. So how was failing to oppose a Liberal Democrat for POTUS “Conservative”?

      How is “Globalization” or helping the USA become a one-party state like California through immigration “Conservative”?

      I don’t think Russell Kirk would think David French was “Conservative” nor Bill Kristol.

    23. Tom G Says:

      Whatever kind of economy we have now, it’s failing to help normal working class men; the women they sleep with; and the children who they are too often the absent-father of.

      We need better families; most of the stuff being argued about by Dems and Reps both, fail to help make more good families.

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