Tucker Carlson stayed on my feed far longer than I expected. As a Fox News anchor, he should have been the archetype of right-wing containment. Indeed, for many decades this had been his function. Tucker’s place within the regime was to be the token Republican; the plea for a more sensible approach to the economy, and just a little more respect for the bible. He placated the nerves of middle Americans and eased them back into support of regime projects such as the war in Iran, defending the current position from the left, and acting as a rear-guard action as the new position was normalized.
Morgoth (semi) recently appeared in an Academic Agent stream and gave the analogy of Tucker’s function. He acts as the “soothing voice” of aftercare in a con scheme. When a rigged game of cards is played on a mark, for example, he will have a negative reaction to having lost everything. This loss is a deeply wounding blow to the mark and sets off a wellspring of volatile emotions. This does not bode well for the conmen, as rash action may mean the ruin of their scheme, or worse, a threat to their lives from an enraged mark. So, as a countermeasure, the soothing voice is deployed. His job is to console you, to act as your friend, and ensure you return to a state that is docile enough they get away with it. This is the job the right-wing pundits fulfill within the regime. Is White America being torn apart even further by the left? Don’t worry, Tucker Carlson is here to echo some sentiments that I bet you’ve been just waiting to hear!
It was with some surprise I started, as did many others, to notice the change in Tucker’s role. When Shapiro dismissed people who cared about white identity and brought people back into talking about tax brackets, Tucker started to be more open to the idea. He would bring up the regime, point out what his previous position was in podcasts, and afford legitimacy to detracting from Ukraine and Covid narratives. In fact, it came to light that he received less pay in proportion to his less popular confederates, so as to speak with fewer filters. Soon, he resonated with the spirit of middle America to such an extent he claimed the title of most-watched news pundit by magnitudes.
His producers and writing team clearly tapped into the sensible centrist sphere, with arguments circulated in Unpopular Opinions repeatedly ending up on the teleprompter of Tucker Carlson Tonight. It became an in-joke and source of genuine speculation about whose tweet would end up placed in front of Americans largest news audience. What’s more, where Tucker went, genuine containment was forced to follow or cease to function. Finally, a truly dissident voice, for some contested reason, was being broadcast to the general public. If the regime was insistent on putting the woke away, taking anti-woke populism to its farthest extent seemed unwarranted and dangerous. Wistful notions of a rogue counter-elite already forming and asserting itself throughout institutions were beginning to emerge. After all, someone must be protecting Tucker. The middle clients within media were starting to turn, and what should have been new national myths, like January 6th, were being desiccated live on air. Maga insurgents within the house had forced, as a condition of their accession of McCarthy to Speaker, to release all of the footage available on the incident. They held out for such conditions for seventeen attempts to vote him in.
These middle client institutions had been seized, and, finally, providence favored us.
Then Tucker bashed the republican party at a conference, and everything collapsed. The high had decided, with the loyal middle, and informing the low, that Tucker Carlson had “parted ways” with Fox. Elon may or may not decide to pick him up and give him patronage. It depends on the organization, consciousness, and discipline of the counter-elite. Based on the actions and beliefs Elon has evidenced so far, such qualities are lacking.
What this story demonstrates is how fragile our position is. The regime, if pressed enough, can easily close ranks and crush us. How we gain power is to act subtly. In reality, there is little utility to making retired octogenarian Randy woke on the JQ or elite theory. Our goal must be to first build our own self-sustaining networks that cannot be toppled from dependency on existing structures. Rogue elites can and should be sought after, but we cannot rely on this alone. Tucker has perhaps reached a few of these individuals by the sheer breadth of his presence in recent years. However I would contend a simpler tactic is not broadcast to millions in hopes of reaching the right individuals, but to target them directly. Either that or become those desired elites ourselves.