Don’t Ask Government for Love, Tucker

 

Tucker Carlson is completely right about one thing – the decline of marriage is a great challenge of our times. I’ve written a whole book about it. So, you’d think I would rejoice that Carlson’s rant-heard-round-the-right focused on it. Sorry, no. I’ve rarely seen such a cynical and misleading use of television.

Everything that is going wrong with this country, Carlson instructed his viewers, is the consequence of “uncaring” politicians. They don’t care about your 19-year-old son who’s high on pot. Why? “It’s not an accident.” It’s because “our leaders understood that they could get rich from marijuana.” Never mind that 62 percent of voters say they want to decriminalize marijuana.

“Our ruling class,” Carlson intones, doesn’t care that firms like Bain Capital strip mine companies and leave retirees without benefits because “it’s the way they run the country.” To the barricades, comrades!

Citing election results in France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, and Germany, among others, Carlson detects “entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.” Not quite. France chose a centrist by a huge margin. In Sweden, the fascist party made gains but still received less than 18 percent of parliamentary votes. In Germany, Angela Merkel is being replaced by her own hand-picked successor. Sounds like continuity. Only Brazil and the Philippines made big changes.

But focus on that word “refuse.” Governments are not misguided or simply unsuited to cure the woes of mankind. Nor are they following the will of electorates who demand lower taxes and higher benefits. No, they are lining their own pockets and laughing. Yes, Carlson actually suggests that our unhappiness results from indifferent leaders:

Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They’re what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

Kim Jong-un, call your office.

Carlson comes within range of some important matters – but only to shed heat rather than light. He states that “manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation.” That’s false. As a share of total employment, manufacturing has declined steadily for three generations; from 33 percent in 1947 to 8 percent in 2015. And yet, thousands of high paying manufacturing jobs are going begging. It’s estimated that 2.4 million manufacturing jobs may go unfilled in the coming 10 years due to a shortage of skilled workers. And sectors beyond manufacturing are also hurting for workers. Trucking, agriculture, hotels and restaurants, and Silicon Valley are all having trouble hiring.

When Carlson compared the situation of inner cities in places like Newark and Detroit with current strains in rural America, I hoped he was going to make a worthwhile point about what family disintegration does to communities. Instead, he made no sense. He made slashing reference to liberals not caring about high-crime, low-employment, broken-family inner cities because “they were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes.” Conservatives, he continued, diagnosed a failure of big government. But that was not entirely true because “virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.”

Wait a second. If the problem was government programs that encouraged a culture of poverty, the extension of the same patterns to new populations supports, rather than undermines the case, doesn’t it?

But Carlson isn’t interested in analysis, he’s interested in incitement. For him, the demon is free market capitalism, which he blames for “destroying families.” He doesn’t explain how it is that intact poor families so often manage to enter the middle class or above despite capitalism.

A better explanation for the troubles of inner cities as well as rural areas is that single-parent families damage people’s capacity to achieve. They cause poorer school performance, more mental illness, more crime, less employment, more drug abuse, and, yes, less overall happiness. One is tempted to say that if Tucker Carlson really cared, he would take the time to examine the families who are doing well despite economic changes. He would note that married men with only high school diplomas are more likely to be employed than unmarried men with some college.

Carlson did no more than state the obvious when he thundered that culture is linked to economics. Who has ever denied this? Describing our troubles as the result of bad faith on the part of our leaders (who do not love us, sniff) or “worship” of capitalism, is infantilizing and manipulative.

Published in Politics
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There are 82 comments.

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  1. George Townsend Member

     Beautiful column, Mona.

    While I never was entirely comfortable with Tucker Carlson, he used to make sense. Now, I believe all he is interested in creating a following, so he can become rich. This is what all Populists want.

    As Rush used to say: Follow The Money.

    Thanks again, Mona, for a great column.

    • #1
    • January 10, 2019, at 2:03 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. RufusRJones Member

    Mona Charen: But focus on that word “refuse.” Governments are not misguided or simply unsuited to cure the woes of mankind. Nor are they following the will of electorates who demand lower taxes and higher benefits. No, they are lining their own pockets and laughing.

    I’m not sure I’m following this completely. Government is too big and it’s dysfunctional. People are losing jobs and wages to robots and globalized trade in the name of purchasing power. If the Fed is going to run with 2% inflation and government is jacking up the cost of housing, healthcare, and education, some people are going to take it in the shorts for no good reason. They want compensation or they wanted fixed.

    • #2
    • January 10, 2019, at 2:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    Don’t Ask Government for Love, Tucker

    Tucker, you take your government beating like a good boy. The Trump haters are out.

    • #3
    • January 10, 2019, at 2:09 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Stad Thatcher

    Mona Charen: Never mind that 62 percent of voters say they want to decriminalize marijuana.

    So, these voters are okay in their opinion, but the voters who elected Trump aren’t?

    Mona Charen: Carlson did no more than state the obvious when he thundered that culture is linked to economics. Who has ever denied this?

    It’s obvious to us, but to many of his viewers, it’s not. One of the things we conservatives need to do is present our positions in a logical, understandable, and (yes) entertaining way. I think the Tuckster was in education mode . . .

    Okay, Trump is not the ideal conservative – heck he is not a conservative! But he is doing things I could only dream George W. Bush, his dad, or maybe even Reagan didn’t do.

    Think of Trump as a taxi you call after a night out on the town. After a long wait, no one else shows, but this guy finally does. He smells, his cab is kinda dirty, but he takes you back to your hotel. I would rather tolerate the negative things about my cab driver, as long as he takes me where I want to go. It’s the same with Trump.

    Maybe next time I’ll take a clean cab, but not tonight . . .

    • #4
    • January 10, 2019, at 2:23 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  5. RufusRJones Member

    Tucker Carlson had a great psychiatrist on a few months ago. His opinion was the opioid crisis was mostly from people losing their sense of agency and lacking friends. Personally I blame government policy. Government takes too much and it central plans too much and the whole thing is built on inflation and asset bubbles. This all “worked” before The Wall fell and the Soviet Union died and trade opened up. Not anymore. 

    • #5
    • January 10, 2019, at 2:28 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Hoyacon Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Beautiful column, Mona.

    While I never was entirely comfortable with Tucker Carlson, he used to make sense. Now, I believe all he is interested in creating a following, so he can become rich. This is what all Populists want.

    As Rush used to say: Follow The Money.

    Thanks again, Mona, for a great column.

    Serious question. Did you watch Carlson’s monologue?

    • #6
    • January 10, 2019, at 2:40 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. EJHill Podcaster

    This thing is all over the map.

    Mona Charen: In Germany, Angela Merkel is being replaced by her own hand-picked successor. Sounds like continuity.

    Merkel will not step down until 2021. Her “hand-picked” successor was for her spot as party leader, not the Chancellorship of Germany. Too bad, but the people will still get to vote. (By the way, Hitler “hand-picked” his successor, too. Admiral Karl Dönitz’s career as the Second Führer of the Third Reich lasted about three weeks. But, “continuity!”)

    Mona Charen: And sectors beyond manufacturing are also hurting for workers. Trucking, agriculture, hotels and restaurants, and Silicon Valley are all having trouble hiring.

    That’s an interesting cluster. Trucking jobs, we’re told, will be gone. So let’s all sign up for a job that will be gone in a matter of years. Agriculture? Yes, who doesn’t see picking strawberries as an automatic path to the middle class? Hotels and restaurants? Minimum wage and tip-based employment? All of those lumped together with Silicon Valley? Really?

    Mona Charen: When Carlson compared the situation of inner cities in places like Newark and Detroit with current strains in rural America, I hoped he was going to make a worthwhile point about what family disintegration does to communities. Instead, he made no sense… A better explanation for the troubles of inner cities as well as rural areas is that single-parent families damage people’s capacity to achieve.

    Getting married is not going to return the jobs that politicians encouraged to be shipped overseas or across the Mexican border. It doesn’t help that Americans are already anchored to dying communities because of other factors – too much mortgage paid in a weak real estate market, elderly parents who need cared for and can’t be moved… there’s as many reasons as there are people. Marriage is not a magic bullet.

     

    • #7
    • January 10, 2019, at 2:50 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  8. RufusRJones Member

    I suggest everyone follow @Halsrethink on Twitter and make up your own mind about Europe and what is happening to this country. He worked for every president from JFK to 43. Very connected. 

    Europe is toast. All of that EU and EMU stuff is completely overwrought. We truly do have a regressive economy.

    He also recently published a new book, The Myth of Capitalism, his survey of the profit margin phenomenon and its consequences for investors and citizens alike. In this episode, we discuss the social and economic consequences of increased consolidation and regulatory capture in corporate America and what it means for markets going forward.

    • #8
    • January 10, 2019, at 2:56 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. George Townsend Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Commyent):

    Beautiful column, Mona.

    While I never was entirely comfortable with Tucker Carlson, he used to make sense. Now, I believe all he is interested in creating a following, so he can become rich. This is what all Populists want.

    As Rush used to say: Follow The Money.

    Thanks again, Mona, for a great column.

    Serious question. Did you watch Carlson’s speech?

    I don’t understand the question. So I didn’t. I’ve heard about it. And read about it. And read analyses of it. I don’t get your point. The man is – now, anyway – a Populist. I hate Populism. I think it is stupid, and is spread by people who have their own agenda.

    • #9
    • January 10, 2019, at 2:59 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Hoyacon Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Commyent):

    Beautiful column, Mona.

    While I never was entirely comfortable with Tucker Carlson, he used to make sense. Now, I believe all he is interested in creating a following, so he can become rich. This is what all Populists want.

    As Rush used to say: Follow The Money.

    Thanks again, Mona, for a great column.

    Serious question. Did you watch Carlson’s speech?

    I don’t understand the question. So I didn’t. I’ve heard about it. And read about it. And read analyses of it. I don’t get your point. The man is – now, anyway – a Populist. I hate Populism. I think it is stupid, and is spread by people who have their own agenda.

    You highly praised a column attacking with force what Carlson said. I was interested in whether you had first hand knowledge of the speech in question, and I appreciate you responding to me.

    The only reference to “populism” is to be found in articles/columns about Carlson, most of which (like this one) are hyberbolic in their criticism. Carlson, needless to say, never used the word. But, if one speaks in favor of a “lost” segment of our population, one must be a populist, I suppose.

    After actually watching Carlson, my conclusion was that he was impassioned, if somewhat over-the-top, but that his principle point– that we’ve neglected a substantial portion of the populace–was correct. To say that “I’ve rarely seen such a cynical and misleading use of television” in this age of daily doses of CNN and the networks seems absurd. But it appears to be further evidence that those inside the beltway stick to together.

    • #10
    • January 10, 2019, at 3:12 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  11. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Stad (View Comment):

    Think of Trump as a taxi you call after a night out on the town. After a long wait, no one else shows, but this guy finally does. He smells, his cab is kinda dirty, but he takes you back to your hotel. I would rather tolerate the negative things about my cab driver, as long as he takes me where I want to go. It’s the same with Trump.

    Maybe next time I’ll take a clean cab, but not tonight . . .

    Love this metaphor.

    • #11
    • January 10, 2019, at 3:25 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  12. RufusRJones Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    The only reference to “populism” is to be found in articles/columns about Carlson, most of which (like this one) are hyberbolic in their criticism. Carlson, needless to say, never used the word.

    I think he’s on record saying that he’s not pro-populist; he’s trying to understand why it’s an issue. That is my view as well.

    • #12
    • January 10, 2019, at 3:31 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. EJHill Podcaster

    George Townsend: I think it is stupid, and is spread by people who have their own agenda.

    People pursuing policy for their own agenda. That’s not populism, that’s politics.

    • #13
    • January 10, 2019, at 3:36 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  14. Freesmith Inactive

    The factory moved and your job went with it. Don’t look at us – Get a U-Haul, conservative.

    But wherever you are make sure you vote for the conservative candidate who promises to cut the capital gains tax rate.

     

    • #14
    • January 10, 2019, at 3:38 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  15. Freesmith Inactive

    Tucker has said on his program that populism is not a party – it is an alarm bell. Ignore the siren – not siren’s song – of populism and your house will burn down.

    The siren first sounded in 2009 with the Tea Party. It was co-opted by the people Mona supports.

    It rang louder in 2016 when an improbable candidate with little establishment support won the presidency. He has been most effective, unfortunately, enacting policies that Mona supports.

    The next time you hear it the new socialist Democratic Party, which Mona doesn’t support, will be the beneficiary and the house that is America will be imperiled.

    Populism has warned you.

    • #15
    • January 10, 2019, at 3:55 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  16. James Lileks Contributor

    EJHill (View Comment):
    That’s an interesting cluster. Trucking jobs, we’re told, will be gone. So let’s all sign up for a job that will be gone in a matter of years.

    Well, the jobs are here now, and they pay very well. I don’t think anyone says “I could make over 100K driving a rig, but they say self-driving trucks are the future, so nah, looks like I’ll just stay here and take oxycontin.” Journalism is in flux like any other industry, and we probably have 10 intern applicants for every one we accept.

    Agriculture? Yes, who doesn’t see picking strawberries as an automatic path to the middle class?

    Do we include poultry / packing / food processing in the ag category? It’s not the prettiest work, but it’s steady, indoors, and has the characteristics of the old manufacturing jobs whose loss we lament.

    Hotels and restaurants? Minimum wage and tip-based employment?

    Managing an Applebee’s isn’t going to make you rich, but it beats the dole, and if your husband is driving truck, you’re middle-class. Or do we just wave that possibility away?

    • #16
    • January 10, 2019, at 4:16 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  17. DrewInWisconsin Member

    Mona Charen: But Carlson isn’t interested in analysis, he’s interested in incitement. For him, the demon is free market capitalism, which he blames for “destroying families.”

    That’s the craziest misreading I’ve heard yet.

    • #17
    • January 10, 2019, at 4:22 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Hoyacon Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Mona Charen: But Carlson isn’t interested in analysis, he’s interested in incitement. For him, the demon is free market capitalism, which he blames for “destroying families.”

    That’s the craziest misreading I’ve heard yet.

    Note the absence of an extended quote . . . or even a rather short one.

    • #18
    • January 10, 2019, at 4:24 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. RufusRJones Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Mona Charen: But Carlson isn’t interested in analysis, he’s interested in incitement. For him, the demon is free market capitalism, which he blames for “destroying families.”

    That’s the craziest misreading I’ve heard yet.

    We haven’t had this for a long time. It never mattered much until robots and globalized trade opened up so much. People wanted fixed or they want to be compensated.

    • #19
    • January 10, 2019, at 4:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. DrewInWisconsin Member

    Here is a much better analysis of what Carlson was saying.

    What Tucker Carlson Gets Right

    The stability of working-class family life has eroded—and elite policy makers are partially to blame.

     For a shorter version check out Wilcox’s Tweet-thread here, in which he takes apart David French’s brush off of the economic problems of working-class America.

    • #20
    • January 10, 2019, at 4:30 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. DrewInWisconsin Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Mona Charen: But Carlson isn’t interested in analysis, he’s interested in incitement. For him, the demon is free market capitalism, which he blames for “destroying families.”

    That’s the craziest misreading I’ve heard yet.

    Note the absence of an extended quote . . . or even a rather short one.

    Who needs evidence when you can just make silly, groundless assertions?

    What we have above is the very caricature of the brie-eating rich Republican who says “it’s their own fault they’re poor.” People like this are one reason why, after three decades of conservatism, I still retain many liberal sensitivities. (Liberal, not leftist.)

    • #21
    • January 10, 2019, at 4:33 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. EJHill Podcaster

    James Lileks:

    EJHill (View Comment):
    That’s an interesting cluster…

    Well, the jobs are here now, and they pay very well.

    True enough. But lumping that, a bunch of minimum wage jobs and Silicon Valley is still an interesting cluster. There’s no rhyme or reason. There are also severe limitations for a commercial license. It’s not a career you recover into.

    One thing that all of these commentators have not addressed is how government policy, all with good intentions, have actually made Americans less mobile. This idea that we’re all the Joads that can pile into the truck and just go isn’t moored to reality.

    • #22
    • January 10, 2019, at 4:36 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  23. George Townsend Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Commyent):

    I don’t understand the question. So I didn’t. I’ve heard about it. And read about it. And read analyses of it. I don’t get your point. The man is – now, anyway – a Populist. I hate Populism. I think it is stupid, and is spread by people who have their own agenda.

    You highly praised a column attacking with force what Carlson said. I was interested in whether you had first hand knowledge of the speech in question, and I appreciate you responding to me.

    The only reference to “populism” is to be found in articles/columns about Carlson, most of which (like this one) are hyberbolic in their criticism. Carlson, needless to say, never used the word. But, if one speaks in favor of a “lost” segment of our population, one must be a populist, I suppose.

    After actually watching Carlson, my conclusion was that he was impassioned, if somewhat over-the-top, but that his principle point– that we’ve neglected a substantial portion of the populace–was correct. To say that “I’ve rarely seen such a cynical and misleading use of television” in this age of daily doses of CNN and the networks seems absurd. But it appears to be further evidence that those inside the beltway stick to together.

    First of all, thank you for thanking me; or, I appreciate your appreciating me sounds screwy; but I’m that kinda guy!

    Secondly, I still don’t get you. Other than you must be a Populist. I am not inside the beltway. I’ve only visited DC a couple of times. I know you don’t mean me; but I am part of those who stick together. It makes no sense. From what I’ve read, Carlson was being cynical. And (I admit that I am drawing an inference, but I think it makes sense) I think he is doing it because he senses that the Fox audience has gone populace, and he wants to take advantage of it. Frankly – and I really don’t mean this is as an insult – but your take on Mona seems to be absurd. Even if you are right about CNN, it has nothing to do with this. If I am right about Carlson (and I think that since he never spoke this way before, the chances have increased that I am) he is indeed being cynical, and whether CNN is or is not has precious little to do with the truth of Mona’s excellent observation.

    Let me just end by observing that just because Carlson doesn’t use the word doesn’t mean he isn’t a Populist. The whole rant screamed Populism. Buckley didn’t always use the word conservative; that doesn’t mean he wasn’t one.

    • #23
    • January 10, 2019, at 5:09 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. DrewInWisconsin Member

    From the link above:

    A half century ago, there were not big differences in marriage and family life by class; the vast majority of Americans got and stayed married. Starting in the late ’60s, however, marriage eroded among the poor, and since the ’80s, it has lost considerable ground among the working class. Today, only minorities of poor adults (26 percent) and working-class adults (39 percent) ages 18 to 55 are married; by contrast, a majority (56 percent) of middle- and upper-class Americans age 18 to 55 are married.

    In fact, dramatic increases in nonmarital childbearing, divorce, and family instability among the working class mean that only about 55 percent of children with working-class mothers will reach age 14 in a home headed by two biological parents. That compares to about 77 percent of children with college-educated mothers in more middle- and upper-class homes. While affluence may not be a “prerequisite for marriage,” it clearly helps to be educated and affluent if you wish to forge a strong and stable family in America today.

    The question is why. Carlson fingers bad public policies, market forces, and cultural developments for eroding the economic, social, and cultural foundations of family life in working-class America. In particular, he thinks federal policies are partly to blame for the decline in manufacturing jobs and in less-educated men’s wages. Because women still seek men who earn a decent wage, these declines in turn have led to a “drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow—more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.”

    Carlson’s last key argument is simply that elites are complicit in all of this. They have flourished in today’s postindustrial economy, profited from policies and corporate moves that keep them at the top of the economic order, yet seem to evince little authentic concern that the currents they have ridden to success are undercutting the fortunes of those lower down the ladder. The “very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married,” he said, adding, “This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage.”

    Contra Mona . . .

    It’s possible to recognize the value of personal agency and nevertheless admit the extent to which the stagnation of working-class wages and increases in job instability for less-educated men have stemmed from elite policy choices. Appealing to a lack of virtue on the part of the poor or the working class is at best a category error, and at worst an all-purpose rhetorical device for neutralizing responsibility on the part of elite policy makers.

    • #24
    • January 10, 2019, at 5:21 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. She Thatcher
    She

    Mona Charen: Everything that is going wrong with this country, Carlson instructed his viewers, is the consequence of “uncaring” politicians. They don’t care about your 19-year-old son who’s high on pot. Why? “It’s not an accident.” It’s because “our leaders understood that they could get rich from marijuana.” Never mind that 62 percent of voters say they want to decriminalize marijuana.

    People want lots of things. That doesn’t mean they should always get them.

    As for the decriminalization of marijuana, I thought this post on Powerline today was interesting. Titled “Marijuana, Mental Illness and Crime,” it’s largely a discussion of a book by former NYT reporter (I’m trying not to hold that against her) Alex Berenson on the well-documented and extraordinarily destructive effects of regular marijuana use by the mentally ill.

    I haven’t read the book, but I’ve put it on my reading list. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV, but in my experience with a close family member who was severely and sometimes dangerously mentally ill, the role that cannabis played in his downward spirals couldn’t have been more evident. For that reason alone, I’m less-than-enthusastic about calls to decriminalize it and make it widely available. I hope “our leaders” are paying attention, no matter how many people “want” it.

    • #25
    • January 10, 2019, at 6:48 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  26. philo Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment): Who needs evidence when you can just make silly, groundless assertions? … What we have above is the very caricature of the brie-eating rich Republican who says “it’s their own fault they’re poor.”

    So true…but around here it’s just best to sit back and enjoy the tenacity with which she goes about it. (That one still has me giggling.)

    • #26
    • January 10, 2019, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  27. George Townsend Member

    She (View Comment):

    Mona Charen: Everything that is going wrong with this country, Carlson instructed his viewers, is the consequence of “uncaring” politicians. They don’t care about your 19-year-old son who’s high on pot. Why? “It’s not an accident.” It’s because “our leaders understood that they could get rich from marijuana.” Never mind that 62 percent of voters say they want to decriminalize marijuana.

    People want lots of things. That doesn’t mean they should always get them.

    As for the decriminalization of marijuana, I thought this post on Powerline today was interesting. Titled “Marijuana, Mental Illness and Crime,” it’s largely a discussion of a book by former NYT reporter (I’m trying not to hold that against her) Alex Berenson on the well-documented and extraordinarily destructive effects of regular marijuana use by the mentally ill.

    I haven’t read the book, but I’ve put it on my reading list. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV, but in my experience with a close family member who was severely and sometimes dangerously mentally ill, the role that cannabis played in his downward spirals couldn’t have been more evident. For that reason alone, I’m less-than-enthusastic about calls to decriminalize it and make it widely available. I hope “our leaders” are paying attention, no matter how many people “want” it.

    This comment is very propitious. Hugh Hewitt did an interview with Alex this morning:

    http://www.hughhewitt.com/alex-berenson-author-of-tell-your-children-the-truth-about-marijuana-mental-illness-and-violence/

    • #27
    • January 10, 2019, at 8:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. James Gawron Thatcher

    Mona,

    Why yes Tucker is a little over the top. Of course, we live in a world in which credentialed authorities think that transgenders are an oppressed minority rather than sexual schizophrenics. We live in a world where Islam is a religion of peace even though it has a 1,400-year history of brutal repression and military aggression. We live in a world where the Gaia Hypothesis is all about saving mother earth rather than a toxic mixture of Marx and Malthus that destroys the economic opportunities that produce prosperity for all.

    I am quite capable of excusing Tucker just this once if instead of his usual stellar highly rational performance he went over the top. I am not as able to excuse those who seem to care less about children raised to believe that sexual schizophrenia is the moral equivalent of monogamous heterosexual marriage. Children who are raised to believe that capitalism is destroying the world’s environment. Children who are raised to believe that Jihadists who fly their black flag and commit genocide are just one more culture to be respected.

    If you are never over the top about these issues then I wonder if you do care about anyone. If you need more scout merit badges for never losing your cool about anything then perhaps I can order you a gross on Amazon. FedEx will deliver even if you won’t.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #28
    • January 10, 2019, at 8:54 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  29. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    All I know is if I have to choose between Tucker or Mona, I will choose Tucker every single time. I can listen to him for hours and realize I can’t criticize more than one or two small points of interest. However I can read one essay by Mona and find many statements that are so simplistic and outright wrong that I end up wondering why I bothered reading her.

    • #29
    • January 10, 2019, at 9:32 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  30. James Lileks Contributor

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    I am quite capable of excusing Tucker just this once if instead of his usual stellar highly rational performance he went over the top. I am not as able to excuse those who seem to care less about children raised to believe that sexual schizophrenia is the moral equivalent of monogamous heterosexual marriage. Children who are raised to believe that capitalism is destroying the world’s environment. Children who are raised to believe that Jihadists who fly their black flag and commit genocide are just one more culture to be respected.

    If you are never over the top about these issues then I wonder if you do care about anyone.

    I think the number of Western Children who defend Islamist genocide as a cultural attribute that cannot be judged is vanishingly small. I’d make a larger point here: both sides “excuse” the rhetorical excesses of their own side because their passion supposedly illuminates a truth, and besides, these issues over here are more important.

    The right loves to chomp on its moderates for not spraying a full-spectrum herbicide. The left will tolerate single-issue advocates. Few on the left are willing to cast out Bernie Sanders because he’s not as passionate about trans issues as he is about socialized medicine. They assume that his stance on a key progressive issue implies tacit approval of ancillary issues.

    Second point: if one has to be “over the top”‘ about all issues to ensure credibility, then the public discourse will be left to ranters whose enthusiasm establishes the baseline for the discussion. This solves nothing.

    • #30
    • January 10, 2019, at 9:35 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
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