20 February 2019 / Analysis & Insight "We're leaving." "Can I swim in your pool?" "Idi Amin would get a warmer welcome in our dog park [than Donald Trump]." — Tucker Carlson Tucker Carlson is an interrogative journalist and author, host of his eponymous news show on FOX, and one of the few remaining of what seems like a dying breed: the cable-news anchorman who asks deliberate and probing questions as a method to understand what he is being sold. He has his own biases and blind spots similarly to anyone, but one of his defining – and differentiating – character traits is simple honesty: he has, by his own admission, a very sensitive and minutely-parsing bullshit detector, and he hates both bullying and needlessly conformist groupthink. Therefore, he acts as a classic non-conformist as considered against his peers, and while his characteristics of critical thinking and a questioning nature may seem completely natural if not indispensable for a truthful journalist, very few of his contemporaries on the Big American News Networks (BANN) dive so deeply with such tenacious curiosity as he does. He is, in short, as sharp as a hawk, and reliably calls a spade a spade. Because of this, Mr. Carlson’s comments and general outlook about Donald Trump’s election to the US Presidency, Mr. Trump’s relation to the current upper Republican Party cadre (and their relation to him), and Mr. Carlson’s broader views of American society are different from a lot of the BANN commentariat and sit in a sky of their own, so to speak. While most of the commentariat are taken with chasing the lawfulness of executive actions or murmuring about “Russian Collusion!”, Mr. Carlson is wondering aloud and drawing attention to the dirty word that party and government mandarins never want mentioned: elitism. One of the marvelously funny and genuine things about Mr. Carlson which adds to his likeableness is his frankness in referring to himself: he makes no secret about his background, education, status, or milieu, nor does he try to sweep under the rug the fact that he knows most top people in the government and in many other places. He doesn’t shy away from it, but instead calmly acknowledges it for what it is – which makes his observations on the recent evolution and growing pains of the National Republican Party, its changes in constituent base, and its struggle with a (now) top-heavy traditional elite both authentic and perceptive. Look at how he completely agrees with the past criticism (which could still apply) that Republicans “were the country club party”: he agrees with it because he knows that it was true – and he doesn’t just know it as a fact, he experienced it during his personal backstory. That kind of personal account is important because his audience can see a potentially vulnerable connection to what is currently looked at with distrust, but Mr. Carlson pulls it off because he is not glib or uninterested in other viewpoints – he agrees that there is an important disconnect, and he actively calls for reform of the system before it can go even worse. Mr. Carlson often speaks easily in a self-deprecating style, but make no mistake: he is a keen watcher of political development and changes, and I would say that he may understand trends in the United States more completely than many because of his background in history which undergirds what he discusses. Because Mr. Carlson is open to asking questions that others in the commentariat either cannot form from their ignorance or will not form from their dogmatic air of superiority, he is more likely to hear and recognize the harbingers of what he calls “revolution”, while the near-sighted try to unbury their heads from the sand.