What We Could Learn from Tucker Carlson

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By Bill Maher

Tucker Carlson needs to have his head examined. I don’t say that to suggest that he’s a clueless blowhard who’s lost his mind. I mean it literally — I think Tucker Carlson’s brain needs to be studied by scientists. Because I suspect that inside Tucker lies the answer to the question: what the hell happened to the Republican Party?

Somehow, whatever happened to the GOP over the last 30 years has also happened to Tucker Carlson. He’s the canary in the coalmine. Back when we first met Tucker, he was a sensible, educated, bow-tie-and-Dockers-wearing traditional conservative. Also a creature of the DC establishment who argued for lower taxes, free markets, and the rule of law. On CNN. Or C-Span. In fact, I suspect he wore the bow tie because there wasn’t anything else particularly notable about him.

In 2018, that version of the Tucker Carlson conservative doesn’t exist in today’s Republican Party. Or in Tucker Carlson. Over time, just like the Republican Party, Tucker’s slid further and further to the right. And, just like the Republican Party, Tucker doesn’t have any big arguments to make anymore. Now, he’s on Fox News, concerned only with stirring up the swamp, so he’s arguing with a socialist activist who thinks America needs to learn from Venezuela, or some women’s studies professor from Oberlin who thinks there’s no such thing as straight people. He’s Trump’s tweets in talk show form. Maybe, just maybe, if we can figure out what happened to Tucker, we can figure out what’s happened to the Republican Party.