Conversation On Populism and the Right: The 2019 Ideas Summit

Conversation On Populism and the Right: The 2019 Ideas Summit



hi I'm Mike Brendan Doherty I met our next guest 14 years ago I was nobody just moved to Washington to avoid law school or even graduating college at all and when I landed a job that had any letterhead at all I wrote letters to people whose writing I liked and one of them was Tucker and I told him the story three years earlier I'd been in a Borders bookstore and I saw his book politicians partisans and parasites my adventures in cable news and I had 20 bucks that was all the disposable income I had so I picked up the book i sat in a chair in borders I read it cover to cover and I put it back on the shelf [Laughter] [Applause] so I told I wrote him a letter and I told him this story I put it back on the shelf because my friend had called me earlier and he said you got to see lost in translation it speak Scarlett Johansson so I told this story in a letter I sent it to Tucker he doesn't know who I am I'm a nobody I get a call two days later from Tucker and he says you made the right choice and he said and I respect the hell out of you let's get lunch and one of the stars of Tucker's book was a congressman you may remember Jim traficant anyone remember it's a House Democrat from Youngstown Ohio and when telephone television hosts like Robert Novak addressed him congressman Trafficking he would interrupt and say don't call me names then he'd start wobbling in his seat stare directly into the camera and he would dare the duck Justice Department to go after him again and vow to take them down he would lower his head sometimes and speak directly into his microphone and say something like Dick Gephardt doesn't have the Anatomy to come and see me so I already knew from cable television that Jim Traficant was a great man but Tucker's book showed me the whole side of him that Jim Traficant was the last man in Congress who was proud to come on television stone-drunk so a drunkard a tax evader the guy who's basically the last founding father of our country no and Carlson mentions an incident we're coming off the set he lunges at a 22 year old producer says hug me she refuses and he just screams at her you goddamn communist anyway I love Jess she was by the way so my question so my first question for Tucker is when did you first start to think that crazy drunken Lech was on to something about trade with China [Laughter] I took many years I I liked trafficking because he was interesting he thought for himself and he really had the quality that as a talk show host I value most which is availability he did have a lot going on so he was he was one to come on at a moment's notice and we're grateful for that remain that way but know that the the trade portion of his platform if you could call it that took a while for me to understand and I'm still kind of assessing I'm not exactly sure what I think even today but I've always thought that in a society that demands conformity and increasingly our society does it's the floridly crazy people who are likely to see the truth not the whole truth no one but God can see that but flashes of it who might say something that hadn't occurred to me and from a young age I was really I would say my one advantage is I was really aware of the sameness of the world that I grew up in I mean I grew up in La Jolla and then Georgetown and kind of stayed here so it's not like you know I had a variety of life experiences to draw on so I've always been interested in listening to people with other experiences and I've always been open to the idea that what I assume is true as a matter of faith is like completely wrong because it has been a number of times and so I always listen to traffic and I listen to the schizophrenic on the bus not thought to ride the bus but if I you know to be yeah I talked to people on airplanes and and the farther out you are and by the way in Washington again it is increasingly true though it always has been true the more sort of reviled you are the more sort of written off you are by all the cool kids the more likely you are to be saying at least something that's true and here's how you always know the people who are a threat to the way things are almost never engaged directly you almost never hear the following well you know he made a point and that's wrong for these six reasons it's always that guy's a nutcase you know racist he's a bigot okay yeah I'm sure he is lots of people you know whatever I don't even let that interested actually like what is he saying do you know can you rebut case that he is making to the extent he's making one like what's wrong with the idea he just threw up in the air and people don't want to engage at all and then and traffic it made it very easy for them not to omni was basically like a mafia member actually heat last thing I'll say the traffic it he cuz I can't resist he did he was sheriff of Mahoning County I think in the Mahoning Valley there and he was indicted federal indictment for corruption and he chose to defend himself and at trust before he made it to Congress and at trial he was presented with all these wiretaps and basically your refutable evidence he'd been taking payoffs and buying things big things like Cadillacs and a farm with these payoffs and so they asked him point you know what was this and he said it was a sting operation I was running a sting operation and they said well did you tell your wife you know like where the money came from the new car and the farm and he goes you can't trust anyone in youngstown that's actually check the transcript you really said that and he was acquitted and elected to Congress and he died in the most manly way possible which was his ride on mower flipped over backwards in crushed him think of the alternatives it's actually not such a bad way to go you got your shoes on so yeah I'll always like – there's no good transition sorry that – this okay you know the headline the headline out of Youngstown yesterday is actually quite sad which is that Youngstown Ohio is going through a problem where cocaine is flowing through town and it's cut with fentanyl and that was a problem that snuck up I think on yeah people it was just in the New York Times one day a study had been done and white men particularly white working-class men are dying at a much faster rate in fact their mortality is declining at a rate unseen since World War one you've talked about what's infuriating you've talked a little bit about how you you are in Washington much of the time just glittering it's getting richer all the time the home values are going up all the time in every county around it but you also go to western Maine is was that something that clued you in that maybe yeah yeah it had a huge effect on my on my life on my politics on the way I see the country yeah I've gone to the same little town my whole life one of the poor poorer counties one of poorest counties on the East Coast beautiful place and I've watched it dissolve whom the culture there does have you know wonderful people I spend three months a year there every year and you know you watch the same very familiar pathologies that we wrote a lot about in the 80s and 90s in the inner city right in the middle of this overwhelmingly conservative a hundred percent white rural community and you start to ask yourself like well why is this happening is it because they just you know is welfare doing this well I'm not sure that our assistance programs make it better I think they undermine the family in a lot of ways but they're not the herb problem and it didn't cause this actually they're exacerbate it they didn't caused it and what caused it was the collapse of mail jobs and we should have learned this and it actually has made me reassess a little bit not my my feelings about watching the family collapse in inner-city America I still feel that's a disaster it demonstrably has been in too there's really no other way to look at it but the causes are a little different from what I thought like if men don't have full time work families fall apart if men make less than women women don't want to marry them this is not some Handmaid's Tale like talking point that we in the alt-right believe this is the product of like a century of consistent social science and by the way I wish it weren't true I wish women were very excited to marry overweight indolent men who played video I'm serious I wish it were enough to sort of be charming at dinner but it's not actually and that's not a choice that men make it's an instinct that women have and it's true over time across population race income so like clear this is a feature of human nature so if you're mad about it kind of not my problem at some point you have to address people as they are which is my basic problem with a lot of what happens in Washington does not address human nature which is immutable it's the one thing that doesn't change and so if you have a society where on average women make more than men you will see a very predictable series of events women will stop getting marry they will not stop having children by the way that's a biological imperative they will continue to do that but those those children will not have a father in the home over large populations that's exactly and then everything else that happens which is conservatives were very familiar with because we spent a lot of time moralizing about it I certainly have a lot of time and we spent almost no time asking like how can we make this better so if you have a society where the only full-time employers and this is true in western Maine and it's true and much of rural America are the hospitals and the schools you have to ask yourself like you know can you have a functioning society the basis of which is always the nuclear family always in such a place and the answer is no you can so I don't know why we're not spending more time in this I also don't know why you know these stats come in every day and we have a couple people on our show who are really interested in this stuff share my interest in it and so they're constantly sending me this if I just got one today so there's of course the life expectancy numbers three years in a row down I mean if that's not a Red Alert I'm not sure what is the suicide numbers are my fixation I know four different people have killed themselves the last year and a half all middle-aged men and if you're I'm gonna be fifty in May if you're roughly my age ask yourself if you don't know people who've killed themselves recently you probably do because the epidemic is is that widespread and by the way these are affluent people too something's going on there's no interest in what that might be but the statistic that I got today which I think is and I don't care how it sounds because I think it's real out today two hours ago new study shows that the number of men under 30 who report having no sex at all ever has risen by threefold in ten years so I'm reading this and I'm thinking as is I'm a social conservative just for the record Strutt pretty strident one actually my first thought was with porn that was my first thought which I'm I think is bad I do but that's not it it reminded society does that remind me of it meant to be the Middle East actually one of the core problems in the Middle East and we lay this at the feet of polygamy but it's deeper than that is that the economic stratification is so profound that only the rich people get to me and you have a huge population of young men who don't have mates now I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable it's just true because again its nature and the farther away you get from nature the farther of course you are nature tells you and your life experience tells you you don't want a large population of celibate men that is a recipe for instability for chaos actually it's a dangerous group to have you better be you're lucky no wonder everyone's pushing weed on the population I'm not joking because they're afraid and so what that is a picture of it's a picture of a society in which the Spoils increasingly go to a smaller a shrinking really number of people and your average young person that's the poor segment of society is young people don't have enough to buy a car or a house they're shackled to student loans from which they cannot escape and they don't have enough to mate and one of the reasons this because they're living with their parents we have a higher percentage of young men living with their parents that in my lifetime by far that's an economic question now I'm not espousing socialism obviously which I abhor and which does not work at least in the way that it's been administered in every country that I'm aware of what I'm saying is we're gonna get something really radical and destructive and dangerous unless we address these things that's the only point I mean you say you're not a populist you grew up no and all these in a nice area you grew up you live among the elites you you like your home in Washington sort of yeah yeah and but your book you know your recent book ship of fools you kind of trace this to the idea that it was Democrats who gave up on Youngstown that was horse traffic ins accusation right he said he warned Al Gore don't even come near me or come near Youngstown right and they made the transition very quickly and now Democrats and liberals they love the largest corporations in America right they love Facebook they love Apple they worship power well it's a succinct as you can put it what should be the conservative response when you see a liberal a supposedly liberal party or a progressive party that's dominated by elites at the top who love corporate power who themselves are winning more and more votes from the upwardly mobile part of America and even though the Republican Party is almost tried to repeal working-class whites from coming in and in some cases working-class Latinos from coming in they seem to be coming into the party so what what can switch is the role of a conservative in America right now or working class black men by the way if I could just say the obvious yeah I mean yeah I mean there's no reason that african-american men shouldn't be voting for a party that rejects Ridgid 1970s or a feminism or that stands for due process in the rule of law there's no reason and one of the reasons you see such chaos in our politics right now is because the tongues haven't been defined sort of nobody knows where we are I mean you had the the party of the factory owners versus the party of the workers and now they've inverted but the leadership's don't really understand that this has happened and they don't want it to happen actually certainly on the Republican side I mean they they you know my whole lifetime you Jibril said what's the party of the country club maybe like well that's appalling that's totally untrue and he retreats to the bar at Round Hill and be like you know I kid with a saying that it was totally true by the way and you're absolutely I am NOT a populist I think populism is not sustainable populism isn't a form of government it's a warning sign that you've got bad elites you will always have elites because people are hierarchical it's in their nature dogs are higher uncle do you have any you know then there's a head dog there has to be a head dog period it's just the way we're made okay so every society is hierarchical including Venezuela and Sweden and the former Soviet Union I mean you're not getting around that the only interesting the only meaningful question is how are your elites are they impressive are they wise are they making decisions that help people or aren't they and so my critique is not is really simple we had a populist election last time and that ought to be a terrifying wake-up call to anyone who's benefiting from our society right now if you want to keep what you have and I do then you need to parent pay attention to the forces that gave rise to this thing don't ignore it because it won't get better it's like appendicitis it's one of those rare things you can't ignore I would say what would you say to people who resist that argument they say okay I've contempt for them well we'll pretend that oh sorry sorry we'll pretend we don't know what I'm quoting some national review on Tucker Carlson you know they'll say look at the unemployment rate the basics of America you can still get a job in fact you're more people are getting jobs now wage wages are going up you know we're seeing this slack in the economy we didn't know was there that more men are coming into the workforce you know and that you're selling victimhood populism you're telling people that need to learn how to show up at work on time the basic skills to get a job that it's someone else's fault someone in Washington someone distant because you have to keep people's eyeballs on the TV screen because their commercials to run and that's the business and that's a pretty low explanation for I mean I would say this one I hope not ever to whine or encourage people to be victims I hate that I won't tolerate it in my house I won't allow my children to ever blame anybody for anything that's even remotely their fault I just spot I'm gonna piss companion I hate whining more than anything I hate complaining my my goal in life is to die with dignity without whining about it so I hate whining more than anything we got to get a bigger mower know it so if I'm a betting whining or encouraging whining my gosh my apologies I don't I don't mean to I will say there's a it's it's it's it's it's amazing to me to be lectured about the market by people who work for nonprofits I've worked for non probably running nonprofits I'm not against nonprofits okay but you know if you haven't been fired because your boss has decided that you're not making enough money for the company now get back to me after that's happened it gives you a little that's happening a couple of times doesn't hasn't made me a genius or anything but it's given me a little perspective so like I just noticed that the people who are more you know who are the most sort of vocal in favor of the untrammeled free markets a can't define what that is and B wouldn't know what if it got in the shower with them you know they have no personal experience of it so I'm not arguing I'm not all I'm arguing for is a clear sight picture of what the goal is that's all I'm arguing for ok I'm not arguing for a different economic system I'm not arguing for higher taxes on anybody I'm not exactly sure what I'm arguing for I'm not a policy guy I'm a talk show host but I sincerely believe that no problem is solved unless you have a very clear image in your mind of what you want the result to be what are we shooting for all this you know trillions of dollars in the American economy all this effort and IQ points focused on public policy when it's all done what do you seek to have and the vision that I have for this country may be different from the one you have but what I'm arguing behalf of is a system where people who have no special advantage including cognitive people with an IQ of 100 to make 70 grand a year we've got three kids living no place special you don't know anybody can have sort of a decent life I'm not hoping they're all gonna become entrepreneurs whatever that is I hope that talking point has died it's too stupid most people are not going to be entrepreneurs they keep announce it it's like some French thing that's not the goal is entrepreneurship for the masses and shame on us for claiming otherwise the goal is to have just a good normal life and not a guarantee that your kids will do better than you but a reasonably plausible hope of it I'll see what the goal is demonstrable not a country where the suicide rate is going up I know you've been throw any numbers you want to me I don't care what the GDP is I definitely don't care what your fake unemployment statistics say because they're fake and I really don't care what your inflation numbers say the fakest numbers of all all I care about is how people are doing think of it like your kids you could be like well I don't know you went to Choate and Middlebury you're fine that's like I'm on the verge of killing myself I'm sure you'd hear me you went to Choate and Middlebury you're fine and it's like maybe the steps that you thought would produce the result that you desired were the wrong steps or who knows what happened but it doesn't matter because we're not getting to where we need to be right I mean if you have a 23 year old kid and you say hey this 23 year old kid has mid six-figure GDP and we counted in all the college debt that he has or whatever maybe it's not primarily economic or maybe there's something in the food I mean honestly why are testosterone levels going down no really what happens when they get down I mean you know get to 50 and you don't mean it's like that's a disaster how is NIH on this no not at all it's not interested sperm counts way down but we're like oh I can't talk really are you interested in kind of continuing the species like these are the most basic markers of how you're doing life and death like that's all that matters and we're completely ignoring that in favor of the most abstract cooked stupid totally immaterial numbers they don't tell us anything those numbers tell us a lot they don't tell us what the solutions are but they tell us what the conversation should be and so my only role is an on public policy person is it person with a completely unimpressive academic record though now I feel like that maybe that's something I should be bragging about more is to try and just start the conversation on those questions and it's amazing to me how hostile the reception is when you bring that up and that tells you everything right there oh shut up you're just doing it for ratings really if I was just doing ratings do the Benghazi show every day you know what I mean like really no I sincerely mean it do I seem like I don't mean it do I seem like I'm pretending to be a populist why would I be a pop do you know me like none of this stuff affects me personally just to be totally clear about it you know I'm always going on about immigration not because it is a single downside in my life not one not a single one I mean the biggest downsides my neighbors hate me for it because it's like a threat to their nannies okay I just really think it's true why else would I say it so as is ok so that's your role as a talk show host as a citizen as someone who's been identified as a conservative in the public as someone who used to wear bowties on television yeah can you match I mean listen I remember I mean I'm denying that come on now oh come on I remember I remember my own mother watching you on politically incorrect and she said do you know what that bowtie looks like a middle finger waved in my face that is totally true your mother was a wise woman because that you know I know that was its effect I can promise I've come to understand it yet try it she wasn't happy when I wrote to you by the way but uh but okay so that's your roles a talk-show host but as a citizen as someone who is a public conservative as someone who has had God knows how many chicken dinners with other conservatives nonprofit and otherwise what do you want from the party the Republican Party do you want them to take up some of the the causes or rhetoric abandoned by the left you know make the other wing of American politics work and saying hey uber uses a trick its employees are counted as contractors and it so it them nothing and so the primary way they make money in life is a way in which there are no actual obligations from the other side I want to celebrate that as entrepreneurship so we can get seem to be election by Travis and other teenage billionaires about our own moral failings ya know those people are disgusting and I think we should say so out loud there's no reason that we should always take the side of the ugliest kinds of capitalism that doesn't in the end amount to a defense of capitalism it discredits it and I think capitalism is worth defending so why are we defending payday lenders you know what I mean but what I really want the party to do in our society to do is focus on making it possible for people to have kids I'm serious and you see this in the Republican Party which i think is very close to the point of just being like so useless that'll start over you see it on that and so the Republicans look at the numbers and they're putting other fine at numbers usually the wrong numbers but whatever and they look at the numbers in like okay our basic demographic as we say in television is aging shrinking you know we need to bring some new people into this coalition or else we're never gonna win anything so we need to bring African Americans Latinos Asians you know immigrants into this into this thing well how do we do that so then Franklin shows up he's like I've got a good idea just be super liberal and immigration they'll love that and all the dumb people of Congress yeah that's a good idea because they don't believe anything they say anyway and they hate themselves so it's like that kind of comports with in their hearts they know their wrongs Richard Brookhiser wants it totally true so look at the numbers they never look at this next set of numbers which is okay just just take out white voters and just ask Latino voters our african-american voters do you think we need a ton more immigration and we need like maybe we've but 1.1 million a year people coming in legally now let's double it to two how would you feel with that they're not for that at all what are they for they're for what everybody is for which is the ability to raise your own kids if you want to win new voters to your party stop with the identity politics crap and go with the universal appeals that again by their nature appeal to everyone and chief among them is the freedom to raise your own kids now why don't people the only people get to raise their own kids or rich people like everyone in my neighborhood has a parent stay home for that not forever but for that that period when your kids are little and you know birth to school or whatever there's there's a several year period where most parents have given the choice not all nothing compulsory here but if given the choice most will stay home to raise their own children but most people can't do that because they can't afford it the one person I hate to say this out loud but it's true before she went completely nuts who wrote a book on this and there's a great book was Elizabeth Wein and she did an academic study it's called the two income trap she read it about ten years ago again before she went crazy which was sort of crazy but she makes a good point which is that actually we have told young women that they have this moral obligation to work for some creepy big company give their lives over to some business for the benefit of shareholders above their duty to their own family and that's really the message of modern feminism you have a moral obligation to serve the market before you serve your family and conservatives for reasons that I honestly don't understand I've been like yeah that sounds right that's totally right that sounds like liberation is that bondage or anything what is bondage actually it's a lie and it destroys people what would you tell your own daughters that like I think you know your daughter comes she had really my husband I loved him children now I really think you have an obligation there's a quarterly earnings report out and you got to work for that you know you're not a shareholder but you got to work for that and that's what we're telling everybody and both sides are complicit in it how about the Republican Party pivots just a little bit and says no we want a society where if you want to you can afford to have a family on one income because by the way we had that only for like a hundred years and it worked pretty great we don't have it anymore and maybe you'd like that would you like that that's not an abstract promise it's a concrete promise and who knows how you get there but why not start with what you want and that's what I want so at the end of your at the end of your book right so you're this you made it to the end you're the only one I know well I I can skip you know if you expensed it too so yeah at the end of your book you're this populist raging maniac now despite your protestations but you and your book saying think about what they want the people if they start dying younger or killing themselves in large numbers figure out why care about them if the majority is worried about something listen give them back some of their power if they have strong feelings about an issue don't overrule them even if maybe especially if their reviews seem their views seem reactionary you can't force enlightenment by Fiat in a democracy you can only persuade and I think if that's populism if that is raging populism that destroys countries let's bring the fire let's do it well you don't have an option you don't have an option I mean that's just so what people forget is how rarely tried democracy has been so between the Roman Republic in like the American Revolution not a ton of democracies what's what will be the number of pretty much zero certainly none try that scale and so it's a new thing and we're not exactly sure how it works and there are a lot of very decent enlightened Enlightenment thinkers in fact in Europe in the 18th century who looked over an American like you know that will devolve into dictatorship because that form of government just does always and these were not monarchy saying this these were like you know people who wanted it to work but feared it wouldn't so it's a very volatile form of government we've had it for long enough that we never think that but it's true and the basic requirement of it is that you keep the broad middle fairly satisfied and also vested in the system and when that stops happening it's not I'm not making a moral guy I tend to be a bit of a moralizer and I'm embarrassed by it and I'm sorry but I'm not actually making a moral case I'm making a practical case it's not sustainable Venezuela will happen Venezuela had you know it's one of those things that happened like not very far away it's only one timezone away and it's a big country and it was destroyed and no one has thought through for five minutes why that had probably a lot of reasons that happened but a main reason was and it didn't have to happen I mean I went to MIT as well as a kid it was a totally nice country Caracas looked like San Diego kind of where I grew up and they had a big middle class and had obviously the world's largest own oil reserves and it had an educated population a lot of really smart people in Venezuela they're all in Miami now adding to the economy there and it was really simple the broad middle of the country does including a lot of members of the middle class decided that you know this wasn't working for them a small group people were running everything I'm trying to use Frazee income inequality but that's what they were mad about people are mad about that and vi's a real thing and they hired a guy who destroyed their ruling class and then destroyed the country now they don't have toilet paper and they're eating zoo animals so like that's not something that we should pay attention to I think it is I think a ton is at stake I don't I know everyone in Washington thinks Trump is just this weird orange anomaly who came out of nowhere and will you know exit to somewhere and then we'll get back to Bob Dole and that's not gonna happen at all and so we should I think as conservatives and politically minded public policy people should be thinking about how to keep this from going really wrong well on that note we have to wrap up just want to thank you we also have you we also have coming up Jonah Goldberg and rich Lowry debating nationalism and Jim Buck they'll be out after that thank you all so much and we're gonna duck out before you throw things at us thank you Thanks [Applause] you

13 thoughts on “Conversation On Populism and the Right: The 2019 Ideas Summit

  1. jim traficant was 100% right about the jews. I wish Tucker would address the point our elites use to be WASPs they may not have loved the lower classes but they didn't outright hate them and now that the elites are jews that hate working class White people that can be openly demonstrated by the tens of thousands of anti White articles, academia courses and "news" segments.

  2. This is such an illuminating talk from such an honest speaker, it doesn't deserve to be on this piddly YouTube channel with barely any views.

  3. Tucker is /our guy/ and we all know it. If he runs in 2024 he’d win by an utter landslide , uniting the white working class on both left and right.

  4. Wow, what an amazing expose' on so much on our society! Just wow! Why be apologetic for being 'moral'. That is the problem, or a big problem. Seems there are many in Venezuala who feel the crisis IS the US/ISRAEL… sabotage, meddling and intrusion.

  5. This should be repurposed on a channel with a real subscriber base. Should have a few hundred thousand reviews!

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