A few weeks ago former British prime minister Boris Johnson paid a visit to his “fellow conservatives” on Capitol Hill in Washington. His purpose, as with all people who hang with supposedly like minded people, was to share the bonhomie of political commonality. Instead Boris was shocked.
“I’ve been amazed and horrified by how many people are frightened of a guy called Tucker Carlson,” Johnson said. “Has anybody heard of somebody called Tucker Carlson? What is it with this guy? All these wonderful Republicans seem somehow intimidated by his, uh, by his perspective …”
Yes, his, uh, perspective. It’s more than a perspective, Boris, it’s a super power. Tucker Carlson is using his super power to destroy America. He’s doing it for ratings, which is another way of saying he’s doing it for money. He’s trying to intimidate those “wonderful Republicans” into supporting a murderous, fascist dictator named Vladimir Putin. And it’s working.
“Some bad ideas are starting to infect some of the thinking around the world about what Putin stands for, what he believes in,” Johnson continues. “It’s a disaster. He stands for a war of aggression, systematic murder, rape and destruction. That’s what he stands for.”
That doesn’t matter, Boris. All that matters is money. Surely you understand that, Boris? Money. And Carlson, who is a multimillionaire already because of his privileged background and the fact that he married into the Swanson family fortune, needs more of it.
But you shouldn’t be shocked, Boris, particularly not a historian like yourself, because Britain has seen it all before. Back in the run up to World War II, many Conservatives were in love with a man named Adolf Hitler. Conservatives are always attracted to fascists. They’re attracted to them like bugs to a porch light. And they always will be.
Carlson’s manipulation of America’s MAGA fruitcakes is another instance of a special kind of evil. It’s the kind of evil that would sell us all for money. It’s the kind of evil that motivates big oil companies to profit from misinformation about global warming. And they do it all for money.
It’s a special kind of evil because the people practicing it don’t need more money. They already have plenty of it. But they want more — and more and more and more and more! And they’re prepared to murder us all and destroy our planet just to get more and more of it.
Of course, Tucker doesn’t really believe any of the crap he’s telling his viewers himself. He just cynically feeds it to his viewers, for whom he has nothing but contempt, so he can take their money. Tucker Carlson is like a cartoon villain. It’s almost as if, all things being equal, he prefers to make his money from evil. That makes it more fun for him. Bruwahahaha, and all that.
You see, Boris, Tucker Carlson and Fox News aren’t about news at all. They’re about propaganda in support of fascism. They’re about downplaying the insurrection and Donald Trump’s crimes. They’re about cynical lies and deliberate falsifications in the name of enhancing their power and making themselves richer, even if it means the destruction of American democracy.
And you see, Boris, Britain has always been a few steps behind the United States in many ways. America got microwave ovens and touch-tone telephones first, for example. America was first to become infected by the worldwide plague of obesity. Today, MAGA Americans love Putin, thanks to Trump, Tucker Carlson and Fox News.
But don’t worry, Boris, Britain will catch up. Britain is catching up. It’s only a matter of time before many Britons love Putin and fascism just as much as MAGA Americans do. And we can all thank Tucker Carlson — and people just like him —- for the mess we are in.
You see, Boris, there are always people like Tucker Carlson who will sell us down the river for money, while they lap up adulation from the fools who believe in them. And there will always be people stupid enough to believe in them.
It’s because one third of us are already irretrievably stupid, stupid enough to believe any evil rubbish that any cynical millionaire tells them. And Britain is next, Boris. You’ll see. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.