I actually don’t care that Donald Trump likes Putin. After seeing him on television every day for more than 4 years that is hardly surprising. The same goes for Tucker Carlson. I don’t care because both of them are entirely corrupt. They are irredeemable. Even that does not matter. What does matter is that 55 million Americans voted for Trump and many of those continue to believe in him. Many of them also believe in Tucker Carlson a Fox News Channel commentator.
Tucker Carlson is the most watched American conservative in the US. More than 3 million viewers watch him every night according to recent numbers. Trump and Carlson are the two most revered conservatives in America and that is important. How can so many people in America have faith in them? It seems completely improbable, but it’s true. As a result, what Tucker Carlson says is significant.
This is what Tucker Carlson said about Putin just before the Russian invasion of Poland that he had ordered:
” Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Has he shipped every middle class job in my town to Russia? Did he manufacture a worldwide pandemic that wrecked my business and kept me indoors for two years?
Is he teaching my children to embrace racial discrimination? Is he making fentanyl? Is he trying to snuff out Christianity? Does he eat dogs? These are fair questions, and the answer to all of them is no.
Vladimir Putin didn’t do any of that. So why does permanent Washington hate him so much?”
Carlson is really saying he likes Putin more than American liberals or Democrats. That is how polarized that country is. Many prefer a brutal Russian dictator, a modern Hitler, to Democrats!
First of all, the statements Carlson made are definitely odd. Was Carlson suggesting there is no reason to challenge or even dislike a brutal dictator, who uses his resources to disinform the public around the world, who orders the murder of dissenters, who has stolen perhaps from his people the largest fortune in the world, who has led an invasion of Crimea, and Ukraine (now twice).
Moreover, is Tucker really saying there is no good reason to challenge Putin? After all he is a brutal dictator who uses his extensive resources to disinform the world, who orders the assassination of dissenters, while in power has amassed perhaps the largest fortune in the world, who has led an invasion of Crimea and Ukraine, now for the second time. Is not sufficient to discredit Putin? What more does Tucker want to denounce Putin? What more must Putin do to be worse than the Democrats?
Added to that, it seems strange—very strange—to think that Putin is not evil just because he has not done anything bad personally and directly to you. Is that really the standard? Do the lives of millions of people whom Putin has harmed not count in this moral calculus? Is it all about Tucker Carlson? Well, actually it is just about Tucker Carlson. At least that is all that counts to Tucker Carlson. And that is exactly the attitude of the fascist. No one else matters. Harms to anyone else can be ignored. To the fascist, it is only about the fascists and his fellow travellers.
Jon Stewart said this in an interview with the New York Times, about the right-wing in America: “They view Putin as a defender of Western civilization. They view him as an ideological brother.” And of course, the implication is clear—i.e. western civilization to the fascists means white people. To many in the American right Russia have the right look—i.e. Christian, unfriendly to gays and lesbians, and white. Just like them in other words. That is why Jon Stewart said, “I think for years, it’s been pretty clear that they would much rather do a deal with Putin than Pelosi.”
Those in the American right-wing movement who follow Trump and Carlson prefer to root for Putin over Biden. It is now a little more comprehensible, but no less dastardly. And no less shameful.