The Right Should Reject Tucker Carlson’s Victimhood Populism by D. French
I am a conservative – but I am repulsed and amazed at how so many other conservatives minimize or are else blind to the problem of sexism in American culture, and they feign ignorance of what Toxic Masculinity means. Conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson is among those conservatives.
One of my pet peeves with fellow conservatives is how they fault liberal, secular feminists for supposedly maintaining a “victimhood culture” in regards to women, but all the while, the same conservatives making this argument often paint men as being victims.
I’ve blogged on that topic before:
Here is an editorial by David French addressing conservative Tucker Carlson’s victimhood mentality (Carlson shows a continued failed understanding of what “Toxic Masculinity” means, and he regularly has on his program, as guest commentators, conservative women who bad-mouth liberal feminism and who claim boys and men are under attack in American culture – in other words, Carlson gives air time to the notion that males in the United States are victims who should be pitied and protected):
Carlson accurately identifies certain maladies, but they are maladies that public policy can’t cure.
Yesterday Tucker Carlson delivered the monologue heard around the conservative world.
He addresses one of the fundamental questions of our time — why, when GDP is rising and America is immensely rich, are so very many of our fellow citizens dying deaths of despair? As he bluntly says, “Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.”
He says many true things – that people long for connection with each other, that we can’t separate economics and family life into distinct spheres, and that men suffer from a unique challenge in modern American life.
But he also says false things. He says that manufacturing “all but disappeared over the course of a generation.” It hasn’t. He says, “increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.” Yet a healthy, faithful marriage is often the gateway to affluence. Affluence is not a prerequisite for marriage.
He casts American boys as a generation of burnouts, yet the best evidence shows that marijuana use is only on a slight uptick and is still way down from its highs in the late 1970s and early 1980s. (Some evidence even suggests its use has stabilized in recent years.)
…Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes — civil rights, women’s rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. — and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you.