I’m not a fan – I’m the opposite of a fan – of Fox News personality Tucker Carlson. But I don’t believe he is as stupid as at least one outrageous thing he recently said, namely that every time a new immigrant qualifies to vote in the United States, he (Carlson, personally) is “disenfranchised.”
But since he said it, and since he’s not that stupid, he needs to at least be held accountable for it. Preferably, he should retract it, and, even better but beyond imaginable, quit saying such xenophobic and arguably racist garbage.
But I won’t hold my breath waiting for Carlson to retract, apologize or even rephrase what he said.
I actually think you have to be pretty smart to do what Carlson does, and articulate and mentally nimble. The trouble with that back-handed compliment is that the less stupid you decide what Carlson said is, the more racist, evil and contemptible it is.
Here’s the quote, from a recent program, and I’ll alert you in advance that it revolves around the deeply racist, paranoid and inaccurate notion that every time a person born in another country is admitted into our country, a native-born American has been “replaced.”
Carlson was talking, on “Fox News Primetime” about, I guess you could say, the question of whether the rising share of nonwhites in the U.S. population constitutes the “replacement” of whites. Words have meaning. Carlson is a word dink. Presumably, he knows what “replacement” means.
Here’s the quote from Carlson, who at the time was exchanging views with Fox News personality, Mark Steyn:
“I’m laughing because this is one of about 10 stories that I know you have covered where the government shows preference to people who have shown absolute contempt for our customs, our laws, our system itself and they are being treated better than American citizens.” [Me: The guy will apparently say anything. Presumably, this means that those who cross the border seeking refuge from poverty and oppression, who are often locked up, separated from their families, etc., are “being treated better than American citizens.”]
We can set aside, for the moment, how many should be allowed to remain, and on what basis. Those are hard questions. But the question of how they are being treated better than American citizens is not a very hard question. Back to Carlson:
“Now, I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,’ if you suggest that the Democratic Party is trying to ‘replace’ the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World. But they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening actually.”
Maybe Carlson, descended from immigrants who came here in 1860, who became citizens but apparently without “replacing” any of the citizens who were already here, can clarify the difference between the kind of good immigration that enabled him to live the American dream and the bad immigration that puts him in danger of being “replaced.” Or maybe the paragraph just below, from his immigrants-must-not-replace-us rant, clarifies how that works.
“Let’s just say it: That’s true … If you change the population, you dilute the political power of the people who live there. So every time they import a new voter, I become disenfranchised as a current voter.
“I don’t understand what we don’t understand because, I mean, everyone wants to make a racial issue out of it. Oh, you know, the white ‘replacement’ theory? No, no, no. This is a voting rights question. I have less political power because they are importing a brand-new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that? The power that I have as an American guaranteed at birth is one man, one vote, and they are diluting it. No, they are not allowed to do it. Why are we putting up with this?”
Carlson is quite glib. Words flow out of him (as an old Strib colleague of mine once said when asked how he was able to be so prolific a writer) “like puke out of a drunk.” (Forgive me, if I’m not supposed to say either “puke” or “drunk.’)
But the idea that every time an immigrant is admitted to the United States, Tucker Carlson is “disenfranchised” is too idiotic not to call it out. Carlson is glib and clever. He’s supposed to know what “disenfranchised” means.
My online dictionary defines “disenfranchise” thus: “to deprive (a person) of a right of citizenship, as of the right to vote.” If you make enough allowances, you could assume that Carlson didn’t mean that he was deprived of his right to vote, but that his vote is worth infinitesimally less because there is one more vote in the overall pool.
But the same is true every time a 17-year-old, even one who can trace his lineage to the Mayflower, becomes 18, and therefore eligible to register and vote. Poor Tucker is so “disenfranchised” that his vote must count negative 10 gazillion, guaranteeing that anyone he supports automatically loses.