The Dumbest Kid On Your Street (Or Perhaps Any Street)

I need a moment to collect my thoughts after having all of them scattered to the wind by the biggest blast of ignorance I have heard in a long time — which is saying something, given the particular source of this blast. Thus, while I try to remember how language and logic work, I will dare you to risk your own mental faculties the same way I did, namely by watching this thirty-five second rant-bite from the dumbest kid on your street, and arguably on any street, ever.

Listen to this twice if you dare, and then ask yourself how many words of it would be any less true if the particular pro-tyranny apologist doing the ranting had happened to substitute any other dictator’s name for Putin’s.

“Why do I hate Hitler so much?” “Why do I hate Stalin so much?” “Why do I hate Mao/Castro/The Thirty Tyrants/Genghis Khan/the Iranian mullahs/Xi Jinping/Hugo Chavez/Pol Pot/the Khmer Rouge so much? Has [insert tyrant’s name here] 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 [insert country name here]?” 

In other words, according to the dumbest kid on your street, if a foreign dictator cannot be directly blamed for any of the specific domestic problems you are having in your neighborhood right now, then why should you “hate” him? Why, in fact — since this is what Carlson has really been asking over the past several weeks — shouldn’t you love that dictator, plead for him, defend him against all criticism, and directly argue for his right to invade and occupy any neighboring country he wishes? After all, he didn’t call you a racist!

No government or quasi-governmental agency should have the power to strip the microphone from Tucker Carlson’s moronic mug. But Fox News is (presumably) a private media company, with company policies and standards to uphold, which means Fox News has every right and all the power in the world to deny Carlson the platform to spout these anti-liberty, pro-dictator screeds into its own microphones. But they won’t, because Carlson is making them a lot of money. Because millions of Americans are almost as dumb as he is, and choose to sit on their dumb backsides every night in thrall to this unhinged and uninformed teenager’s irresponsible and illogical bluster. Because they love Carlson because he loves Trump, and because Trump and Carlson love Putin. Because they all believe that what America needs, and what the world needs, is a blowhard sociopath willing to rant and shout and shoot his way to whatever he wants, because they believe such a creep will be their true friend and protector, even their savior, against all those mean people who call them racists and try to get them fired and ship every middle class job in their town to Timbuktu.

But those millions of armchair worshippers are wrong, blinded by TV cameras and expensive microphones. For in truth, they, the millions duped by this crap, are smarter than Carlson and Trump, and infinitely less morally compromised than either of them, not to mention their hero Putin. These people, fooled by celebrity and their own fears, are slumming, sullying themselves by clinging to the apron strings of worthless and ugly men, as though such punks could ever save anything, let alone care to do so. 

Garry Kasparov, who understands Putin’s mind and motives in a way no shill on Fox News ever could, has recently been explaining Putin’s moves very much the same way I have explained Trump’s over the past several years: Putin (like his reality-TV replica Trump) is a frightened animal, motivated by larger-than-life suspicions of disrespect and a desperate fear of losing face. His tough guy routine lasts as long as he can convince others to treat him with the deference he craves, but fears he does not deserve. Stop giving it to him, stop telling him what he needs to hear, and he will crumble. It’s an act. Turn off the stage lights and let him face himself without the audience for five minutes. Then you will see the real Putin, as we have seen the real Trump so often over the past year: pathetic, lost in a repetitive cycle of nonsense no one believes anymore, stuck with only “admirers” for whom he himself has no respect, and whom he knows to be stupid and useless.

This may be true of all the “great” tyrants, to some extent. After all, the controlling instinct of the tyrant is nothing but an unnatural expansion of the impotent teenager’s insecure ambitions and envious lust for what he knows he has not earned — what he does not deserve. Putin is a tyrant in the full sense. Trump is a mock-tyrant, possessing all the insecurity and envy of the real thing, but lacking the knowledge and native intelligence to form coherent ruling ambitions. Carlson, who loves both of them but understands neither, is a little boy dying for attention from his favorite bullies, and willing to do or say anything he thinks they might appreciate in order to get that attention. Today, Tucker Carlson is to Vladimir Putin what Walter Duranty was to Joseph Stalin, which is to say he is a dimwitted caricature of a totalitarian apologist. Interestingly, Duranty too made his most infamous pro-Russian propagandistic stand on denials of any Russian wrongdoing in Ukraine.

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