For years, Tucker Carlson has used his Fox News program to flirt with fascist and white nationalist talking points. In 2018, the host described racial demographic changes in a Pennsylvania town as “more change than human beings are designed to digest” after noting that the area is majority Hispanic. He also accused immigrants of making the U.S. “dirtier,” “poorer,” and “more divided”; claimed that a “flood of illegal workers into the United States has damaged our communities, ruined our schools, burdened our health care system, and fractured our national unity”; and falsely asserted that the Potomac River is becoming “dirtier and dirtier” due to immigrants.
On Thursday night, Carlson took these arguments a step further by agreeing with a guest, Jesse Kelly, who confidently asserted that the U.S. will “pick a fascist [leader] within 10 to 20 years.” Kelly, whose past commentary on political violence has gained notoriety due to his fixating on the possibility of a second civil war, made the remark as the two discussed the Hunter Biden firearm debacle and accused Democratic leaders of getting away with a double standard in the legal system. “I think you make a really solid point about the sadness and the powerlessness that people feel in the face of this. And at some point people are going to say, ‘Why should I follow the rules? Why should I be a good citizen if they don’t have to follow the rules?’” Carlson said. “I mean, things kind of break down at some point, don’t they?”
“They will break down, they are breaking down, Tucker,” Kelly replied. “I have said this before, and I’m telling you I’m worried that I’m right, the right is going to pick a fascist within 10 to 20 years.” Carlson chimed in to say that Kelly’s prediction was “right,” before the guest added that the U.S. has “60, 70 million of us. We’re not a tiny minority, and if we’re going to be all treated like criminals and all subject to every single law, while antifa, Black Lives Matter guys go free and Hunter Biden goes free, then the right’s going to take drastic measures.”
Carlson again cosigned the comments, while Kelly insisted, “It’s about justice, that [Hunter Biden is] never held accountable for it and none of the Bidens are, but you would be, Tucker, and so would I.” Concluding the conversation, Carlson said, “That’s so well put and you’re absolutely right. We’re moving toward actual extremism because they’re undermining the system that kept extremism at bay. I don’t think we can say that enough. I’m so glad that you just said it. Jesse Kelly, thank you.”
Up until this Tucker Carlson Tonight appearance, Kelly’s most notable contribution to the discourse included one essay calling for the U.S. to split up––or else––and another fantasizing about Americans killing each other over political disagreements. In a 2018 Federalist piece titled “It’s Time for the United States to Divorce Before Things Get Dangerous,” Kelly pointed to intracountry division on the issues of firearms, immigration, and religion to predict that “sooner or later, the left-wing rage mob will start coming for the careers (and lives) of any normal American who sees things differently.” He further warned that right-wing Americans could be massacred in a liberal-led purge, writing in his Federalist post “America Is Over, but I Won’t See It Go Without an Epic Fight” that conservatives should fight to the death against “an eventual socialist abyss” that Kelly believes will take over the country. “Close your eyes and imagine holding someone’s scalp in your hands,” the article’s first line reads. “I mean a real scalp, Indian-style, of some enemy you just killed on the battlefield; somebody you hated and who hated you back.” After projecting that conservatives will “almost certainly” be massacred in an America’s “inevitable communist purges,” Kelly jumped “back to the scalping thing” and insinuated that conservatives should prepare to wage a bloody insurgency against fellow Americans: “When you make that long trek to the reservation the leftists have set up for you—and make that trek you will—what memories do you want to take with you? When living in the liberal utopian nightmare of 57 genders and government control over everything in your life…You’ll want to know, to remember, even just cherish the knowledge that, one day, you rode out onto the plains and made them feel pain.”
Earlier in his program on Thursday night, Carlson shared his own dystopian vision of liberal America by once again fearmongering about demographic change. “You’d think that if you’d caused a crisis of this magnitude that was going to change your country forever, possibly for the worse, you’d feel a moral obligation to learn a lot about it because it’s your crisis,” he said. “You own it, you did it. But Biden hasn’t.”
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