The Ruling Class hates and fears him ... with good reason.
What, specifically, changed the mind of the formerly bow-tied boy-Buckley (or as a friend put it to me, “typical conservative dorkwad”) and launched Carlson toward becoming the leading light of a new conservative movement?
“Two things,” Carlson said.
First, the Iraq war. Like most people I knew and worked with, I supported that war. But I wanted to see it firsthand. So in December 2003, I went to Iraq on assignment for Esquire. What I saw was horrifying.
He describes a scene of total chaos and omnipresent mortal danger:
Before Iraq, I assumed that when smart people of goodwill got together, they make good decisions. Seeing Iraq up close was a formative change in my thinking. It demonstrated the ability of smart people to make obviously unwise, faith-based decisions. What actually happened was not what they promised—not even close. That set off a chain reaction in my mind. I was sincerely shocked that the people in charge were actually really unwise. Worse, they didn’t care. They didn’t even try to correct course. The whole thing made me very distrustful of theories.
And the second?
I’ve been going to the same town in Maine for basically my whole life. Not for a week or two now and then, but three or four months a year for 40 years. I watched it change from clean, reliable, orderly, decent, and bourgeois into something different and diminished. Not just poor but degraded. I asked myself “Why is this happening? What led to this? How did this go from being such a great place to such a troubled place? And why is nobody noticing, or pretending it’s not happening?”
Specifically, what does he mean? Alcohol? Drugs? Opioids? Divorce? Illegitimacy? Unemployment? Welfare? “All of that,” he answers. “All of it. And more.”...
The question—are Americans happier when welfare, child support, cheap consumer goods, and fentanyl replace jobs, families, and meaning?—is precisely the right one, for statesmen and thinkers alike. Our politicians (we have no statesmen) have long ignored it. Their objective is to get reelected, exercise power, and enrich themselves. Our intellectuals insist it’s the wrong question. Any state that concerns itself with the happiness of its citizens, they say, is ipso facto a nanny state, and they know that’s wrong because Hayek, Friedman, Buckley, Goldwater, Reagan, etc....
In Ship of Fools’s first chapter, Carlson explains, indirectly, the reason why his heresy is hated. Entitled “The Convergence,” it describes what has been variously termed (though not by him) the uniparty, the junta, the oligarchs, or the ruling class. That is to say, the people who take pains to appear “diverse” on the outside but who in fact all think alike and work together toward the same end: total domination of our country. Conservative intellectuals remain junior—very junior—partners in this coalition; their assigned role is to punish dissidence and enforce conformity by knifing their ostensible co-ideologists in the back....
Carlson’s book, show, and worldview point the way forward. Put people and families first. Remember that the economy exists to serve us and not the other way around. Stop importing scab labor and scab voters to enrich and empower the ruling class. Honor and enforce the fundamental charters of our liberty, especially the first two amendments to the Constitution. Treat people fairly and—truly—equally: no special treatment, no protected classes. Unite Americans around a common destiny.