Sailing on the Ship of Fools

Carson Holloway discusses Tucker Carlson’s book Ship of Fools:

The values America’s elites cherish are not the incontestable truth of things, and they may even run counter to the deeper truths of American politics and human life. Those who aspire to lead our country—and to deserve to lead it—would do well to ponder these lessons by reading Tucker Carlson’s Ship of Fools.

In this time of deep political divisions, it is nice to be reminded that Americans agree on at least one important thing. Regrettably, the point of agreement is that something has gone very wrong in our country. After all, a properly functioning democracy would not elevate a boisterous political neophyte like Donald Trump to its highest office.

This agreement points immediately to a key disagreement—a sharp difference of opinion about where to assign responsibility for Trump’s improbable presidency. Some blame Trump’s voters, saying that their support for him shows that they are reckless at best and “deplorable and irredeemable” at worst. On the other side, some blame America’s political, economic, and media elites. After all, they reason, if those who run the country had managed our affairs competently, then the grievances that propelled Trump’s candidacy would never have been permitted to fester, and a protest candidacy like Trump’s would never have been able to succeed.

Tucker Carlson falls squarely in the latter category, as is evident from the title of his book: Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution. For more than two hundred pages, Carlson, the host of Fox News Channel’s most-watched evening show, excoriates the nation’s great and powerful for a generation of misrule that, in his telling, created the explosive environment in which the Trump rebellion could take off—and that might lead to even more explosive consequences if the Trump voters’ key concerns are not adequately addressed.

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