Tucker Carlson: Useful Lessons From The Midterm Elections; What Have We Learned?


FNC: The smoke is clearing from the most expensive midterm elections in American history and the outlines are just becoming visible.

TUCKER CARLSON: Good evening and welcome to Tucker Carlson Tonight. The smoke is clearing from the most expensive midterm elections in American history and the outlines are just becoming visible. The results are confusing. It wasn’t exactly a draw, but both sides can claim victory, and of course they are. In the House, Republicans did slightly worse than average for a midterm. In the Senate they did a little better. Some of the races played out as referendums on the president’s first two years. Others had nothing to do with Trump at all. In some races, hard-edged ideologues won. In others, doughy moderates did. It’s a patchwork. There are no easy takeaways from what happened last night. But there are some useful lessons. That’s what we’d like to spend some time time talking about tonight. What exactly have we learned from 470 individual congressional elections, several big governor’s races and a full year of political debate?

The biggest news is that Democrats just won back the House of Representatives after eight years. They’re thrilled obviously. Yet they don’t appear to have any idea how they did it. As of tonight, there really is no Democratic program or message. There’s no Democratic plan for making the economy stronger or the country safer. There is only Donald Trump, whom they despise. The entire Democratic platform is him. The president is often accused of narcissism, or making everything about himself. But on that point, Democrats agree. They think everything’s about Trump, too. Watch this clip from last night. It’s just become clear that Democrats are going to retake the House. It’s a big moment. A senior Democrat calls the set at MSNBC to announce his party’s top priority, now that they’ve regained power...

Getting Trump’s tax returns. That’s the priority. Not infrastructure, not wages, not the looming threat from China or drug ODs or the shrinking middle class or even health care. But Trump’s tax returns. That’s what Democrats really want. OK. Maybe they’ll get those returns. What then? What will we learn? That a casino owner once employed a clever accountant? That he made less than he claimed he did? Will anyone be shocked by any of that? Will anyone care? Or, as with the Stormy Daniels saga, will voters find themselves titillated for a moment, and then lose interest? What do Trump’s tax returns have to do with them anyway? Their premiums haven’t gone down. It’s just noise.

There’s a simple lesson here. You’d think Democrats would have figured it out. But they haven’t. Congressman Jerry Nadler will likely be the chairman the House judiciary committee. Just today, Nadler was overheard on a train to New York laying out his priorities. First on the list: impeaching Brett Kavanaugh and removing him from the Supreme Court. Apparently that’s what Democrats believe voters really want, more than anything. Congressman Adam Schiff of California, meanwhile, is poised to take over the House Intelligence Committee. He says his main priority come January is intensifying the endless Russia probe. Schiff thinks he can prove that Vladimir Putin somehow stole the 2016 election with a few dozen Facebook ads that nobody saw. Can Schiff really prove that? Who knows? What we can know, for certain, is that nobody outside Washington will care if he does. The entire Russia conversation is irrelevant and dumb. That’s been proven already. Democrats are the only ones who don’t know yet.

As of now, the entire Democratic platform can be summed up in a sentence: “Donald Trump is a bad person.” That’s what they plan to run on in the next presidential election, which incidentally starts today. Good luck with that. It’s a virtual guarantee that Trump will serve a full eight years.

So is all the race talk. Somewhere along the way, Democrats became convinced they could win elections by denouncing voters as racist. The Andrew Gillum campaign tried it in Florida. So did Stacy Abrams’s surrogates in Georgia. It didn’t work either time. In fact it rarely works. Why would it? Here’s a bit of hard-earned knowledge from almost thirty years of covering campaigns: when you call voters immoral, they don’t like it. Yet the left continues to throw out the slur, probably because they enjoy doing it. Here’s ABC’s coverage of the Gillum race last night:


In other words, Andrew Gillum lost because of his skin color. And that’s the fault of people of a certain skin color. You hear things like this all the time. Nobody every bothers to prove any of it. It’s unprovable. That’s the appeal. Racism is anything you don’t like. A racist is anyone in your way. Hurling accusations of bigotry is often the quickest way to get what you want. That’s why they do it. Happened again today:

PBS White House REPORTER: On the campaign trail you called yourself a nationalist. Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists.

TRUMP: I don’t know why you’d say that. That is such a racist question.

REPORTER: Some people say the Republican Party supporting white nationalism because of your rhetoric. What do you make of that?

TRUMP: Why do I have my highest poll numbers ever with African Americans? (edit) I love our country. I do. You have nationalists and you have globalists. I also love the world and don’t mind helping them but we have to straighten out our country first.

A few years ago, what you just saw would have been a headline news. An accredited White House reporter calls the president of the United States a white supremacist? Holy smokes. Now it’s just another day on cable news. Nobody really believes the reporter means it. It’s posturing. It’s boring. The claim is losing its power from overuse. Diminishing returns have been reached. If you’ve got a problem with nationalism, why not just argue against nationalism? We all might learn something.

In the meantime, Republicans should understand that Democrats call them bigots not because they believe they are, or even because they care if they are. Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan are allowed in the Democratic Party after all. Democrats obviously aren’t too concerned about bigotry. Democrats make the charge because they hope it will bring them power. Power is what they want. It’s all they want. Republicans lost a chamber of congress last night. Nobody rioted. No one blocked intersections or looted liquor stores. Republican consultants didn’t go on TV this morning to question the results or attack the House of Representatives as illegitimate. It didn’t occur to them. It was just an election. You lose sometimes. That’s not how Democrats think. They mean it. They lost a few seats in the senate last night, and already they’re denouncing the senate itself as somehow undemocratic. Watch Joy Behar try to read, and ultimately misread, the party’s talking points on the View today:


You can’t gerrymander an entire state of course. Behar may not know that. She probably doesn’t understand what the senate is. But she knows power. Like many Democrats you see on television, she’ll say whatever it takes to get it.

But it’s not just Democrats who should have learned something last night. There were lessons for Republicans too. Here’s one: voters care about campaign promises. If you don’t fulfill them, they’ll notice. In 2016, Republicans promised to build a wall, get rid of Obamacare and defund planned parenthood. They got elected, but they didn’t do any of that. Maybe that’s one reason they lost the house last night.

Here’s another lesson: Immigration matters. Not just on the level of individuals and families and caravans, but over time at the level of entire populations. Immigration changes who lives in a country, and who votes. That’s why it matters. You’d never know this from listening to the coverage of immigration stories. You’d think the question of who comes into your country and under what circumstances was entirely a moral issue, a question of personal decency. Good people are for it. Bad people are against it. Watch:

ACOSTA: As you know, Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion. It’s a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the U.S. ---

TRUMP: Thank you for telling me that. I appreciate it.

ACOSTA: And why did characterize it as such—

TRUMP: Because I consider it an invasion. You and I have a difference of opinion.

ACOSTA: But do you think that you demonized immigrants in this election to try to keep—

TRUMP: Not at all. I want them—I want them to come into the country, but they have to come in legally. You know they have to come in, Jim, through a process.


ACOSTA: Your campaign had an ad showing migrants climbing over walls, and so on--

TRUMP: Well that’s true. They weren’t actors. They weren’t actors. Well no, it’s true. Do you think they were actors? They weren’t actors. They didn’t come from Hollywood. These were people. This was an actual. You know, it happened a few days ago, and—

ACOSTA: They’re hundreds of miles away though. They’re hundreds and hundreds of miles away. That’s not an invasion.

TRUMP: You know what? I think you should-- Honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN, and if you did it well, your ratings will be much better. Okay, that’s enough.

ACOSTA: Let me ask--- if I may ask one other question. Mr. President, if I may ask one other question. (Refuses to give the microphone to White House employee trying to take it away) Excuse, excuse me.

TRUMP: Okay, that’s enough. That’s enough. That’s enough.

ACOSTA: Mr. President, if I may ask one other question. Are you worried

TRUMP: I’m not concerned with anything because it’s a hoax. Put down the mic.

ACOSTA: Mr President -

TRUMP: CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. YOU are a rude, terrible person and you shouldn’t be working for CNN]

Whatever else that exchange was, it was mostly a diversion from the political reality of immigration. California was once a solidly Republican state. It’s not anymore. Immigration did that. Different people live there, and not surprisingly they vote very differently. Something similar is happening in Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Virginia and many other states, and it was reflected in last night’s vote totals. Democrats know this obviously. That’s why they oppose borders, because it helps them win. Republicans have been slow to pick up on this. They still think immigration policy is about virtue.

Republicans also seem to think their economic message is working. They’re very proud of the tax bill they passed in this congress, the one they will control for a while. There’s nothing wrong with tax cuts, but Republican strategists seem to forget that a huge percentage of Americans don’t even pay federal taxes. By definition they don’t care very much about the cuts. For them and for many others, the economy isn’t measured in stock prices and GDP numbers. Their concerns are more tangible: What does gas cost? Can I afford to live in a safe neighborhood? Will I go bankrupt if I get sick? The party that effectively addresses these questions generally wins. Republicans tend to ignore these questions. That’s a big reason they just lost.

Keep in kind that the Republican Party is the Conservative party. Republicans are supposed to care about families above all. And yet, increasingly the American family is vanishing. Young people can’t afford to get married or have children. Take a look at the numbers some time. They’re shocking. They foretell an ominous future. A country without strong families is a weak country. It’s a volatile, chaotic place, susceptible to political demagoguery. It’s what America is becoming. If you want to stop the slide, support families.

Put another way, if your supposedly conservative economic program doesn’t make it easier for young people to get and stay married, how is it really conservative? If couples are too poor to have kids, and you’re not helping, why should I as a conservative vote for you? I shouldn’t. And I won’t.

Supporting marriage and children is the best, maybe the only way for Republicans to save the country. It will win them elections too. They should start.

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