Tucker Carlson warns Republicans that they should not think President Trump's victory in 2020 is ensured.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: A year from today, we’ll be hosting this show from the national mall, as the next president of the United States takes the oath of office. Will that president be Donald Trump? As of tonight, Republicans in Washington feel confident it will be. The official economic numbers are strong. The Democratic primaries are a freak show — elderly socialists accusing each other of thoughtcrimes. Republicans are starting to think victory is assured. That’s a mistake. America remains as divided as it was three years ago. No matter what happens, nobody’s going to win this election in a national landslide. Those don’t happen anymore. Trump could lose. Will he? That depends on what he runs on.
In 2016, Donald Trump defeated more than a dozen Republicans and then Hillary Clinton by running as an insurgent — a man from outside the system, flipping the bird to the elites within. Virtually everything Trump said reinforced his message: “The people who run this country are clueless. They have no idea what they’re doing. They don’t care about you. They’ve hollowed out our economy. They’ve screwed up our foreign policy. They left they door open on our southern border. They’re children, playing at leadership, and they’ve gotten rich doing it. The result is a national catastrophe.” Trump’s campaign slogan summed it up in a phrase: Make America Great Again. In other words, “let’s not lie to ourselves: this is a disaster. The good news is, we can fix it.” The people in charge hated to hear this, of course. It implicated them. But voters responded. They knew it was true.
And by the way, it’s still true today. Things may be better in a lot of ways, but they’re not fixed. Consider the state of economy. The big numbers — unemployment and inflation — tell one story, and it’s a positive one. But dig a little deeper. A Pew poll from this fall provides a glimpse of what’s actually happening. In that survey, 56 percent of Americans said the economy was excellent or good. That’s the good news. But then this: only 31 percent said the economy was helping them, and their families. Just 32 percent thought the current economy was helping the middle class. Fifty-eight percent thought the opposite. Among lower-income Republicans, 47 percent said economic conditions were hurting them. Just 30 percent said they were helping. Keep in mind, these aren’t sociology professors from the Oberlin faculty lounge. This is the president’s base.
Why do they feel this way? Simple: for a lot of middle class people, wages aren’t keeping pace with expenses. Child care, housing, education and health care are all getting more expensive by the year. The student loan bubble is still inflating, burdening young people with debts so large they can’t start families. These may be economic problems, but they require a political solution. The candidate who makes it easier for 30-year-olds to get married and have children will win — and will deserve to win. Remember that. It’s truer than any economic theory conceived on any college campus in the last 100 years: Improve people’s lives, and they will vote for you. Period. Republicans should write that on their hands. Otherwise, the temptation will be to focus entirely on the lunacy now on display on the left. Democrats have gone crazy. It’s definitely worth pointing that out. We do five nights a week. But it’s not enough. Winning candidates come with their own program. They convince voters they will make things better.
Bernie Sanders may get the Democratic nomination. If he does, every Republican in Washington will spend the next ten months reminding you that socialism doesn’t work, and never has. They’ll be right, obviously. But if Sanders pledges to forgive student loans, he’ll still win many thousands of voters who went for Donald Trump last time. Debt is crushing an entire generation of Americans. Republicans need a plan to make it better, or they’ll be left behind.
And one more piece of advice: don’t ignore the social issues. The Republican establishment hates this conversation. If it’s not about tax rates, they don’t want to talk about it. But ordinary people know the social fabric is coming apart. A winning candidate will say that out loud. Defend traditional values. Don’t be embarrassed about it. Democrats are waging the most aggressive possible campaign against everything normal people think is virtuous. They’re promising to undo our justice system, emptying our prisons, even as they undermine police and strip you of the right to defend yourself. They’re openly inviting chaos. They want to give the vote to convicted felons, even murderers. They think so little of our country that they’re pledging to open our borders to the world — every impoverished nation on earth welcomed here for free health care, paid for by you. They’re opposed to free speech, but stridently for subsidized abortion up to the moment of birth. They want Americans sorted into creepy little categories by their DNA — judged, rewarded, and punished on the basis of their sex and skin color. They don't simply deny the existence of biological sex. They’re trying to force you to deny it, too. You'll be fired if you disagree, or have your children taken from you.
Democrats aren’t promising change. They want revolution: Centuries of American history and custom, abolished. A nation starting over from scratch. Year zero. That’s what they’re calling for. Most people aren’t for it. They may be frustrated with the state of the country. They may be anxious about the future. But they don’t hate America. They don't want to topple George Washington and implement Maoism. They’re conservative in the most basic sense: they love their families above all. They distrust radical theories of anything, because they know that when the world turns upside down, ordinary people get hurt. They don’t want to burn it down. They just want things to get better. The candidate who promises to make them better — incrementally, but tangibly — will be inaugurated president a year from today.