by Shelt Garner
I’m being extremely lazy with this post, but in reading Barbara F. Walter’s book about how civil wars start, I’m taken aback by how relevant the political science concept of the “racial entrepreneur” is relative to what’s going on in the United States right now.
These are people who latch on the simmering racial tension and stoke those tensions for their personal profit and glory.
While FOX News is full of such racial entrepreneurs, one sticks out as being the worst — Tucker Carlson. Trump, obviously, is one too, but he’s so stupid and lazy that he is, and always has been, nothing than an avatar, a vessel for white rage.
Meanwhile, Carlson is smart enough that he can articulate what a lot of white Christian Traditionalists are feeling about race in a far more cogent manner than Trump. Carlson is very, very popular with my Traditionalists relatives and I could easily, easily, EASILY see Carlson winning the GQP nomination should he throw his hat into the political ring.
But the popularity of Tucker Carlson definitely indicates that, as Ms. Walter suggests, we’re not only an anocracy, but we’re careening towards a civil war of some sort. I still think that we’re going to transition peacefully into autocracy for no other reason than the center-Left is so weak-willed and fractious that they’re not going to put up much of a fight when the time comes.
Not that I want a civil war. A Second American Civil War would be horrific and a tragedy of astonishing proportions. But at the moment, we’re 50 / 50 when it comes to becoming a Russia-style autocracy or having a civil war. I just can’t predict which direction we’re going to go. Which option we’re going to pick.
But the presence of racial entrepreneurs like Carlson and Trump definitely make one sit up and take notice. Their continued popularity indicates that the one thing that Traditionalists believe will happen — that they will get a President DeSantis and all the goodies of autocracy without the inevitable personal implications, just ain’t gunna happen.
You can’t have an autocracy without you, or someone you love inevitably crossing the autocrat. Once the government no longer gives a shit what the populace believes, well, we’re all fucked, regardless of our political views.