Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution
By Tucker Carlson
Free Press; hardcover, 244 pages; $28.00
FOX News host Tucker Carlson tells the truth about the new American elites, a group whose power and wealth has grown beyond imagination even as the rest of the country has withered, in his new book Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution.
"Imagine you're a passenger on a ship," writes Carlson. "You're in the middle of the ocean, weeks from land. No matter what happens, you can't get off. This doesn't bother you because there are professional sailors in charge. They know what they're doing. The ship is steady and heading in the right direction. You're fine.
"Then one day you realize that something horrible has happened. Maybe there was a mutiny overnight. Maybe the captain and first mate fell overboard. You're not sure. But it's clear the crew is in charge now and they've gone insane. They seem grandiose and aggressive, maybe drunk. They're gorging on the ship's shores with such abandon it's obvious there won't be enough food left for you. You can't tell them this because they've banned acknowledgment of physical reality. Anyone who points out the consequences of what they're doing gets keelhauled.
"Most terrifying of all, the crew has become incompetent. They have no idea how to sail. They're spinning the ship's wheel like they're playing roulette and cackling like mental patients. The boat is listing, taking on water, about to sink. They're totally unaware that any of this is happening. As waves wash over the deck, they're awarding themselves majestic new titles and raising their own salaries. You look on in horror, helpless and desperate. You have nowhere to go. You're trapped on a ship of fools."
|Tucker Carlson. Photo by Chad Griffith.|
“They view America the way a private equity firm sizes up an aging conglomerate,” Carlson writes, “as something outdated they can profit from. When it fails, they’re gone.”
In Ship of Fools, Tucker Carlson offers a blistering critique of our new overlords. Traditional liberals are gone, he writes. The patchouli-scented hand-wringers who worried about whales and defended free speech have been replaced by globalists who hide their hard-edged economic agenda behind the smokescreen of identity politics. They’ll outsource your job while lecturing you about transgender bathrooms.
Carlson sees the left and right as no longer meaningful categories in America, and that “The rift is between those who benefit from the status quo, and those who don’t.” Our leaders are fools, Carlson concludes, “unaware that they are captains of a sinking ship.”
That is true on American foreign policy, which Donald Trump exploited to his advantage during the campaign when he called out Republicans for the war in Iraq.
Carlson writes, "The signature characteristic of America's foreign policy establishment, apart from their foolishness, is the resiliency of their self-esteem. No matter how often they're wrong, no matter how many disasters they unintentionally create, they never seem to feel bad about it. They certainly never blame themselves. Part of the reason for this is that most of them live in Washington.
"Washington isn't like everywhere else. The city's economy is tied directly to the size of the federal budget, which has grown virtually without pause since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The District of Columbia and its surrounding suburbs are now the wealthiest metro region in the country.
"Washington's job market is effectively bulletproof. Political figures cycle in and out of government, from lobbying to finance to contracting and back, growing richer at every turn. In Washington, prosperity is all but guaranteed.
"To the rest of the country, this looks like corruption, because, essentially, it is. But if you live there, it's all upside.
"The most interesting effect of uninterrupted economic growth is that the culture of the city remains unusually stable. Even as Washington's population has grown exponentially, over the years, many things about the city haven't changed at all. Most of the affluent neighborhoods look the same demographically as they did in 1960. Mothers don't work. Divorce is unusual. Housing prices almost never fall. It's a cultural time capsule.
"By voter registration, D.C. is the most Democratic city in America. Yet the instincts of the people who live there are deeply conservative. Washingtonians hate change.
"More than anything, they hate to be told they're wrong, or their ideas are stupid, especially when they are. This explains much of official Washington's hostility to Donald Trump.
"It is possible to isolate the precise moment that Trump permanently alienated the Republican establishment in Washington: February 13, 2016. There was a GOP primary debate that night in Greenville, South Carolina, so every Republican in Washington was watching. Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump articulated something that no party leader had ever said out loud. 'We should never have been in Iraq,' Trump announced, his voice rising. 'We have destabilized the Middle East.'
"Many in the crowd booed, but Trump kept going: 'They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none.'
"Pandemonium seemed to erupt in the hall, and on television. Shocked political analysts declared that the Trump presidential effort had just euthanized itself. Republican voters, they said with certainty, would never accept attacks on policies their party had espoused and carried out.
"Back in Washington, rival GOP campaigns frantically searched for ways to discredit what Trump had said. They found what they considered a silver bullet in a recording of an episode of the Howard Stern radio show from 2002, in which Trump seemed to approve of the idea of overthrowing Saddam.
"By Washington standards, this qualified as a kill shot. The candidate had once uttered complimentary words about a war that had not yet started. Therefore, he had no right to criticize the same war fourteen years later, after it had proved disastrous. Consultants for the Jeb! and Marco Rubio campaigns traded high fives.
"Republican voters had a different reaction. They understood that adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake. They appreciated hearing something verboten but true.
"Rival Republicans denounced Trump as an apostate. Voters considered him brave.
"Trump won the South Carolina primary, and shortly after that, the Republican nomination."
Tucker takes on the entire political establishment, from the Clintons to the corporate world's support of Democrats to Conservative columnists like Max Boot and Bill Kristol, and how the 2016 election was a message to the establishment.
In the signature and witty style that the author is known for on his nightly show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, his book answers the all-important question of how we can put the country back on track.