On his recent visit to Hungary, Tucker Carlson made a powerful speech which I find I am unable to embed herein – I wonder why. Gab has it, but embedding seems to be blocked – I wonder why. YouTube has it in audio only – I wonder why. At least I am able to provide you with the respective hyperlinks.
I have had him on this blog before twice: here and here. But frustrated by not being able to include that Hungary speech below, I went looking for another and found a good one. It was delivered to a National Conservatism conference in June 2019.
I like this introducer. His name is R.R.(Rusty) Reno, and I have already found a speech of his that I hope to feature here shortly so I shall not dwell more than on this introduction. He is obviously winging it, and at the beginning when he talks of how the audience can submit questions for the Q&A, he “ums” along in a seemingly shambolic fashion. No speaker who is less than comfortable on a podium would dream of doing that, so my interest is already tickled. The rest is personal reminiscence, shot from the hip, and interesting. How much time was he assigned for the introduction? I don’t know, but he happens to finish this “umming” meander at 4 minutes to the second. That could be just chance, but I suspect his air of shambles masks a serious level of skill. And there’s a stronger piece of evidence. Beginning at 03:20 Reno talks of how Carlson in his interviewing confronts the leadership class both of Left and Right. Look at his gestures in that passage. When he says “Left” he indicates it with his right hand, and indicates “right” with his left hand. Isn’t that the wrong way round? No, it’s the right way for the audience. I teach my trainees “mirror gesturing” but otherwise it is as rare as integrity in a politician
I also like self-deprecation, and Tucker Carlson is good at it. The easiest way to be good at it is to mean it. I leave it to you to judge whether you think he actually does mean it, but I also like the rather wild, little-boy laughing that I’ve seen in other speeches but that he can’t deploy on television. The interlinear message is that you’ve seen the stuffed shirt on TV, now here’s the real deal. He implies a privilege to his audience, which is a subtle form of flattery.
Carlson shoots from the hip as all proper speakers do, and he’s an enthusiastic user of Anapodoton, even to the extent of suddenly greeting an audience member in the middle of a sentence (he did it in the Hungary speech too). It all reinforces the message that we are listening to a spontaneous and sincere stream of consciousness. It’s a strong message that audiences love. It’s also in its way unashamedly homespun, because he’s addressing and articulating feelings that most of us have.
His speech is essentially divided into three sections – good! – and the last one, beginning at about 20:25, is devoted to peaceful coexistence. Whatever happened to that? Where did Live-And-Let-Live go? I like this section because someone has to say this! Someone has to highlight the blindingly obvious point that almost everyone just wants to get on with their lives, rubbing along with their friends and neighbours and strangers they happen to meet. Yet there is a tiny, evil, power-mad and deafening clique of hate-fuelled, misanthropic arseholes that are hell-bent on making us all enemies of each other. Why do we ever listen to them?
Anyway it’s a good and absorbing speech, and also one of those where I urge you to stick around at the end to listen to the Q&A.