Last night Carlson said: (h/t realclearpolitics for transcript)
"President Trump may lose this election. Unless fundamental facts change soon, it will be tough for him to be reelected. Trump’s loss would mean, just a few months from now, Joe Biden becomes the president. The United States government would fall under the control of the radicals who control Joe Biden. They will remake the country. We know that virtually nobody watching this show wants to hear that. But it’s true. Key people around the president know it. They see the numbers. They’re worried.
At some point in the future, historians will marvel at the fact the president lost ground during a pandemic and then during mass riots. Both crises should have highlighted his strengths. Alone among national leaders, Donald Trump warned Americans about China and the perils of globalization for decades. Everything about the Wuhan coronavirus proved Trump right. China really is our main global adversary. The Chinese government really does want to take over the world. Meanwhile, the fact we sent our manufacturing base abroad really has weakened us, badly. The most powerful nation on earth no longer makes antibiotics. Maybe we’re not as powerful as we think. All of that is obvious now, after the pandemic. Trump called it. You’d think voters would reward him for that.
You’d think the riots would have increased their support. An awful lot of people voted for Trump precisely to avoid a moment like the one we’re in. None of this arrived suddenly. Social cohesion in America has been eroding for decades. Most people sensed this. It made them nervous. It should. Trump seemed like insurance against the consequences. The core appeal of Trump was, if things ever started to fall apart, he’d defend you. Yes, he was loud and crude. Most bodyguards are. Only a man like Donald Trump was tough enough to fight the creeping authoritarianism of the education cartel and corporate America. If Trump got elected, you could say what you really believe. The basic promise of America could be restored. You could live with dignity. Under Trump, you wouldn’t be forced to mouth the lyrics to some repulsive little orthodoxy you hate. You could declare out loud that all lives matter, because all lives do matter. God made us all. If you can’t say that, what’s the point of living here?
Trump never quite articulated any of this. He wasn’t an intellectual or an ideologue. But he clearly felt it. Trump’s gut-level instincts were strongly on the side of order and tradition and stability. They still are. And yet when widespread disorder arrived, Trump did not act decisively. He said little. He did less. Voters felt undefended. Some turned against him.
What happened? Many things. Trump was exhausted after three years of defending himself against Russiagate, the most elaborate and effective hoax in American history. His staff did little to help. Some were disloyal. Some were just confused. They definitely weren’t prepared for Chinese viruses, or burning cities. But the administration’s main problems were conceptual. Few in the White House seemed to understand what was happening.
Their first mistake was forgetting the primary rule of Washington: In an election year, everything that happens is about the election. There are no exceptions to this rule. Washington is a political city. It is run by politicians. If the Chinese Navy sailed up the Potomac in the fall of an election year, the first thing most people in Wasington would wonder is: “How’s this going to affect turnout?” That’s who they are. That’s how they think.
Only the naive were surprised when Democratic governors immediately used the coronavirus quarantines to punish people who don’t vote for them. Christian churches and small businesses were locked down. Weed shops and abortion clinics stayed open. Most Trump voters seemed to accept this without question. It was a health crisis. They wanted to do the right thing, so they obeyed. They cowered in their homes. That’s exactly where Democratic leaders wanted them: cut off from one another, atomized and alone. The few conservatives who tried to organize resistance to the lockdowns were indicted, or threatened with arrest.
None of this had much to do with public health. It was electoral politics, an especially brutal form of it. Republican leaders were remarkably slow to catch on to this. Some of them aren’t very smart. But most just couldn’t imagine anyone acting with that level of ruthlessness. Their good faith made them vulnerable to their opponents’ lies.
In the days after George Floyd died, these same trends accelerated dramatically. It all happened so fast, that it seemed like chaos. But it wasn’t chaos. There was design just beneath the surface. Consider the targets the mob chose: Law enforcement, of course. But not all law enforcement. Local police departments must be eliminated, they said. But the FBI was just fine. That was telling. Then they claimed that capitalism was the enemy, but only certain kinds of capitalism. The mob burned independent businesses to the ground by the score. They didn’t say a word about those business’s digital competitors, Google and Apple and Amazon. All of those companies were funding the destruction. The mob then told us that traditional Christianity was racist. They desecrated churches in the name of avenging slavery. Yet Antifa didn’t touch a single mosque, despite the fact historians say Muhammad owned slaves. As this all progressed, Democrats continued their lectures about gun control, but they ignored the rifles in the hands of their own supporters in downtown Seattle. The real threat, they told us, was rural Americans with AR-15s. We’d better get the FBI on that — arrest more farmers.
What looked like protests were in fact highly effective attacks on Donald Trump’s voters, his power base. The White House clearly didn’t fully understand this. If they had, they would have told the country what was really happening: No, this is not about George Floyd or police brutality. It’s a power grab by violent extremists. But they didn’t get it. Weeks into the rioting, the White House social media accounts were still producing ham-handed posts about Juneteenth. No one was convinced by it. No one was reassured. Instead, many voters were becoming increasingly agitated by the lawlessness. “Who’s going to protect us from this?” they wondered. Celebrations of Juneteenth did nothing to answer that question...