Hunter DeRensis, writing at The National Interest, remarks on the “resounding applause,” that met Tucker Carlson whom DeRensis calls “the media face of the burgeoning nationalist movement.” Carlson, like many conservatives, emphasized that after the election of Donald Trump, perhaps anything is possible in politics.
Carlson, like many conservatives feels abandoned by the entrenched globalist Republican and Democratic establishment. That’s what Americans were voting against when they elected Donald Trump. But with new leadership comes the need to define a new direction. That’s what the conference was meant to do. DeRensis provides some details as to what that new direction might look like, writing (abridged):
Over three hundred attendees traveled to the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC to see what promises to be the first of many conferences outlining a new, twenty-first century “national conservatism.” Featuring keynote addresses from entrepreneur Peter Thiel, Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), the conference brought an intellectual adventurousness that coincided with President Donald Trump’s tweets aimed at House Democrats.
After being described as a nationalist at the start of his campaign, in October 2018 President Donald Trump embraced the nationalist label at a rally. The purpose of the conference was to take “nationalism” and create a viable political program under its heading. In broad strokes, this program is an industrial policy with state protections for American businesses, a restrictionist immigration policy focused on assimilation, traditional social values, and less democracy promotion in foreign affairs.
Yoram Hazony, the lead organizer of the conference and author of The Virtue of Nationalism, described where and when the conservative movement had lost its footing. According to Hazony, when he joined the movement in the 1980s, Irving Kristol taught him that neoconservatism was built on three pillars: religion, nationalism, and economic growth. But that changed at the end of the Cold War, where a world without the Soviet Union allowed people’s minds to drift into idealism. “People who are drunk with power lose touch with reality,” Hazony said.
Tucker Carlson, the media face of the burgeoning nationalist movement, was welcomed with resounding applause. Tucker described how his opinions and his perception of what was possible had changed. “If the Lochness Monster is real, what about the Yeti?” he asked, referring to Trump’s surprise 2016 victory.
“A lot of the people we’ve been told are the good guy, are not, at all. I’ll let you figure out who,” Carlson said about his rethinking post-2016. He referred to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as “probably the worst person to ever serve in the Congress.” Omar is one of the four freshmen congresswomen currently in the president’s line-of-sight on Twitter. He also referred to presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as “a living tragedy,” since she had written one the best economics books he’s ever read, but whose other idiosyncrasies made her a joke.
Tucker said that while he might disagree with Bolton (John) about everything, he doesn’t hate him or think he’s a bad person. He said he was happy to share a conference with him.
However, when asked the same, Bolton said “I’m delighted to be here after him.” The room was an ominous silence after that, since the crowd was expecting a longer (and more polite) answer. After silence turned to muffled laughs, Bolton said, “That’s called a diplomatic answer.”
Read more here.