“So are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would? Everyone could see what was happening in Kenosha. It was getting crazier by the hour,” Carlson said.
Not only was this a stunning rationalization for vigilante killing, but the argument contradicted the self-righteous theme of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” vis-a-vis this summer’s protests. When violence broke out after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, Carlson thundered, “Democracy cannot exist when people are rioting. Rioting is a form of tyranny. The strong and the violent oppress the weak and the unarmed.”
Boldface added to highlight a poignant turnabout. When the “unarmed” were allegedly under siege in the unrest associated with the Black Lives Matter protests in Minneapolis, well, that was a crisis. When the “unarmed” were actually (and allegedly) under siege in Kenosha from a White adherent of Blue Lives Matter, well, the conduct must be excused. So warped is Carlson’s worldview that vigilantism of the AR-15 variety ranks among understandable reactions to civil unrest. (Given Carlson’s previous bloviating about democracy, you might suppose that he would accept no response other than circulating petitions, writing op-eds, lobbying politicians, canvassing.)