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Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution

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The host of Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight offers a blistering critique of the new American ruling class, the elites of both parties, who have taken over the ship of state, leaving the rest of us, the citizen-passengers, to wonder: How do we put the country back on course?


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The host of Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight offers a blistering critique of the new American ruling class, the elites of both parties, who have taken over the ship of state, leaving the rest of us, the citizen-passengers, to wonder: How do we put the country back on course?

30 review for Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution

  1. 4 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    An incendiary read for all the unabashedly hilarious realities of the world we're stuck in... Q 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. … You can’t tell them this because they’ve banned acknowledgment of physical reality. ... 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 des An incendiary read for all the unabashedly hilarious realities of the world we're stuck in... Q 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. … You can’t tell them this because they’ve banned acknowledgment of physical reality. ... 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. … Plato imagined this scene in The Republic. He never mentions what happened to the ship. It would be nice to know. Q What was written as an allegory is starting to feel like a documentary, as generations of misrule threaten to send our country beneath the waves. ... Facts threaten their fantasies. Q Donald Trump was in many ways an unappealing figure. He never hid that. Voters knew it. They just concluded that the options were worse—and not just Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, but the Bush family and their donors and the entire Republican leadership, along with the hedge fund managers and media luminaries and corporate executives and Hollywood tastemakers and think tank geniuses and everyone else who created the world as it was in the fall of 2016 ... Q Trump might be vulgar and ignorant, but he wasn’t responsible for the many disasters America’s leaders created. Trump didn’t invade Iraq or bail out Wall Street. He didn’t lower interest rates to zero, or open the borders, or sit silently by as the manufacturing sector collapsed and the middle class died. You couldn’t really know what Trump might do as president, but he didn’t do any of that. Q Happy countries don’t elect Donald Trump president. Desperate ones do. In retrospect, the lesson seemed obvious: Ignore voters for long enough and you get Donald Trump. Yet the people at whom the message was aimed never received it. Instead of pausing, listening, thinking, and changing, America’s ruling class withdrew into a defensive crouch. Beginning on election night, they explained away their loss with theories as pat and implausible as a summer action movie: Trump won because fake news tricked simple minded voters. Trump won because Russian agents “hacked” the election. Trump won because mouth-breathers in the provinces were mesmerized by his gold jet and shiny cuff links. Trump won because he’s a racist, and that’s what voters secretly wanted all along. None of these explanations withstand scrutiny. They’re fables that reveal more about the people who tell them than about the 2016 election results.  Q In 1970, the year after I was born, well over 60 percent of American adults ranked as middle class. That year, middle-class wage earners took home 62 percent of all income paid nationally. By 2015, America’s wealth distribution looked very different, a lot more Latin American. Middle-class households collected only 43 percent of the national income, while the share for the rich had surged from 29 percent to almost 50 percent. Fewer than half of adults lived in middle-income households. A majority of households qualified as either low-income or high-income. Q Forty years ago, Democrats would be running elections on the decline of the middle class, and winning. Now the party speaks almost exclusively about identity politics, abortion, and abstract environmental concerns like climate change. Q Democrats know immigrants vote overwhelmingly for them, so mass immigration is the most effective possible electoral strategy: You don’t have to convince or serve voters; you can just import them. Republican donors want lower wages. Q But is diversity our strength? The less we have in common, the stronger we are? … Nobody knows. Q The cost of having other people cut your grass is always higher than you think. Q From Iraq to Libya to Syria to Yemen, America has embarked on repeated military adventures in the Middle East. None of these wars were waged in response to a genuine existential threat, and none were popular over time. … Thousands of Americans have died fighting abroad. The wars have cost more than a trillion dollars and damaged America’s credibility and prestige on the world stage. Enough money has been spent on recent conflicts to retire all student loan debt in America. Yet the world is less stable than it was fifteen years ago. Q One of the main lessons our elites seemed to derive from 9/11 is that the best way to fight Islamic terror is to welcome huge numbers of immigrants from places known for Islamic extremism. Q Democratic government is a pressure-relief valve that keeps societies from exploding. In a democracy, frustrated citizens don’t have to burn police stations or storm the Bastille; they can vote. Once they come to believe that voting is pointless, anything can happen. Wise leaders understand this. They’re self-reflective and self-critical. When they lose elections, they think about why. Q Maybe America’s most effective government agency is the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates plane crashes. Any time a commercial aircraft goes down, the NTSB combs the site of the crash, trying to reverse-engineer what happened. Its investigators figure out what went wrong in order to prevent it from happening again. The NTSB is so good at its job that, since 2009, there hasn’t been a single fatal accident involving a domestic air carrier. If our political and intellectual elites ran the NTSB, they’d respond to plane crashes by blaming Vladimir Putin. They’d claim the aircraft was piloted by racists, or had too many white men on board. If you dared to point out a mechanical malfunction, they’d accuse you of bigotry against part manufacturers, and then ban quality control for good measure. Q By redefining immigration as a moral issue, elites have shut down debate over its costs.  Q The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans. Max Boot is living proof that it’s happening in America. Q Listed in one place, Boot’s many calls for U.S.-led war around the world come off as a parody of mindless warlike noises, something you might write if you got mad at a country while drunk. (“I’ll invade you!!!”) Republicans in Washington didn’t find any of it amusing. They were impressed. … Everything changed when Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump had never heard of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He had no idea Max Boot was a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Trump was running against more armed conflicts. He had no interest in invading Pakistan. Boot hated him. As Trump found himself accused of improper ties to Vladimir Putin, Boot agitated for more aggressive confrontation with Russia. Boot demanded larger weapons shipments to Ukraine. He called for effectively expelling Russia from the global financial system, a move that might be construed as an act of war against a nuclear-armed power. The stakes were high, but with signature aplomb Boot assured readers it was “hard to imagine” the Russian government would react badly to the provocation. Those who disagreed Boot dismissed as “cheerleaders” for Putin and the mullahs in Iran. As Boot’s posture on Russia became more reckless and bellicose, his stock in the Washington foreign policy establishment rose. In 2018, he was hired by the Washington Post as a columnist. The paper’s announcement cited Boot’s “expertise on armed conflict.” Q  In speeches, war is never a bloody slog where eighteen-year-old boys get castrated by land mines, blasted apart by grenades, or pointlessly massacred in friendly-fire accidents, though that’s exactly what it is. Q By sending aid and weapons to the Afghan resistance, Reagan helped weaken the Russian position in Afghanistan, and ultimately the Soviet Union itself. ... decades later you’ve got to wonder how wise it was to arm Muslim extremists waging a holy war in Southwest Asia. Both Osama bin Laden and Taliban founder Mohammed Omar got their first taste of warfare in the Afghan mujahideen… America had played a leading role in training its own enemies … Q By the end of Clinton’s second term, the United States was bombing Iraq an average of three times a week, at the cost of more than $1 billion a year… America has remained in a state of almost permanent war. Q They viewed Gaddafi as a deeply immoral man. That’s all the justification they needed to take him out. So they did.  Q On Election Day 2016, after eight years of rule by the nominally “antiwar” faction of U.S. politics, American troops were stationed on roughly eight hundred military bases in seventy nations. The Pentagon was dropping bombs on at least seven different countries. Barack Obama was the first president to serve two full terms, and preside over war for every single day of them. Q Liberals discovered that war was an expedient form of social engineering, not to mention politically popular. Want to save children? Bomb their country. ... How often do bombings actually improve people’s lives? Do children on the ground really like them? Who knows? Follow-up stories on the aftermath of cruise missile attacks are notably rare in American media. Q 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. Q 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. Q Washingtonians hate change. More than anything, they hate to be told they’re wrong, or their ideas are stupid, especially when they are.  Q 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. Q A large and growing proportion of Americans under thirty, the country’s most liberal cohort, don’t believe in unfettered free speech... A 2017 Cato Institute survey found that 52 percent of self-identified Democrats, of all ages, viewed government suppression of offensive speech as more important than the unfettered right to say whatever one wants. Q In order to foster a culture in which those with alternative political views could feel safe sharing their opinions, Google fired James Damore. For the crime of sharing his alternative views... Damore was a thought criminal, and his crime was raising the wrong questions. Q An open society needs open discourse or else it is merely an echo chamber. Q Even Representative Maxine Waters of Los Angeles, an open black nationalist, doesn’t choose to live around the people she represents. Waters doesn’t live within the bounds of her own district. She lives in a six-thousand-square-foot, $4.3 million spread in Hancock Park, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. How did Waters afford a house that expensive after forty years of working in government? I asked once. She didn’t answer, but did call me a racist. Q When the people in charge retreat into fantasy, and demand that everyone else join them there, society itself becomes impervious to reality. The entire population develops the habits of fact-avoidance and lying. After a while, nobody can see a crisis, or even admit one exists.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephie

    I went into this with an open mind seeing how there are members of both ruling classes on the cover. However, the book is predominately a blast against democrats. I agreed with some of the points in the book but he completely lost me at the end with the last two chapters. I will attribute that to simply not having the same political views as Mr. Carlson. I would have like to have seen a more balanced view. Both sides certainly could use a lambasting at this point in time. They are definitely not I went into this with an open mind seeing how there are members of both ruling classes on the cover. However, the book is predominately a blast against democrats. I agreed with some of the points in the book but he completely lost me at the end with the last two chapters. I will attribute that to simply not having the same political views as Mr. Carlson. I would have like to have seen a more balanced view. Both sides certainly could use a lambasting at this point in time. They are definitely not working in the interest of those who voted for them in the first place.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lucille Zimmerman

    #1 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Ideologies & Doctrines > Conservatism & Liberalism #1 in Books > Humor & Entertainment > Humor > Satire #1 in Books > Humor & Entertainment > Humor > Political Congratulations Tucker! I had a bias to like this book: Carlson has been my favorite FOX personality for many years; way before he got his own show. My favorite story about Tucker is the one Greta Vansusteren did on her Greta Talk podcast. I even wrote about it in my own book #1 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Ideologies & Doctrines > Conservatism & Liberalism #1 in Books > Humor & Entertainment > Humor > Satire #1 in Books > Humor & Entertainment > Humor > Political Congratulations Tucker! I had a bias to like this book: Carlson has been my favorite FOX personality for many years; way before he got his own show. My favorite story about Tucker is the one Greta Vansusteren did on her Greta Talk podcast. I even wrote about it in my own book about posttraumatic growth (You'll have to go listen in order to know what I'm talking about.) Here's my favorite paragraph from the book: "Trump's election wasn't about Trump. It was a throbbing middle finger in the face of America's ruling class. It was a gesture of contempt, a howl of rage, the end of decades of selfish and unwise decisions made by selfish and unwise leaders. Happy countries don't elect Donald Trump president. Desperate ones do." That's exactly how I feel. I became a serious follower of politics when Barak Obama was elected. I never missed a day to see how he was going to undo what the United States of America stood for. I started attending conferences and summits to learn all I could. But the moment I became a news junkie was the night I was celebrating my wedding anniversary in a cozy home on the San Juan Islands in Washington state. It was the night after the events at Benghazi. I asked my husband, "What is this story about?" He said, "Our ambassador and several others just got killed." Fast forward. Nothing in the book was new to me because I watch Carlson's show every single night. If I'm not home I record and watch later. This book is a fast read, and you can tell it was written in anger. Carlson said he wrote most of it on airplane flights. Smashing themes in the book are: Immigration - "You don't have to convince or serve voters; you can just import them." Elitist liberals - "Eight of America's ten most affluent counties voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, in most cases by a large margin." (The ones who supposedly cared about the little fella no longer do) Social Media - "Facebook sees and records everywhere you go. FB knows the stores you visited, the events you attended, and whether you walked, drove, or rode your bike...the company also knows much of your Web browsing history." War - "Liberals used to be antiwar." Free Speech - "There's nothing more infuriating to a ruling class than contrary opinions. They're inconvenient and annoying. They're evidence of an ungrateful population...Above all, they constitute a threat to your authority." (insert sarcasm) Carlson continues in the book talking about identity politics, racial diversity (how liberals now want everyone divided according to their DNA), global warming, male bashing, and the amount of filth in cities led by liberals who say they care about environmental issues. This book if filled with anecdotes, quotes, statistics, and history. Most importantly it's a smashing explanation of the 2016 Presidential election. Sadly, Hillary still doesn't get it. Yesterday she was on TV, once again belittling Trump and the people who voted for him. She has no insight. Hope she reads a copy of this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David Huff

    I've enjoyed watching Tucker Carlson on TV for a number of years, finding him for the most part to be a fair and thoughtful interviewer. He has definitely reached a career high with his current prime-time slot on FNC, and now with this new best-seller, "Ship of Fools". I think most Americans who truly love their country, whatever their political persuasion, know that our culture, public discourse, and social norms are increasingly off the rails in many respects (or maybe "adrift" would be a bett I've enjoyed watching Tucker Carlson on TV for a number of years, finding him for the most part to be a fair and thoughtful interviewer. He has definitely reached a career high with his current prime-time slot on FNC, and now with this new best-seller, "Ship of Fools". I think most Americans who truly love their country, whatever their political persuasion, know that our culture, public discourse, and social norms are increasingly off the rails in many respects (or maybe "adrift" would be a better analogy). In his witty and often pointed style, Carlson finds much of our national leadership (not just political, but educational and business as well) -- whom he identifies as a "selfish ruling class" --to be responsible for an unprecedented level of the societal dysfunction we observe every day. Each chapter deals invariably with a controversial topic -- racism, immigration, free speech, foreign policy, the environment -- with a goal of "putting the country back on course". This is a brisk, informative read, with one of its greatest strengths being the wealth of documentation, examples, names and quotes Carlson provides to bolster his case. You will be frustrated at times, you will shake your head in disgust on occasion; but, hopefully, we may all gain renewed motivation, in our spheres of influence, to help steer American back to common sense and sanity.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Greg Watson

    I listened to this in the car. It's an excellent overview of the current state of affairs. Tucker describes the whole depressing picture on several levels. He shows how both political parties have consented to support an interventionist foreign policy. Whereas Democrats once opposed illegal immigration because it lowered wages, they now support it along with many establishment Republicans. Integration was once a goal. Now, some colleges offer racially segregated dorms and even graduations. Civil I listened to this in the car. It's an excellent overview of the current state of affairs. Tucker describes the whole depressing picture on several levels. He shows how both political parties have consented to support an interventionist foreign policy. Whereas Democrats once opposed illegal immigration because it lowered wages, they now support it along with many establishment Republicans. Integration was once a goal. Now, some colleges offer racially segregated dorms and even graduations. Civil liberties have collapsed in favor of campus speech codes. The environmental movement focuses on climate change while ignoring urban trash pollution. It's all here and more. And it's all laid out with humor and passion.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jay Pruitt

    “Trump’s election wasn’t about Trump. It was a throbbing middle finger in the face of America’s ruling class. It was a gesture of contempt, a howl of rage, the end result of decades of selfish and unwise decisions made by selfish and unwise leaders. Happy countries don’t elect Donald Trump president. Desperate ones do. In retrospect, the lesson seemed obvious: Ignore voters for long enough and you get Donald Trump.” ---Tucker Carlson This book surprised me. I'm generally not a fan of Tucker, alth “Trump’s election wasn’t about Trump. It was a throbbing middle finger in the face of America’s ruling class. It was a gesture of contempt, a howl of rage, the end result of decades of selfish and unwise decisions made by selfish and unwise leaders. Happy countries don’t elect Donald Trump president. Desperate ones do. In retrospect, the lesson seemed obvious: Ignore voters for long enough and you get Donald Trump.” ---Tucker Carlson This book surprised me. I'm generally not a fan of Tucker, although I am conservative. His daily show tends to annoy me. And no big shocker here, his book (Ship of Fools) is laden with the thick sarcasm which spews forth when he's interviewing guests with opposing views. Having said that, he presents some very strong evidence in the book that our government (and most of the large corporations) are being run by idiots, crooks, and hypocrites - in other words, a ship of fools taking us over the edge. And before my progressive friends feel the need to take offense, you should know that Tucker targets fools on both sides the isle. None is safe from his apolitically-correct tirades. I was pleased that Tucker backed his allegations with what any reasonable person would acknowledge are indisputable facts. He didn't go off the deep end with hyperbole. No name calling, no claims of "fake news" or that he/she must be a "racist". He just lays it all out for the viewing, without having to force-feed his conclusions. That's refreshing and, admittedly, a bit surprising. If you're left of Nancy or if you're feelin' the Bern, then let's face it - you're not going to like this book - no matter how persuasive Tucker's arguments may be. But if you consider yourself a moderate, maybe you dislike FOX News but can't stand the talking heads at CNN either, then I would definitely say Ship of Fools is worth the read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Serwach

    Best Political book of 2018: Explains how liberal/conservative establishments invited the Trump revolution Tucker Carlson’s career skyrocketed in 2016-2017 because he proved himself to be one of the only journalists in America who actually understood Donald Trump and Trumpism — and the causes sown by the liberal and conservative establishments as they lost their way (inviting revolutionary change). Most simply didn’t get it and repeatedly made inaccurate “boy who cried wolf” and Chicken Little pr Best Political book of 2018: Explains how liberal/conservative establishments invited the Trump revolution Tucker Carlson’s career skyrocketed in 2016-2017 because he proved himself to be one of the only journalists in America who actually understood Donald Trump and Trumpism — and the causes sown by the liberal and conservative establishments as they lost their way (inviting revolutionary change). Most simply didn’t get it and repeatedly made inaccurate “boy who cried wolf” and Chicken Little predictions days after day, month after month (they still do). Tucker “got it” and saw what millions of voters saw but articulated it in a way few can. In “Ship of Fools,” he takes a thoughtful “big picture” look at the nation’s seven biggest issues, full of data showing and explaining why and how the Establishment lost its way again and again. “Ship of Fools” offers a clear roadmap on how future leaders can get back on course and revive public trust. This is a quick read and a great book. No matter what your politics, it’s worth reading and pondering.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rod Horncastle

    That was horrifically good. The Left AND RIGHT are politically dangerous. So here's the problem: U.S. politics is a club of Washington elites who keep themselves in power. And then their kids get into the best schools=- and then up to power. Who cares what party they are necessarily for. Which makes Trump interesting: He's not fully one of them. He really doesn't care. And that makes a LOT of political elite angry and nervous. Someone is in power who they can't control. Yep, lots of fascinating stu That was horrifically good. The Left AND RIGHT are politically dangerous. So here's the problem: U.S. politics is a club of Washington elites who keep themselves in power. And then their kids get into the best schools=- and then up to power. Who cares what party they are necessarily for. Which makes Trump interesting: He's not fully one of them. He really doesn't care. And that makes a LOT of political elite angry and nervous. Someone is in power who they can't control. Yep, lots of fascinating stuff in here. But most people have their minds made up before they even open the book. Such is life.

  9. 4 out of 5

    L.A. Starks

    Readers who like hearing Tucker Carlson's opinions will appreciate his views here in longer form, and will recognize the style and cadence. Readers who like hearing Tucker Carlson's opinions will appreciate his views here in longer form, and will recognize the style and cadence.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    I would give this book 6 stars if I could. Outstanding. Should be required reading for everyone in the United States. Why didn't I notice any of these changes taking place over the last couple of decades? I thought I was being so careful about what is fact versus what is wishful thinking or propaganda, but my perceptions have been heavily influenced, especially by the news media, and not just because of what is being reported but because of what is NOT being reported. I learned something about m I would give this book 6 stars if I could. Outstanding. Should be required reading for everyone in the United States. Why didn't I notice any of these changes taking place over the last couple of decades? I thought I was being so careful about what is fact versus what is wishful thinking or propaganda, but my perceptions have been heavily influenced, especially by the news media, and not just because of what is being reported but because of what is NOT being reported. I learned something about myself and about our society, and it isn't pretty. Highly, highly recommended, even if you don't agree with Carlson's politics.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Peter Bradley

    Ship of Fools by Tucker Carlson Please give a helpful vote to my Amazon review - https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-re... This is a worthwhile book for understanding the present moment. We are in a period of cultural-political crack-up. The conventional wisdom no longer holds. People who we put into one camp or another no longer stay comfortably in their category. Things we rooted for as conservative or liberals, we now abhor. How did this happen? How does it make sense? For a young man, Tucker Carls Ship of Fools by Tucker Carlson Please give a helpful vote to my Amazon review - https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-re... This is a worthwhile book for understanding the present moment. We are in a period of cultural-political crack-up. The conventional wisdom no longer holds. People who we put into one camp or another no longer stay comfortably in their category. Things we rooted for as conservative or liberals, we now abhor. How did this happen? How does it make sense? For a young man, Tucker Carlson has been around the movers and shakers of Washington DC for a long time. He is also willing to depart from the conventional wisdom of his tribe to describe things as he sees them which appear to be the way things are. I find Carlson's perspective interesting and challenging. His current position is a kind of anti-elitist populism. I've been decrying the incompetence of our elites for the last decade. The theme of elite incompetence is the main point of this book, along with the anti-democratic tendencies of our elites - both Republican and Democrat - to ignore the actual concerns of the majority of the American people. Carlson's perspective makes for interesting reading. For example, despite the fact that Americans have never supported American immigration policies as they have existed. Republicans and Democrats have conspired against the American people for their different reasons. The result has been a populist rebellion leading to the election of Trump, but the elites in their arrogance and incompetence blame anything except their own incompetence. Carlson's discussion of the Democrat volte face on immigration was fascinating. I had forgotten that the Democrats were the anti-immigration party. I probably never knew that Cesar Chavez sent UFW goons to the border to beat up on Mexicans who are now called "immigrants" but Chavez called "wetbacks." Wow! Of course, the Republicans were no better, favoring unlimited immigration in order to lower business costs. A theme of Carlson's book is his regret that Democrats are no longer liberals. Once they could have been relied on to stand for the middle and working class by arguing against the reduction of their income through unlimited immigration. Once they could have been counted on to argue in favor of free speech. Once they could have been counted on to demand due process in all cases. Now, not so much, which means that they join the Republicans, who were never strong in those areas, to expand the power of the state and undermine the middle class. Ironic. Carlson's point seems very conservative - he wants Democrats to return to being Democrats because the country was well-served by principled disagreement, rather than by a Democrat party that appeals to feelings and views America as a problem to be handled through the replacement of its population. This is an informative book. I recommend it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    Tucker Carlson is one of the many political analysts that appears on FOX News, which has become (or always kind of was, actually) a right-wing propaganda network for the Trump administration. Carlson started off on CNN and MSNBC, perhaps as an alternative viewpoint---the conservative “counterpoint” to the many point/counterpoint-type programs that those generally liberal networks provided. While he claims to be less a conservative than he is a libertarian, Carlson has, some critics have argued, Tucker Carlson is one of the many political analysts that appears on FOX News, which has become (or always kind of was, actually) a right-wing propaganda network for the Trump administration. Carlson started off on CNN and MSNBC, perhaps as an alternative viewpoint---the conservative “counterpoint” to the many point/counterpoint-type programs that those generally liberal networks provided. While he claims to be less a conservative than he is a libertarian, Carlson has, some critics have argued, drunk too much of the Kool-aid at FOX News. I’m not sure if this is a completely fair argument, as I have never watched his late-night talk show, so I have no right or basis to judge him on whether he is, like many people on FOX News, a Trump stooge and/or apologist. I only have his latest book, “Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution”, to figure out where he stands on certain issues. I have read the book, and I can honestly say that Carlson is a conservative with a strong right-leaning bent, but there is a caveat: he is also quite rational. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but both political parties in this country have basically gone ape-shit insane. The Democrats are a floundering, ineffectual party of blamers (It’s not my fault, it’s the Russians/Trump/white people/whatever), while the Republicans have become a party that doesn’t have the balls to criticize their president for even the slightest of transgressions (He didn’t mean that, he was just joking...) Carlson may be a conservative who picks on liberals, but his arguments aren’t the vitriolic and crazy whiny kind like Ann Coulter’s or Rush Limbaugh’s. Some of what he says makes sense, and some of his criticisms of liberals and the Democratic party are well-deserved. Much of what he says has, in some cases, been argued by other liberals. For example, Carlson’s attack on the Democratic party for no longer being the party of the working class but rather just another party, like the Republicans, who have succumbed to the big money and power of corporate and Wall Street lobbyists is the same exact argument that Thomas Frank made in his 2016 book, “Listen, Liberal: Or, Whatever Happened to the Party of the People”. It’s an extremely valid point, along with his argument that the Democrats---once the anti-war party---have become just as hawkish, if not moreso, than the Republicans. Liberals may not like to hear it, but President Obama’s foreign policy was often criticized as being too aggressive and many foreign policy analysts argued that Obama merely continued President George W. Bush’s war policies and, in some cases, went even further. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-can...) Some of Carlson’s arguments may seem like the same ol’ conservative talking points that rub liberals the wrong way, but it’s hard not to see valid points in his arguments, if one is willing to look at them as objectively and open-minded as possible. For example, Carlson’s chapter on immigration points out a bit of history that, honestly, I knew but had never really thought about: labor unions in this country, for decades, were vocal advocates against more immigrations and especially illegal immigration. Indeed, labor unions fought legislation that would allow companies to import foreign workers who would be a cheap labor force, which would take away jobs from many legal American citizens. We’ve all heard this argument before, and while, today, American workers have far more to fear from robots and automation than illegal Mexican workers in regards to stealing jobs, what labor unions were really doing was trying to keep corporations ethical and humane. Today, thanks to a global market, corporations don’t have to give a shit about stuff like that. It’s easier to frame the conservative anti-immigration argument as a racist one in which white people simply don’t want more wetbacks and boat people moving into their neighborhoods than it is to consider that stricter enforcement of immigration would, actually, be beneficial to our economy and, perhaps, stop some American companies from unethical hiring practices. Carlson goes on to talk about several other hot-button issues, such as race relations in this country, global climate change, as well as the liberal attacks on free speech. I know that some liberals will probably be seething and frothing at the mouth at some of what Carlson is saying, especially about the latter issue, but I urge my fellow liberals to just shut and listen to what Carlson has to say. Sadly, some liberals will not even bother to read Carlson’s book, which is the precise case in point of Carlson’s chapter on the liberal attacks on free speech. Today, some liberals have become so close-minded to the conservative viewpoint that they will do anything to prevent that viewpoint from being voiced, all (ironically and hypocritically) supposedly in the name of “tolerance” and “acceptance” of a “diversity” of views. I doubt I will convince many of my fellow liberals to read this book. I’m not asking for you to change your liberal views. I'm not advocating anyone to watch FOX News. I’m not even encouraging---or planning on, myself---voting Republican in the next election. I’m merely suggesting that it can’t hurt to read something that you may not agree with, politically, every once in a while. If you call yourself a liberal, a true liberal, you believe in things like democracy and freedom, which includes a free flow of ideas, even ideas that you may not agree with or even like.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Athan Tolis

    If you want to know why Trump is President, this book provides the best explanation currently in print. On the back cover, no less! If, like me, you are no fan of Chelsea Clinton, this book contains as good an indictment of America’s favorite princeling as I’ve ever read. (I will additionally confess to nodding a lot while I was reading his takedown of TaNehisi Coates and his enlightened acolytes) If you want to know what ails America, however, you’ve come to the wrong place. I was born in Vietnam W If you want to know why Trump is President, this book provides the best explanation currently in print. On the back cover, no less! If, like me, you are no fan of Chelsea Clinton, this book contains as good an indictment of America’s favorite princeling as I’ve ever read. (I will additionally confess to nodding a lot while I was reading his takedown of TaNehisi Coates and his enlightened acolytes) If you want to know what ails America, however, you’ve come to the wrong place. I was born in Vietnam War era Chicago to a Greek heart surgeon-in-training and my personal story qualifies me to comment on the two main axes of this rather muddled tome: 1. The US suffers from a major demographic problem. Indeed, if you were to take a black felt pen and re-draw the US border to include ALL OF MEXICO, the US would still suffer from a major demographic problem. Ergo, the problem America has today is not one of immigrants. It is a problem of not taking the necessary care to attract, foster and integrate the people who sacrifice and risk their lives and their families’ lives to build a new future for themselves in America. 2. The US, via military intervention, has saved my country twice from devastation: once from the Nazi invaders and once from the Moscow-funded and Moscow-armed communists who took over the country in the aftermath of WWII. This has worked out well for the US, which became a beacon for my parents’ generation. After my father completed his studies in the US, my parents returned to Greece, but they made sure their three children also profited from an American education. My parents funded 20 years of college and grad school for the three of us in the US. My brother is now a heart-surgeon in Boston, my sister an architect and between the two of them they are raising six American kids. The US is getting an excellent dividend on its justified military interventions from the 1940’s. It is the quality of military interventions that has slipped, as US foreign policy has been hijacked by lobbies such as our good friends the neocons. The principle, however, is sound. In short, the “brave points” Tucker Carlson makes here against immigrants and against the duties of the world’s most powerful democratic country to export its genuinely enlightened ideals, are bunk. The state of immigration in the world’s biggest country of immigrants and its misguided military adventures both reflect the fact that the US has been treating these important issues as afterthoughts. They do not negate the high principles that made America. Other parts of the book are even worse, and they are very clearly there because they are requirements for any book that’s aimed at Tucker Carlson’s crowd. So he does not dare take the wrong side of history / science etc. and declare the planet ain’t warming up (the thermometer refutes that, after all) but he offsets it with some mumbo jumbo about how once upon a time the EPA used to clean rivers rather than care about carbon emissions. His theory is that the government ran out of good things to do regarding the environment and re-focused to global warming rather than declare victory and shut down the EPA. Seriously! Similarly, abortion rights are bad because some of the worst deniers of women’s rights are Muslims, like the Pakistani grooming gangs in the north of England. Yes, I know, it does not follow. But that’s the technique here: cite an outrage and that’s good enough an argument to win any discussion. Especially if you’re talking by yourself, which is the format when you’re the author of a book… The technique reaches its zenith when Tucker Carlson comes to the suppression of white men. White men are endangered, apparently, because the opioids epidemic is killing them in their droves. Right. So here is an instance where Tucker Carlson can 100% legitimately lay an enormous part of the blame on one of his betes noires, William Jefferson Clinton, who in 1999 changed the rules on direct-to-consumer advertising of medications, opening the floodgates for the Sacklers to do their version of God’s work. Does he bother to do so? NO, he doesn’t because Clinton is now toast and there are important points to make against the nebulous “liberals” here. So Tucker Carlson is either lazy or unprincipled. He’s probably both.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Charles Haywood

    "Ship of Fools" extends the recent run of books that attack the American ruling class as decayed and awful. However it is characterized, as the professional-management elite, the Front Row Kids, or one of many other labels, all these books argue the ruling class is running our country into the ground, and most argue it is stupid and annoying to boot. I certainly agree, and I also tend to agree with the grim prognostication in the subtitle, that revolution is coming—that is, this will end in bloo "Ship of Fools" extends the recent run of books that attack the American ruling class as decayed and awful. However it is characterized, as the professional-management elite, the Front Row Kids, or one of many other labels, all these books argue the ruling class is running our country into the ground, and most argue it is stupid and annoying to boot. I certainly agree, and I also tend to agree with the grim prognostication in the subtitle, that revolution is coming—that is, this will end in blood. What this book fails to offer, though, just like all these books, is any kind of possible other solution. Which, after a while, reinforces the reader’s conclusion that there is no other solution. Not a word in this book is truly original. That’s not to say it’s bad: Carlson is highly intelligent and well informed, and his book is extremely well written, clever, funny, and compelling. As with most current political books, Donald Trump appears often, not as himself, but as a phenomenon, whose rise deserves and requires explanation, and who therefore implicitly frames the book, though the author stops mentioning him about halfway through. Carlson’s thoughts on Trump, however, are no more original than the rest of the book, the basic conclusion of which is that actions have consequences, and Trump is a natural consequence of the actions taken by our ruling class. In Greek myth, when you sow the earth with dragon’s teeth, you get fierce warriors; today, when you harrow the disempowered with rakes, you get Trump. Carlson, in his Introduction, recites a familiar litany, of the evisceration of the middle class and the emergence of the new class system, where there is a great gulf set between the ruling class and the mass of Americans. Part of the gap is money, shown by increased income and asset inequality. Part of the gap is status, as shown by behavior, such as consumption habits, but even more visible in differences in opportunity, where many desirable options are available to those who pass elite filters such as attending the right universities, and are wholly unavailable to the rest. Few people, of whatever political persuasion, would deny the emergence of this gap; it is what conclusions to draw that are in dispute. This widening horizontal fracture between mass and elite is reflected in the political parties. The Democrats have shifted from a party of the masses, to a party focused on elite concerns, such as “identity politics, abortion, and abstract environmental concerns.” They ignore existential threats to the non-elites such as the loss of good manufacturing jobs, the opioid epidemic, the dropping life span of the non-elite, and that Obamacare and crony capitalism handouts to the insurance companies and lawyers have made insurance unaffordable for the working class. The Republicans have always been more focused on the elite (until Trump), and so have shifted position less, but are no less blameless. Carlson recognizes that the common Republican talking point, that nobody in America is actually poor by historical standards, is mostly irrelevant for these purposes. Inequality is perceived on a relative scale, and it creates envy. As Jonathan Haidt has explained at length, for many people’s moral views, fairness is a key touchstone, and abstract economic arguments are not an adequate response. And whatever the causes or rationales, this abandonment of the masses by both parties leaves nobody with power representing the non-elite. Now, I think this horizontal fracture analysis of the political parties is a bit too simplistic. I see American politics as a quadrant, in which neoliberal Democrats like Hillary Clinton have more in common with elite-focused Republicans like Jeb Bush than they do with either Bernie Sanders Democrats or Trump Republicans, who have much in common with each other. Carlson collapses this quadrant into a duality, in essence lumping Clinton and Bush into one group, and Sanders and Trump acolytes into another. This conceals certain critical issues, especially between the two portions of the quadrant that constitute those excluded from the ruling class. But I suppose Carlson’s main goal is to highlight the elite/non-elite distinction on which he builds his case. The rest of the book is an expansion on this Introduction, in which history is intertwined with analysis of the present day. Carlson heavily focuses on immigration, i.e., “Importing a Serf Class.” This is the issue most clearly separating the ruling class from the ruled. Democrat and Republican elites have actively cooperated to flood America with alien immigrants, legal and illegal, against the wishes and interests of the masses. Diversity is not our strength, “it’s a neutral fact, inherently neither good nor bad. . . . Countries don’t hang together simply because. They need a reason. What’s ours?” Carlson contrasts Cesar Chavez, who hated illegal immigrants as wage-lowering scum, with today’s elites, who demand illegal immigrants so they can be waited on hand and foot in their gated palaces. These changes are reflected in the official programs of the parties and in the pronouncements of their mandarins—or they were, until Trump showed up, and modified the Republican approach. What is more, they extend now to seemingly unrelated single-issue pressure groups—the Sierra Club, for example, now shrilly demands unlimited immigration, increased pressure on the environment be damned. Immigration, though, is just one example of how the elites now ignore the legitimate interests of the working class. Apple treats workers (Chinese, to be sure) like slaves, but burns incense at the concerns of the elite such as gender inequality in management, so no attention is paid to the workers—the time of Dorothy Day is long gone. Amazon treats its employees as human robots, yet nobody in power complains. Facebook corrupts our youth through deliberate addiction and is chummy with killer regimes, yet no Congressman challenges them for that. Meanwhile the Democratic Party has exiled real representatives of the masses, whom they used to lionize, such as Ralph Nader. How do the elites reconcile this behavior in their own minds? They are united in their belief that their elite status is the result of merit, what Carlson cleverly calls “secular Calvinism.” The masses have less because they deserve less. That is to say, elite liberals, in particular, no longer challenge the hierarchy on behalf of the truly powerless, which is, as Jordon Peterson points out, the traditional and valid role of the Left. Instead, they denigrate the powerless, the bitter-clingers, the deplorables, while assuring themselves that because they focus on elite matters supposedly related to “oppressions,” such as granting new rights to homosexuals (a wealthy and powerful group), that they are somehow maintaining their traditional role. Carlson also covers “Foolish Wars,” in which the masses die for elite stupidity, such as George W. Bush’s delusion that the Arab world wanted democracy. Again, the cutting humor shows through: “One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity. . . . The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans. Max Boot is living proof it’s happening in America.” Trump, at least in the campaign, saw the demands for ever-more foreign wars as what they are—an abomination. The ruling classes, on the other hand, are all for more wars—a departure from the past, especially among Democrats. It’s not just Max Boot that Carlson attacks by name. He slices up Bill Kristol for several pages. It is brutal. (I was a young intern in the White House when Dan Quayle was Vice President and Kristol his chief of staff. Kristol was a preening moron even then; unlike a fine wine, he has not improved with age.) Carlson also savages Ta-Nehisi Coates at length, although that’s a bit like thrashing a man tied up in a gimp suit, too easy. Referring to Coates’s miserable book, he says “It’s a measure how thoroughly the diversity cult has corroded the aesthetic standards of our elite that the book was greeted with almost unanimous praise, which is to say, lying.” Next comes free speech. Liberals used to support free speech, no matter the cause; now the elite is eager to violently suppress speech that displeases them (or, more accurately, speech that threatens them by proving to be effective in eroding their power). Such suppression is primarily something pushed by the Left, though the elite Right is happy to cooperate. Carlson adduces the infamous dawn SWAT raids on conservatives by elite Democrats in Wisconsin, led by Milwaukee district attorney John Chisholm, judge Barbara Kluka, and prosecutor Francis Schmitz (who have escaped punishment, so far, unfortunately, although if the revolution that Carlson seems to predict arrives, hopefully they will be remembered). Brendan Eich and James Damore also make an appearance, as individuals persecuted by the elites, in the form of corporations, for their speech. Carlson makes an important point here, one ignored by the odious coterie of inside-the-beltway corporate Republicans and #NeverTrumpers—that even though they are not subject to the First Amendment, it is false that corporations who behave this way cannot or should not be disciplined. As he notes, “Government regulates all sorts of speech in the private sector.” What government doesn’t do is regulate speech in a way that protects conservatives—restriction of speech is a sword used only to enforce the dominion of the Left. The Right needs to weaponize it against the Left, not to defend an abstract and unnecessary principle that is ignored when harm is done to them. As I have written elsewhere, a good place to start would be legislatively forbidding all sizeable corporations from any discrimination based on speech or other expressive action (such as donating money to a cause) that the federal government could not legally forbid (e.g.., obscenity). The law would be enforced by massive statutory damages ($500,000 per occurrence), one-way fee shifting against the companies, and a huge federal enforcement bureaucracy empowered with broad discovery powers. This would apply both to protect employees and, critically, to protect all speech and actions of the public where the corporation, such as Twitter or Facebook, offers a supposedly neutral platform for the public to make statements. It would further apply, beyond mere speech, to forbid discrimination by all entities providing services analogous to common carriers, such as payment processors, notably PayPal, and credit card processors, whose services are now being selectively denied to suppress conservative speech. In addition, online shopping platforms such as Amazon would also be deemed common carriers, not permitted to refuse to list any non-illegal good for sale if they held themselves out as acting as a seller of general merchandise, or as acting as a platform to match third-party sellers and buyers. All this would be a good start to break the power of the corporate Left; it would be a change from conservatives’ belief that private businesses should be left alone, but if they won’t leave us alone, there is no reason we should leave them alone. Identity, and its uses by the ruling class, swing next into the author’s crosshairs. Carlson notes the elites don’t bear the costs of the “diversity cult”; the masses do. The elites whip up fear of white supremacists as a political tool, even though the sum total of real white supremacists is trivial and they have no power. That is, the elites inflame racial passions for every group but whites, not realizing how dangerous that is. Of the obvious question, why whites shouldn’t organize as a group, Carlson points out that some have asked the question, “but so far they have been self-discrediting: haters, morons, and charlatans. What happens when someone calm and articulate does it?” I am not eager to find out, but we are probably going to. And, on feminism, Carlson notes the inconvenient truth that women are far less happy, as reported by the University of Chicago’s longitudinal General Social Survey, than they were forty years ago, and that those with traditional views of gender roles are much happier, in general and in their marriages, than their harpy cousins. The latter, though, are dominant in the elites; Carlson names here names and shames Sheryl Sandberg. Moreover, the elites mandate a focus on their obsessive concerns about sexual behavior, including demanding the masses endorse claims utterly divorced from reality. “Men posing as female weight lifters isn’t the biggest problem Western civilization faces, but it’s an ominous symptom of deeper rot. When the people in charge retreat into fantasy, and demand that everyone else join them there, society itself becomes impervious to reality.” Non-elite men, meanwhile, are treated like dirt, can’t find jobs, and die at ever-younger ages, and the elite doesn’t care—in fact, it (mostly) discreetly celebrates. Finally, on environmentalism, elites don’t care about the actual environment, cleaning up the trash, but rather about abstractions like supposed global warming, while they urge their private jets to greater speed. It is a fast and compelling read. True, every so often Carlson missteps when talking about history. No, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the crown prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, assassinated in 1914, was not “a second-string Austrian nobleman.” Nor is it even remotely true that “Divide and conquer. That’s how the British ruled India.” Equally untrue is that “The right to express your views is the final bulwark that shields the individual from the mob that disagrees with him.” The right to own and carry effective military weaponry, enshrined in the Second Amendment, is that right. Speech is a distant second as a bulwark. For a very smart man, Carlson seems to avoid any but recent history, and given these examples, that is probably a wise choice for him. OK, so far, so good. The book is worth reading—as I say, nothing original, but for those not attuned to such matters and looking for a primer, an excellent read. I eagerly looked forward to the last chapter, or rather the Epilogue, “Righting the Ship.” That was a mistake. It is less than two pages. It offers bad history, suggesting that the only two alternatives are a system of oppressive rulers and oppressed serfs, and democracy. The former, supposedly, is the norm; our democracy is special, but it is under attack. Carlson therefore offers us, or rather our ruling class, two options: suspend democracy, or “attend to the population . . . If you want to save democracy, you’ve got to practice it.” The alternative is likely civil war. This is not helpful. Leaving aside that democracy is far from the only system that has provided a proper equilibrium between the ruling class and the masses (as Carlson himself admits when talking at length about the disappearance today of noblesse oblige), Carlson offers no reason at all for the ruling classes to take his advice. Why would they? Even if they accepted his analysis, which they don’t, and won’t, there is zero historical example of a late-stage ruling class reforming itself voluntarily. Carlson’s Epilogue is just so much space filling. I suspect he knows that, too, which is why his Introduction is longer and more apocalyptic—because he thinks that rupture is the future, and only hopes it will involve minimal violence. Rupture is almost certainly inevitable, but the end result is unlikely to be the saving of democracy as it exists now, since democracy is an inherently unstable system and at least partially responsible for the core fact of which Carlson complains, the rot of the ruling class. Thus, this book is a decent introduction to the topic of ruling class vice and decay, but no more.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Misfit

    Is it possible that someone can write a book more tedious and soporific than Alison Weir or Philippa Gregory? I wouldn't have thought so, but Carlson manages to surpass those two. Oh, and that's not a compliment. This was a tedious, excruciating and rambling mess of facts stated and never sourced with footnotes. Not one. I had to skim a lot, because whatever it was that Carlson was trying to educate us about made no sense and my eyes glazed over. Stick a fork it in, I'm done with this one. Is it possible that someone can write a book more tedious and soporific than Alison Weir or Philippa Gregory? I wouldn't have thought so, but Carlson manages to surpass those two. Oh, and that's not a compliment. This was a tedious, excruciating and rambling mess of facts stated and never sourced with footnotes. Not one. I had to skim a lot, because whatever it was that Carlson was trying to educate us about made no sense and my eyes glazed over. Stick a fork it in, I'm done with this one.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    Ship of Fools was an eye-opener for me. It was not what I expected at all. I had heard bits and pieces in the news about several topics Tucker Carlson exposes in here and pushed them back into my subconscious- not really thinking seriously about them. But, now, reading these issues more in-depth -the statistics and the potential consequences are alarming! Depressing. One piece that I became more aware -Middle Class is shrinking to a dangerous level. Tucker writes about the environment which makes Ship of Fools was an eye-opener for me. It was not what I expected at all. I had heard bits and pieces in the news about several topics Tucker Carlson exposes in here and pushed them back into my subconscious- not really thinking seriously about them. But, now, reading these issues more in-depth -the statistics and the potential consequences are alarming! Depressing. One piece that I became more aware -Middle Class is shrinking to a dangerous level. Tucker writes about the environment which makes me miss the DEMs of the 70s. The environmentalists who truly cared about our environment, and made a difference. Made America beautiful again. Clean streams, clean air - a once beautiful California. One person he lists in his book is biologist Rachel Carson and her book Silent Spring published back in 1962. She studied the effects of DDT and how harmful it is to humans and animals. She was famous! I appreciate her movement so much right now. Living in California- so close to San Francisco yet far enough away I do not have to experience the filth on the streets - the dirty needles - the excrement from the homeless. I have not visited San Francisco in several years. I used to love San Francisco. It was a beautiful city, but something went wrong. Very wrong. Where have all the true environmentalists gone? We need the bleeding heart liberals of the 70s back now. I miss the old sensible Dems. Regret now making fun of them. How ironic for me - the actions of the extreme Left now have awakened me to understand the reasonable Causes they were fighting for back when. But, so much has changed since the 70s. Where have all the Good DEMs gone Long time passing Where have all the Good DEMs gone Long time ago Where have all the Good DEMs gone Elites propagandized every one When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn? As Tucker Carlson writes- The Sierra Club, which was formed to maintain hiking trails in Yosemite, now takes a vigorous position in favor of transgenderism and taxpayer-funded abortion. Why? What has this to do with environmentalism? No money in environmentalism? Sad. Our environment in California is going to Hell in a hand basket. The fires . . . caused by several negative issues that have not been brought forth honestly by the press . . . have wreaked havoc with California's environment! This section made me laugh: Leonardo DiCaprio is both a famous actor and perhaps the worlds best known climate activist. He doesn’t speak on the subject of carbon emissions so much as he preaches. ‘Humans have put our entire existence into jeopardy! Climate change is the most Urgent threat facing our entire species.’ Those who question climate policy, he declares, should be banned from public office. The Scientific consensus is in, and the argument is now over. DiCaprio was scheduled to receive an award from the environmental group Riverkeeper. He was in Cannes attending the film festival at the time, so he chartered a private jet to fly from France to New York and back. That’s an eight-thousand-mile round-trip, which in addition to being physically exhausting, amounts to a gargantuan carbon footprint . . . The year before, he was photographed off the coast of France meandering alone on the deck at the 450 foot $200 million yacht, which he’d rented as an accommodation for the week. Once again, a lot of carbon. And, there are several more anecdotes featuring Elite “environmentalists”, very similar to this, with their Bombardier BD-700 Global Expresses and Gulfstream G650 ERs gadding about town. This statement says it all: New York mayor Bill de Blasio presides over an unusually dirty city, but the health of the environment is nevertheless vitally important to him. Hmm. The hypocrisy, of the Extreme Left, (since Trump became President) is so thick on so many subjects - I feel like I am in a Twilight Zone episode that I will never awaken. Another area Tucker Carlson exposes is the senseless wars the US military has suffered through. I was on the side of the war mongers myself back in the early 80s - following the elite Republicans, blindly. I admit it wholeheartedly. I see the whole picture much more clearly now. The more I read- I am realizing - I was wrong! Oh, so wrong. Wow, am I changing my party affiliation to Democrat? Not anywhere close. I’m turning Libertarian, I think I’m turning Libertarian. I really think so. Doesn’t work with the original tune, but . . . hey. One area in his book that really shook me was regarding gender. The male gender specifically. Wow, I had not known the sad statistics. My husband and I have two boys. All men - if do not read any other part of this book - this chapter is an important read. Soberingly enlightening. I read reviews for this book - and I agree 100% - this book is an important read for All Americans!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    A primetime Fox News host is not the person many people would expect to see sounding notes of skepticism about capitalism, hotly criticizing America's foreign interventions, and strongly critiquing the neoliberal order, but Tucker Carlson has somehow managed to get away with almost single-handedly providing an intellectual basis for populist nationalism in the Republican Party and broadcasting it to his millions of viewers. This book is great in that he eloquently analyzes and castigates the fai A primetime Fox News host is not the person many people would expect to see sounding notes of skepticism about capitalism, hotly criticizing America's foreign interventions, and strongly critiquing the neoliberal order, but Tucker Carlson has somehow managed to get away with almost single-handedly providing an intellectual basis for populist nationalism in the Republican Party and broadcasting it to his millions of viewers. This book is great in that he eloquently analyzes and castigates the failures of the existing order, but slightly disappointing in that it's solely a contrarian analysis and critique, rather than containing any serious attempts at describing how the existing system might be improved or replaced. With that in mind, it's a strong book by any standard, and an absolutely bold and incredible book when the professional constraints that the author is operating under are considered.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gregj

    I hope people don't dismiss this book because Tucker Carlson is right leaning and works for the hated Fox News. This is an important book. The trends that have been happening in this country over the last 15 years or so, are things I don't believe the majority of the population want. Someone is driving these changes, and you can't help but reach the conclusion that it is the elites. After seeing their wealth grow exponentially, they are definitely afraid of us peasants, rightly believing that we I hope people don't dismiss this book because Tucker Carlson is right leaning and works for the hated Fox News. This is an important book. The trends that have been happening in this country over the last 15 years or so, are things I don't believe the majority of the population want. Someone is driving these changes, and you can't help but reach the conclusion that it is the elites. After seeing their wealth grow exponentially, they are definitely afraid of us peasants, rightly believing that we might want a little for ourselves. They can't have us thinking that way so they distract, divide, dictate. They will do anything to stop us from asking why you are so wealthy, while the rest are struggling to make ends meet. Even if that means replacing the white majority with a more compliant, clueless of the constitution, non gun owning race.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Wilson

    Solid and worth reading.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    3.5 stars and rated upwards for the factual information. Especially upon the points of how there are really no longer two separate political parties in the USA, but elites as a ruling class and the serfs. Read it and weep. Because it is super depressive for those who truly believe the type of government founded in the USA will continue. It's very doubtful. Especially upon the subjects of military /defense roles and past "morality" definitions of "our values" within just a decade or 15 years just 3.5 stars and rated upwards for the factual information. Especially upon the points of how there are really no longer two separate political parties in the USA, but elites as a ruling class and the serfs. Read it and weep. Because it is super depressive for those who truly believe the type of government founded in the USA will continue. It's very doubtful. Especially upon the subjects of military /defense roles and past "morality" definitions of "our values" within just a decade or 15 years just past. All the up is down and down is now up. With 180 degree position changes for numerous definitions. Not only for "policy" within the many politicos who have consistently been clearly visible during those times, but for the very core issue definition of the onus for the law or not. Some of us do have clear memories of what they said not 12 years ago. And some of them standing right in front of us too. Now the only "morality" quotient is their nearly opposite definition of what it was/contained to "norm" just 10 years ago. Not only in practical applications for it either, but in the core "worthy"enough to be "good" enough to be "heard" about that specific "definition" at all. As if the 1st Amendment had 17 paragraphs of qualifications upon it. Our free speech has never been as assaulted in my own lifetime of length either. Never. And certainly not in the WWII plus era at any other time has it been so blatant in myriads of censorships. Authoritarian "shut up" is winning presently, I think. Those who say he is crashing on the Dems and some of the other comments in these reviews of 1 or 2 stars, I doubt they have read more than 20 pages (any of them) in the book. The chapter on Facebook and the execs of the tech world. That one is 5 star, should be read by all. And they are worried about the Russians to obsession and delusion levels still! That's where the brain and control issues to not only just politico "facts" or "fake facts" are occurring, but also literally changing the human cognition and mood "eyes". It also has created levels- at least two separate elite based platforms for "other"- as well. Sick type of "us and them" reality. Chapter 6 is excellent too. "Elites Invade the Bedroom" is its title. Love those first sentences in particular because it is so core. "What if a small group of unhappy people got to write the rules for your personal life? Would you be concerned?" Some of his equivocations and comparisons I would disagree with to a greater degree in details of procedure/outcome, but overall this book covers more and deeper observations than I thought it would. Some I have noticed myself, in "normal" mood and "eyes" of people around me and the 2012 plus sense of "judgmental" snark of core commenting. Especially in the inequality of labeling and treatments that is highly visible where I live. What is approved by ruling class and what isn't "approved" with consequences too, of course. These do extend far beyond just the vocal- in the very treatments of "worthy" or sanctimonious equivocations for monetary or giveaway "goods" public allocations as well. Tucker is so accurate about one specific issue here that is pivotal to division, too. What people do when they are ignored, can't voice their full opinions and told to shut up because they are not smart or worthy enough (wrong placements of work or having picked the wrong ancestors) to understand. It used to be they could react in less volatile methods with open "many sides allowed" forum or local presence and structural support of their values, beliefs, work desires, governmental overreach rejected consensus neighborhood reaction group supported etc. In school, in church, in town hall, in groups general- very much considered a "good" and American ideal. Not presently.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sonja

    I love a book that makes me examine my lines in the sand! Even better if I have to adjust them even slightly. One example is Free Speech versus Hate Speech. Black and white right? Maybe not as must as I thought....... I have one big complaint. The author constantly attacks the left. If he wanted to reach a larger audience he could have easily spread the blame to everyone. Left, Right, Blue, Red, old, young, pink or purple. If you can read this book with just the slightest of an open mind you migh I love a book that makes me examine my lines in the sand! Even better if I have to adjust them even slightly. One example is Free Speech versus Hate Speech. Black and white right? Maybe not as must as I thought....... I have one big complaint. The author constantly attacks the left. If he wanted to reach a larger audience he could have easily spread the blame to everyone. Left, Right, Blue, Red, old, young, pink or purple. If you can read this book with just the slightest of an open mind you might just come out the other side wiser or at lease have some great debates with friends.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brittney

    I usually read apoptotic and dystopian books Well Tucker this book scared the Hell out of me. I never read political books but I was intrigued by the title and decided to give it a try. I usually purchase Prime free books and your book was very expensive. I am glad I have a dictionary on my kindle - I enjoyed the learning experience. I am going back to apocalyptic and prepper books. But seriously I appreciate your book and thank you for writing it. I watch you on Fox every night.

  23. 4 out of 5

    victoria_tonks

    Fascinating (and terrifying at times), very hard to put down. A real page-turner. Also, relatable, even to a European. It is a ruthless diagnosis of the ruling elites, showing how divorced from reality and common sense they have become. It is happening in Europe too. Let's hope some of the trends Carlon talks about are still reversible. Overall, a great read. Fascinating (and terrifying at times), very hard to put down. A real page-turner. Also, relatable, even to a European. It is a ruthless diagnosis of the ruling elites, showing how divorced from reality and common sense they have become. It is happening in Europe too. Let's hope some of the trends Carlon talks about are still reversible. Overall, a great read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    John Mccandlish

    I encourage people to read this book. My four star rating certainly does NOT reflect my agreement with all of his points and arguments. However, debate and understanding of other viewpoints is important. Compared to many other right-wing books, Tucker I think makes a lot of valid points. However, I am dinging him one-star because I don't think he put himself really out there. I suspect he wants to protect his viewership on Fox by not calling out Trump when appropriate. Tucker never once mention T I encourage people to read this book. My four star rating certainly does NOT reflect my agreement with all of his points and arguments. However, debate and understanding of other viewpoints is important. Compared to many other right-wing books, Tucker I think makes a lot of valid points. However, I am dinging him one-star because I don't think he put himself really out there. I suspect he wants to protect his viewership on Fox by not calling out Trump when appropriate. Tucker never once mention Trump where Trump does not stand for what Tucker stands for. The words civility is often mentioned; yet nothing about our President outright meanness, cruelty, and lack of civility. Also, I get and agree with the subject of Free Speech and some of the extremists on the left. Yet failing to mention the attacks on the free press from Trump illustrates his weakness to be completely objective. (Yes the MSM is liberal, but free press is still part of our democracy). Probably most important is Tucker's failure to even address tax and fiscal policy in regards to the elites. Maybe Tucker thinks a ballooning debt is okay (both Obama and Trump); and the Trump tax cut is not part of the elite structure to gain even more power. Seems odd to me. Other noteworthy items for potential readers. Be prepared for two long rants. While I lean liberal, I had no idea what Chelsea Clinton was up to. Apparently she is destroying the world. lol. It's almost like Tucker just has a personal vendetta with her. I myself don't keep up with any President's kids. ...okay, that's a little bit of a lie. I find the SNL skits on Don Jr. and Eric very funny. Tucker's other personal vendetta is with Ta-Nehisi Coates. I got in the first two minutes Tucker didn't like the book and thought it full of holes. I didn't agree with everything Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote either just like I don't agree with everything Tucker writes; but I have rated both as four stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    R. Scot Johns

    Disappointing. I generally like Carlson's cutting wit and strong liberal democratic bent (small "d"), but here he rambles aimlessly without ever getting to the point. The book's subtitle is entirely out of place, as the only mention of "revolution" comes in the last few pages of the Epilogue. More importantly, he continually contradicts himself, such as when he spends a chapter discussing freedom of speech (the best section of the book), then proceeds to berate and belittle the likes of Leonardo Disappointing. I generally like Carlson's cutting wit and strong liberal democratic bent (small "d"), but here he rambles aimlessly without ever getting to the point. The book's subtitle is entirely out of place, as the only mention of "revolution" comes in the last few pages of the Epilogue. More importantly, he continually contradicts himself, such as when he spends a chapter discussing freedom of speech (the best section of the book), then proceeds to berate and belittle the likes of Leonardo di Caprio and Al Gore for voicing their concerns on climate change (and feminists in general). Al Gore, he chides, flew to the Paris Climate Accords in a private jet, although Carlson never once mentions the near-weekly trips Donald Trump takes to his private golf resorts via Air Force One (at our expense, no less). He states that Gore lives in a mansion that consumes 41% more energy than the average household, but only mentions in passing that the house is carbon-neutral and uses green energy. In fact, Trump is only mentioned once or twice in passing throughout the entire book, as if the past two years have never happened. The cover even features a cartoonish Hillary Clinton on the titular "ship of fools," even though she's essentially been out of politics since Trump took office. Mitch McConnell made the cover, as did Lindsey Graham (the only two Republicans, one might note), but Graham is mentioned only once in passing and McConnell not at all. Apparently they were only along for the ride. Carlson has many valid points to make, and I read works from either party for this reason. But this one felt like a collection of loose notes sketched for a book that only made it to the rough draft phase. There is some useful information, but the conclusions drawn from them are often illogical.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Elliott

    I've already known for years, if not decades, government officials in Washington, D.C., are vastly out of touch with the people who elected them. Anyone who even partially pays attention knows this. Senators, Representatives, judges, and so many more are insulated in their own little world never to suffer from the harsh realities the consequences of their careers have on the rest of the nation. It's definitely trickle-down but not economically speaking. Ha! In 2020, what's right is now considere I've already known for years, if not decades, government officials in Washington, D.C., are vastly out of touch with the people who elected them. Anyone who even partially pays attention knows this. Senators, Representatives, judges, and so many more are insulated in their own little world never to suffer from the harsh realities the consequences of their careers have on the rest of the nation. It's definitely trickle-down but not economically speaking. Ha! In 2020, what's right is now considered wrong, up is now down, and people provide lip service to an expectation everyone but them have to live up too. Crazy! If you listen really close and pay attention, you will hear the reverberating hum of the silent majority. The first signs of their rising up to break free from this backwards national system is the election of Donald Trump. Jefferson's prediction of a necessary revolution every few years may be right around the corner. Complacency is no longer accepted or excusable. Know who you are and do something about it. Start by reading this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Richard S

    I don't normally read books like this but after endlessly complaining about the behavior of the ACLU in the Cavanaugh hearing, at the recommendation of a friend decided to give this a try. The book is largely an overreach, but it makes enough good points, and I think it's important enough to the general discourse, that I can recommend it. Tucker has the most popular show on cable television, and it's important to understand the arguments across the full political spectrum, even if you don't agre I don't normally read books like this but after endlessly complaining about the behavior of the ACLU in the Cavanaugh hearing, at the recommendation of a friend decided to give this a try. The book is largely an overreach, but it makes enough good points, and I think it's important enough to the general discourse, that I can recommend it. Tucker has the most popular show on cable television, and it's important to understand the arguments across the full political spectrum, even if you don't agree with all of its principles. The general theory, of some great conspiracy of the elites to oppress the general populace, is a bit ludicrous. For example, I don't think a lot of rich liberals vote Democratic to ensure that their gardening costs are kept low. There's also an underappreciation of how much elite institutions do to make themselves available to the poor and underprivileged (college focus on first generation students), the support of charter schools, etc. These elites actually do care very much about the poor. On the other hand, Tucker does a good job describing the anger and frustration of the lower middle class that led to the Trump election, and his plea that more attention be given to the concerns of these people is important. Increasing suicide rates and drug overdoses should not be ignored just because these are Clinton's "deplorables". These communities have been gutted to a large extent and Trump to his credit has tried to bring back the manufacturing jobs in particular that are so important to a vibrant middle class. Tucker's description of the decay of institutions such as the ACLU and Sierra Club into general mouthpieces of progressive principles is spot on. As someone who strongly believes in principles of free speech, environmentalism and being generally anti-war, I've been equally appalled by the behavior of these (and other) institutions. I had kind of thought or hoped that the Trump election would be an opportunity for a return of responsible politics, but the new Orwellian left has been a disappointment. Tucker's comment at the end about democracies and civil war is ridiculous. An authoritarian overthrow of America's democracy would be insane and wouldn't last very long. Tucker often seems unaware of America's enormous capacity for political chaos. The never ending variety of its presidents are witness to this peculiar greatness. Electing a populist president every 150 years isn't always a bad thing, Who else would sit at the table with Kim Il Jong? Anyway, Tucker writes well and clearly. He often commits the big crime of current political discourse, the focus on individual facts as evidence of a whole. The writing is a bit slanted at times, on global warming for instance, he falls into typical conservative blather, but mostly his concerns are genuine. So good things and bad things, but if you're somewhere between a MAGA hat and Trump Derangement Syndrome, a worthwhile read. It's important that we understand each other, even if we disagree with each other. Tucker is an important voice, right or wrong, he should be heard and listened to.

  28. 5 out of 5

    W. Whalin

    A Worthwhile Listening Experience Tucker Carlson is a long-time Washington journalist and has his own show on the Fox News network. In SHIP OF FOOLS, Carlson takes his years of reporting and gathers facts and stories about the behind the scenes politics in Washington. I listened to the audiobook version for this book and found the information engaging, fascinating and insightful. Carlson’s story about conservative commentator Bill Kristol, founder and editor at large for tne now defunct Weekly St A Worthwhile Listening Experience Tucker Carlson is a long-time Washington journalist and has his own show on the Fox News network. In SHIP OF FOOLS, Carlson takes his years of reporting and gathers facts and stories about the behind the scenes politics in Washington. I listened to the audiobook version for this book and found the information engaging, fascinating and insightful. Carlson’s story about conservative commentator Bill Kristol, founder and editor at large for tne now defunct Weekly Standard, was one of the most worthwhile sections of this book. Carlson used to work for Kristol on the staff of The Weekly Standard and pulled no punches as he detailed some of the public and behind the scenes actions of Kristol. Yes Bill Kristol is one of the caricatures on the cover of SHIP OF FOOLS. No matter where you are on the political spectrum you should read or listen to SHIP OF FOOLS. I heard this audiobook cover to cover and enjoyed the experience. I recommend it. W. Terry Whalin is an editor & the author of more than 60 books Straight Talk From the Editor

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jim Brown

    A must read. More in depth review to follow.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Book

    Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution by Tucker Carlson “Ship of Fools” is an entertaining yet defective critique on the current state of political affairs. Fox News host Tucker Carlson takes the readers on a journey through the new reality of America, to those who benefit from the status quo, and those who don’t and the leaders who are fools of a sinking ship. This provocative 241-page book includes the following seven chapters: 1. The Convergen Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution by Tucker Carlson “Ship of Fools” is an entertaining yet defective critique on the current state of political affairs. Fox News host Tucker Carlson takes the readers on a journey through the new reality of America, to those who benefit from the status quo, and those who don’t and the leaders who are fools of a sinking ship. This provocative 241-page book includes the following seven chapters: 1. The Convergence, 2. Importing a Serf Class, 3. Foolish Wars, 4. Shut Up, They Explained, 5. The Diversity Diversion, 6. Elites Invade the Bedroom, and 7. They Don’t Pick Up Trash Anymore. Positives: 1. An entertaining book. Carlson’s biggest strength is his ability to be provocative. 2. An interesting topic how the ruling class of both parties have the country on the brink of a revolution. 3. Right from the introduction Carlson presents one of his most provocative statements. “Trump’s election wasn’t about Trump. It was a throbbing middle finger in the face of America’s ruling class. It was a gesture of contempt, a howl of rage, the end result of decades of selfish and unwise decisions made by selfish and unwise leaders. Happy countries don’t elect Donald Trump president. Desperate ones do.” 4. Totally agree with his assertion that middle class is the backbone of successful nations. “The first and most profound of these changes was the decline of the middle class. A vibrant, self-sustaining bourgeoisie is the backbone of most successful nations, but it is essential to a democracy. Democracies don’t work except in middle-class countries. In 2015, for the first time in its history, the United States stopped being a predominantly middle-class country.” 5. An interesting look at what causes poverty. “Poverty doesn’t cause instability. Envy does.” 6. Keen observations on immigration. Good use of Cesar Chavez as an example. “Cesar Chavez didn’t support illegal aliens. Chavez didn’t like immigration at all, generally, especially the low-skilled kind. Chavez understood that new arrivals from poor countries will always work for less than Americans. Immigration hurt the members of his union, undercutting their wages and weakening their leverage in negotiations with management. Cesar Chavez believed in vigilantly defended borders. When government refused to protect them, Chavez did it himself.” 7. Discusses one of America’s biggest blunders, Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). “It wasn’t just the Times. Other establishment outlets did the same, including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Stories that confirmed the existence of Iraq’s WMD program made the front page. Stories that raised doubts got buried. A postinvasion evaluation of coverage by the New York Review of Books concluded, “Despite abundant evidence of the administration’s brazen misuse of intelligence . . . the press repeatedly let officials get away with it. As journalists rush to chronicle the administration’s failings on Iraq, they should pay some attention to their own.”” 8. Dead on with regards to free speech. “The only way to impose unpopular policies on a population is through fear and silence. Free speech is the enemy of authoritarian rule.” “There’s nothing more infuriating to a ruling class than contrary opinions.” 9. Some statements are resounding. “When you sincerely believe you possess the truth, all disagreement looks like apostasy. For the greater good, it must be silenced. It’s distressing when academics take this view. It’s terrifying when prosecutors do.” “Every nation tries to influence how its citizens behave, but a free society never presumes to control what people believe. That’s for the individual alone to decide.” 10. Exposes the hypocrisy of liberal elites. “One reason is that rich New Yorkers would rather not have their children go to school with minorities. Comedian Samantha Bee may be one of these. Bee expresses all the fashionable racial views you’d expect given her politics and income level. “It’s pretty clear who ruined America,” Bee once said. “White people.”” 11. Interesting point on the real influence of white supremacist groups. “The last charge says a lot about the fantasy life of our elites. There aren’t many open white supremacists left in America. In a nation with almost 200 million white people, the various factions of the Ku Klux Klan have fewer than ten thousand members between them. Other racist groups are even smaller. None of these people have much power.” 12. A concise book. Negatives: 1. No links to sources. A major misfire from a book that makes a lot of controversial assertions. 2. The biggest issue I have with this book is the lack of solutions. I really wanted to hear what Carlson had to say about solving the issues he brings up. 3. Major beef with his views on diversity. “Countries don’t hang together simply because. They need a reason. What’s ours?” Freedom, liberty and justice! 4. Many assertions that leave you scratching your head? “In 2016, a study found that quitting Facebook improved psychological health.” Really? 5. What are Carlson’s issues with Chelsea Clinton? Why hold her privileged upbringing against her? 6. Why keep spreading false myths? “The Democratic Party now endorsed unrestrained mass immigration.” Simply not true. 7. “The rate of fake hate crimes appeared to outpace the rate of real ones.” WRONG! 8. Makes a big issue about minority elites living in majority white upper class neighborhoods. Really? 9. Disagree on his assertions concerning the role of women in society. 10. “Environmentalists now spend a lot of their energy trying to solve purely theoretical problems.” Theoretical?? 11. Leave climate change to the experts and yes predicting the weather and climate is very difficult. 12. Lack of visual supplementary material that would have added value to the witty narrative. In summary, an entertaining but flawed book. As a progressive, I found some of Carlson’s observations interesting and even agreed with some of his main themes but overall the book was unsatisfying. Carlson does a great job of being provocative and making interesting observations but where is the beef? That is, what are the solutions to the issues he brings up? Also, where are the links to the source material? So is the book worth reading? I still say yes but I’m disappointed with the lack of solutions. Read at your own discretion. Further suggestions: “Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever” by Rick Wilson, “Fear” by Bob Woodward, “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff, “Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic” by David Frum, “The Soul of America: The Better Battle for Our Better Angels” by Jon Meachum, “The Fifth Risk” by Michael Lewis, “A Higher Loyalty” by James Comey, “Facts and Fears” by James R. Clapper, “How Democracies Die” by Steven Levitsky, “It’s Even Worse Than You Think” by David Cay Johnston, “Unbelievable” by Katy Tur, “How the Right Lost Its Mind” by Charles J. Sykes, “One Nation After Trump” by E.J. Dionne Jr., and “Democracy in Chains” by Nancy MacLean.

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