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Tucker Carlson: The pandemic taught us authoritarianism is very popular

On Saturday, some unnamed actors in the House of Representatives inserted a remarkable provision into the so-called “budget reconciliation bill.” Almost nobody outside Washington noticed it was there, and that’s not surprising. The bill is one of the largest in human history. It’s nearly twenty-five hundred pages long. It spends $3.5 trillion dollars. Where does that money come from? Well, it was just newly printed by the federal reserve for the occasion. The provision in question was hidden on page 168. Here’s what it says: going forward the federal government will bankrupt any company that refuses to comply with Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate. 

Have an unvaccinated worker in your office? The fine for that will be $700,000, payable to the U.S. treasury, for each and every one of those workers. Even by Washington’s standards, that’s a lot of money. Here’s a comparison: In June, by comparison, the federal government penalized a chemical company in West Virginia, after its plant exploded, killing one employee and sending two others to the hospital. The fine, in that case, was $12,288 dollars. 

So there you have it, written out in black and white, the moral priorities of the Democratic Party. Killing people in a chemical plant explosion is bad. Twelve thousand dollars bad. But failing to get a Biden-mandated COVID vaccine — even if you’ve already recovered from COVID and have natural immunity that is more powerful than any shot — that’s much, much worse. How much worse? It is 58 times worse than killing people in a chemical plant explosion. Democrats did the math on that and they wrote it down. 


This whole approach is a little weird if you think about it. If you really wanted to protect the public, the American people, from COVID, you’d encourage them to be healthy. Get off your phone, get outside and spend some time in nature, lose some weight. That all works. We know for a fact. It’s science. And then people with higher risk factors like older people and preexisting health probably would probably want to get the vaccine. Definitely worth it for them, they should. Everyone else could look at the numbers and assess, they can choose for themselves, as they do with every other medical decision. The federal government is not requiring you to get surgery for prostate cancer if you get it. No, you get to decide. 

That would be a reasonable response to COVID. It might actually improve the country, rather than destroy it. But that’s very far from what they’re doing, and the reason is politics. From the beginning of the outbreak, politicians have turned what they told us was a public health response into something that very much looks like a political campaign. And in a political campaign, the other side is your enemy. So, all of a sudden, the public has become an opponent that politicians must subdue and defeat. How do you feel about opponents you are working to subdue and defeat? You feel loathing and contempt. And that’s how they do feel. They’re not hiding it anymore. Yesterday Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne from Iowa explained her party’s response to COVID. She doesn’t say anything that remarkable, it’s how she says it. Listen to how she talks about her constituents. She hates them:

CINDY AXNE: So now all the schools are back wanting to put mask mandates in and all of the anti-vaxxer crazies are out there with their – it’s a hot mess. … I’ll be honest, Christian right, everything under the guise while they hold a cross for God or whatever. They use it like a weapon and it’s painful to watch because they’ve weaponized religion, they’ve weaponized politics.

The Christians are weaponizing it…notice all the abortion clinics they closed? Oh no, it was Democratic politicians who closed all the churches, actually, speaking of weaponizing public health. But you read what the congresswoman said, “the anti-vaxxer crazies… the Christians, holding a cross for God or whatever.” It’s hard to remember those are human beings she’s talking about, some of the weakest human beings in our country. You’d never know they are real people because she clearly loathes them. She hates them. You hear this tone a lot from politicians, all of a sudden. A lot. It’s not sympathy, it’s certainly not empathy, it’s not even a sincere attempt to make people better or healthier. It’s hate. Here’s the mayor of New York threatening to hurt anyone who doesn’t get the shot, whether they need it or not:

DE BLASIO: Most people, the vast majority of people, even those who say I didn’t want to get vaccinated make a different decision when it becomes very, very practical. So, now someone is literally looking at the possibility they won’t have a paycheck for a prolonged period of time. They may even lose their job, ultimately. A lot of people are going to look at that and say, “hold up, okay, I’ll get vaccinated.”

Oh, we’ll take your paycheck away. Punch you in the face, starve you to death, we’ll beat up your kids. Turns out if you hurt people enough, they will do exactly what you say. So that clearly works. Bill De Blasio is clearly a moron, but even he understands that. And it does work. United Airlines just announced they’re firing nearly 600 people. Why are they doing that? They don’t want to pay tens of millions of dollars in fines, so 600 people who had jobs last week are now unemployed with no health insurance. That’s how we’re making America healthier. Got it?


It’s not just happening at the airlines. In hospitals across the country, mass firings are now underway. Where’s the Congress on this? Good question. Meanwhile, one hospital system in North Carolina just canned 175 people. Remember, this is a public health crisis we’re living through. So maybe we shouldn’t empty the hospitals of their seasoned employees. There was already nationwide a severe shortage of nurses. Hospitals are closing wings because there’s no one to staff them. Now there are fewer people. None of the people who’ve been fired will be able to collect unemployment by the way. They’re done. They’re destroyed. They aren’t just punished, they’re crushed. 

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These aren’t the CEOs of big companies. These aren’t the people who live in affluent neighborhoods. These are hourly workers. These are people the Democratic Party used to care about. These are people with absolutely no power whatsoever, who worked around sick people for the duration of a deadly pandemic. And rather than thanking them, we’re firing them, with no unemployment benefits and no health insurance. And a lot of them. 

In the state of New York, for example, the deadline for healthcare workers to get vaccinated has now passed. According to the most recent figures, 16% of the state’s hospital workers — that’s 83,000 people – remain unvaccinated. Eight percent of those workers haven’t gotten a single dose of the vaccine, meaning they’re likely going to be fired. The question is, once again: who’s going to run the hospitals in the middle of this public health crisis? According to the new governor of New York, the state is going to use the military, then hire temp workers from the Philippines.


It’s lunacy. By the way, once again, why exactly are these healthcare workers, thousands of them nationwide, refusing the COVID vaccine? That is an entirely fair question, and no one is asking it. It might be worth finding out. You can’t say they don’t understand the science. They may know about COVID and healthcare even than your average Democratic governor, considering that’s what they do for a living. They treat people with COVID every single day. It’s not like they’re uninformed. What is this exactly? It’s not a few people. It’s thousands of people. Why? No one cares. Punish them, the weakest. The weakest, now crushed. 

Meanwhile, as we’re firing nurses and doctors, we’re admitting thousands of illegal immigrants into this country, many of them are infected with disease, including COVID. You’re not supposed to say that, because it’s some sort of slur, but it’s factually true. In fact, not only is it true, the secretary of homeland security admitted it. Here’s the secretary of homeland security explaining that 20 percent of these illegal migrants have an unidentified illness.

MAYORKAS: We are confronted with a population of people that, as a general matter, have a rate of illness of approximately 20%.

Ok, so we’re firing healthcare workers because they won’t get the vaccine, then letting in thousands of people whose identities we can’t verify, who are sick with diseases we can’t always identify – including COVID – none of them are required to get the vaccine, in contrast with the nurses we just fired. That leaves our hospitals short-staffed, many more sick people coming in who will need treatment at public expense. Who’s doing this, and why? What is the point? They’re telling us healthcare workers need to be fired immediately because they’re a threat to the country? This is all happening very very quickly, and it’s happening without any medical basis whatsoever. 

Remember that it was just last year that Joe Biden was telling us that healthcare workers are heroes, and he was right:

BIDEN: To all the doctors and nurses working in the ICU units, I hope you all know that you’re truly some of the greatest heroes this nation has seen. Take Tracy, in Massachusetts. She’s a nurse who’s been treating veterans with COVID-19. Every day she’s had to put on a hazmat suit and go to work for 12 hours, days on end.  … If it wasn’t for folks like Tracy, our own families wouldn’t have a chance to be reunited. IF you want to find a hero in America, they’re all around us. And Tracy’s one of them.

I don’t often endorse things Joe Biden says, but that’s 100% right. Anyone who has ever been sick or spent any time in the hospital knows that one good nurse makes all the difference. They really are some of the best people in the country. So why are we firing thousands of them? Why is Joe Biden doing this? 


As a scientific matter, it doesn’t make any sense. Unvaccinated healthcare workers do not pose a threat to their vaccinated patients or coworkers. If you’re vaccinated, you’ll likely be fine. That’s what the data show. That’s what they tell us day after day. Vaccinated people have a greater chance of dying from a lightning strike than they do of dying from COVID. They’re also more likely to die of a bee sting, or a dog attack, or from choking to death on their food. Those are the numbers, we hear them very often. 

So why are unvaccinated people a threat to them? Not one person has answered that question. No one is even asking it. Why are we firing them? Why are we blaming them? Why are we in their face, attacking them, demonizing them? But no one’s pushing back, so it’s accelerating. This is coming to the Border Patrol, as well as the entire federal government. Mass firings are likely to occur in the Border Patrol’s ranks when the federal government’s vaccine mandate is enforced later this year. 

It’s crazy. But if there is one sad lesson, it’s that authoritarianism is very popular with certain parts of the population. If you need evidence of that, take a look at the scene last night at the New Jersey gubernatorial debate. Read to the crowd’s reaction as Phil Murphy equates not getting the COVID shot to driving drunk:

MURPHY:   Saying it’s your call and governments can’t mandate a vaccine or no masking is akin to supporting drunk driving. It impacts both the person that’s driving drunk and all the rest of us. (APPLAUSE) That’s not the way we beat this.

How is it like drunk driving? How do unvaccinated people hurt anybody? Hey Phil Murphy, got a second? We’ve got some time. Why don’t you explain that to us? 

It was just a year ago that a politician who got on stage and said that would be laughed off the stage. A politician who endorsed Firing thousands of healthcare workers, during a pandemic, calling them criminals, dehumanizing them, would be reviled. Now it gets applause. Not because “the science” changed. Science is the same. It’s because our leaders realized how to leverage fear to crush their political opponents. And if that means fining dissidents $700,000 for employing someone, throwing the weakest people in our society out on the street with no unemployment and no health insurance, they’ll do it.

This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the Sept. 29, 2021 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Tucker Carlson currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Tucker Carlson Tonight (weekdays 8PM/ET). He joined the network in 2009 as a contributor.


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