Fox News host Tucker Carlson has inspired a new following from the extreme right, including some members of Congress, by asking: Why take Ukraine’s side instead of Russia’s? The arguments are vast for defending the sovereignty of democratic Ukraine, and most American adults should need no reminders why containing Moscow’s expansionist desires is essential for U.S. national security.
Carlson seems to be exploiting Americans’ exceedingly short memories and attention spans as he articulates a new Republican philosophy that is the exact opposite of everything the party’s iconic leader, Ronald Reagan, stood for. Carlson proposes embracing Russia as an ally and effectively excusing all of its past transgressions — of course including Russian President Vladimir Putin’s help engineering Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election.
“Why is it disloyal to side with Russia but loyal to side with Ukraine?” Carlson asked on his show last week to the applause of several GOP members of Congress. The reception was more chilly in 2019 when Carlson stated: “Why do I care [about] … what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? And I’m serious. Why do I care? Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which I am.”