Fox News host Tucker Carlson lashed out at Republican lawmakers on his television show on Wednesday night, claiming that they’ve ignored the priorities of their voters in order to appeal to the influential Koch brothers’ preference for free-market economic policy.
Carlson, who has leveraged his primetime perch to disrupt the GOP’s Reagan-era free-market economic consensus, claimed that the Koch political network wields its substantial wealth to guide Republican politicians away from restrictionist immigration policy and trade protectionism — which Carlson claims voters prefer, as evidenced by their support for President Trump — and toward a more libertarian worldview.
“They have a sincere desire to change the world,” Carlson said of the billionaires Charles and David Koch, during a Wednesday night monologue on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“So for years, the brothers have been the single most important funders of Republican politics in Washington,” the host added.
Conservatives, Carlson argued, are naturally inclined to view the Kochs favorably, because the wealthy brothers are constantly maligned by the mainstream press, as well as liberal activists and politicians. But that calculation is misguided in the case of the Kochs, according to Carlson.
“But in the case of the Kochs, conservatives might want to pause and rethink the relationship,” he said. “As it turns out, the Kochs don’t have much in common with conservatives. They are in fact totally opposed to most conservative policy goals. The Kochs are libertarian ideologues. They are passionate and inflexible about what they believe.”
“The overwhelming majority of Republicans want a secure border and less immigration,” he continued. “That’s why they voted for Donald Trump. Two-and-a-half years later though, the border is more porous than ever. A tide of humanity is flooding in illegally. Republicans in Congress have done almost nothing to help with the situation. Why? You can thank the Kochs for that.”
The disparity between the preferences of Republican voters and those of the Koch brothers doesn’t end at immigration, Carlson argued: Sentencing reform for drug dealers, cuts to entitlement programs, and corporate tax cuts all rank high on the Koch brothers’ priority list, while undermining Republican lawmakers’ credibility with their base.
Carlson also suggested that the Koch brothers’ libertarian orthodoxy makes them overly deferential to big-tech firms that he claims pose a significant threat to ordinary Americans.
“Big tech has become a far greater threat to your freedom than government is,” he said at the end of the segment. “The Kochs don’t care. Nothing Google does violates libertarian orthodoxy. More to the point, the Kochs don’t care about Republican voters or what happens to them. Okay, that’s fine. No law requiring them to care, but then why are they running the Republican Party? That’s a question Republicans should start asking themselves.”