If conservatism is (wrongly) conflated with strong-man tactics defending “order” ahead of most other considerations, then that sort of conservatism must be opposed — especially where it is dishonest. Herewith, then, three pieces against various expressions of that faulty outlook. To read the full columns, follow the links embedded in the headlines.

Tucker Carlson’s anti-riot rant  went way overboard (June 3): Fox News host Tucker Carlson went on a rant a few nights ago that deserves to be ignored, but because it has become a widely applauded cause celebre on the Right, it must be countered. Carlson engaged in incendiary demagoguery with overtones of ideological purges of the sort no real conservative should encourage….


[NOTE: At National Review Online, Ramesh Ponnuru also blasted Carlson for massively inaccurate quotations, here.]

Some media are biased. Even they merit protection. (June 2):

Much of the national media is behaving terribly during the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, and far too many police officers are behaving even worse toward the media.

The first is a matter of bad journalistic ethics that only internal reform can correct. The second involves dangerous activity that probably violates the law. The second should be punished by a swift firing from the relevant police forces, plus possible criminal prosecution.

Every national TV news outlet I’ve watched since the Floyd death with the exception of Fox News has bent over backward to explain and excuse the “anger” of rioters, citing cherry-picked statistics while ignoring other relevant stats, and merely tut-tutting mildly over “lesser” violence such as vandalism and looting….

Even before the photo op, Trump’s speech was terrible [June 1]

President Trump’s brief speech Monday night about mobilizing force against rioters was only half right on substance, and mostly wrong on tone. Once again, he proved why he is exactly the wrong man to inhabit the White House in these times.

What was needed was a combination of toughness with compassion, of protection of the rule of law with commitment to reform where law has failed. Instead, Trump provided only toughness and protection, without compassion or reform. And, in tone, Trump was all about bluster, force, and anger, further rubbing raw the societal wounds on display for the past seven days. It was a dreadful performance….


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