In the ongoing political realignment from left-right into what I see as a more populist framing, as the collective consciousness that the current power structure is corrupt beyond repair fleshes itself out, dissident characters once nominally on the right or left have converged. In my view, it’s a beautiful thing to behold.
One example that immediately comes to mind is Glenn Greenwald’s friendly exchange with he-who-must-not-be-named, Alex Jones, which the Social Justice™ left, who once celebrated Greenwald, was none too pleased to see.
Another political odd couple is conservative host Dan Bongino and self-described liberal journalist Matt Taibbi, also once celebrated on the left for his coverage of the War on Terror scam and bank malfeasance in 2007-08 but now persona non grata because of his exposure of the Russiagate conspiracy theory in the Trump years and, more recently, his work on the Twitter Files exposing government censorship of speech (a flagrant First Amendment violation, by the way, for which guilty government actors need to be imprisoned) in the context of the 2020 Hunter Biden laptop fiasco.
This brings us to the ultimate pairing of dissident populist voices: Tucker Carlson and the vaguely anarchistic, esoterically spiritual Russell Brand.
What these two men have in common is the strong impression they leave in their audience that the views they express are sincerely held. And for their integrity, they are each reviled by their respective, former political party NPC machines, who place tribal political loyalties over a principled commitment to the truth.
There is no shortage of dishonest, hackneyed news actors on television milking propagandized and dwindling audiences to illustrate the contrast. On the “right,” one of them has a show on Fox News, immediately following Carlson’s 8 p.m. EDT show. The other side in the theater that is U.S. national politics, which represents the prevailing power structure, has every news actor on MSNBC and CNN wall-to-wall, bleating the state propaganda in unison.
This tightly controlled corporate media paradigm is failing, and, in the end, no amount of propping it up by monied state and corporate interests will prevent its demise.
More self-described liberals, amazingly, now watch Tucker Carlson than any other cable show, including any on CNN or MSNBC.
Even though he’s nominally on the right, viewers of all political stripes turn to Carlson because they sense that he’s palpably more honest than almost anyone else on cable television. “People know what’s true. They can smell it,” as Carlson has said in the past.
One legitimate criticism of the “Great Convergence,” if we can call it that, is that there is currently no real ideological consistency. The criticism of the current state of affairs — that we live in a technocratic oligarchy with an elite, entrenched political class that serves its owners and itself, in that order — is increasingly well-understood.
However, the ideological compass to blast us out of the quagmire isn’t established yet. In the absence of unified principles, aside from abstract fidelity to free speech, etc., whatever budding political movement a Carlson and Brand partnership could represent is in jeopardy of splintering — in much the same way the Social Justice™ left has cannibalized itself.
But any grassroots movement is going to have growing pains as it sorts out its identity. The communion of voices once pitted against each other in an outdated political paradigm is a great and welcome start, in my view.