Tucker Carlson, the popular Fox News host is rumored to be positioning himself as Trump’s natural successor.

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Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images and BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP

With less than four months now remaining until what will be a November referendum on Donald Trump and his administration, the president has veered wildly off-course down a bumpy road these past few weeks, choosing to make a hardline stand defending confederate symbols and monuments.

As we reported yesterday, the navigator in this campaign detour is most likely Stephen Miller, with a long and documented history of loathing immigrants and any non-whites in general.

He will be remembered for penning the president’s “American Carnage” inaugural address and at this crucial moment with Trump trailing Joe Biden by double digits, Miller appears to be the one emerging from the pack to have the president’s ear, taking over and plotting the Trump campaign’s course right now.

Trump already decided that he’s going to completely avoid discussing the pandemic – accepting that he has no plan or clue to manage – that is resurging across broad regions of America and appears to have accepted that he’s lost the war against wearing face masks in public, taking a heavy beating in the polls on the issue and with his own Surgeon General going public with the health benefits of using them.

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Miller has convinced the president to avoid discussing the unarmed people of color who are killed by police across the country but instead take up the lost cause of the Confederacy and Richard Nixon, articulately exposed by Cory Bennett over at Politico yesterday.

And it would appear that Trump is also taking cues from one of Miller’s closest friends and confidant, a very poplar personality at Fox News.

In Donald Trump’s mind, television ratings are a far better measure of popularity than political polling, which he obsesses over but still doesn’t understand or believe in – unless of course – it favors him. He is enraged at his own internal polling showing him losing, reportedly yelling at campaign staffers and even attacking Fox News over their polling data:

With the REAL polls in Donald Trump’s mind being television ratings and Tucker Carlson is alone on top over at Fox News with his race-baiting, white supremacist fear-mongering, night after night.

Carlson’s high ratings must have convinced the president to cool his late night chats with Sean Hannity and adopt Carlson’s “winning formula”, taking Miller’s advice to heart.

Over at Axios, Jonathan Swan rounded up a few of the rhetorical parallels seen recently between Tucker Carlson’s on-air monologues and President Trump’s July 4 speech. Here’s a small sampling:

  • Carlson: “For more than a month, mobs of violent crazy people have roamed this country, terrorizing citizens and destroying things.”
  • Trump: “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”
  • Carlson: “The education cartel, enforced on your children, enforces their demands.”
  • Trump: “In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.”
  • Carlson: “The Cultural Revolution has come to the West.”
  • Trump: “Make no mistake: This left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution.”

At minimum, the president should be called out for such blatant plagiarism.

Back in 2018, Madeline Peltz at Media Matters compiled a list of Carlson’s white supremacist ranting history up until that point, with several new fiery chapters having been added since.

Racism is alive and well in America today, helping to propel Tucker Carlson to the top of the charts, juiced by alt-right Republican voters who faithfully tune in to watch. However, what is driving his success in the ratings has also cost him a majority of his advertisers, hesitant to have their names associated with Carlson’s acidic rhetoric.

Politico has reported that Carlson’s success has many Republican party insiders naming the Fox News host as a natural presidential contender for 2024, although I am not quite sure how that idea will go over with the big orange cheese himself in the oval office. In an early morning tweet last week, Trump himself wanted to take all the credit for Carlson’s success:

It is looking more and more like the GOP today has relinquished the idea of sourcing presidential candidates from within their own elected ranks but focusing instead on choosing popular film or television celebrities. And remembering how the field of GOP hopefuls were successfully manhandled, abused, ridiculed and sent packing by Trump during the 2016 primaries, the party may have pivoted to the allure of Reality Television’s theatrics as a much better bet to appeal to voters. Carlson would certainly fit right in that role and genre.

But what if Trump loses in November?

Would he perhaps want to try again in 2024? He would be the same age then as Joe Biden is now. And what about Donald Jr. or Ivanka? Their names have also been circulated as possible political genetic successors to the Trumpism movement and we all know how Trump likes to keep it in the family with his mob style rule.

One thing is for sure – we’re talking about two egomaniacs, grossly over impressed with themselves and a primary battle between Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump – or any family member he anoints – would be incredibly brutal.

But it would make for great Reality TV and certainly garnish record ratings…

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