Tucker Carlson frames cultural battles in spiritual terms, claims 'dark force' trying to destroy US

'It's a little bit like burning your own house down'

Tucker Carlson delivers an address at Turning Point USA's America Fest 2023 in Phoenix, Ariz., on Dec. 18, 2023.
Tucker Carlson delivers an address at Turning Point USA's America Fest 2023 in Phoenix, Ariz., on Dec. 18, 2023. | Screengrab/YouTube/Turning Point USA

Conservative political commentator Tucker Carlson framed the cultural and political battles of the United States in theological terms during an address Monday at Turning Point USA's America Fest 2023 in Arizona.

"The evidence unmistakably shows an acceleration in whatever this dark force is in this country whose only impulse is to destroy, not to improve or create, but to destroy, and it's all around us," Carlson told the large audience assembled in the Phoenix Convention Center. "And the only way to stop it is with [moral strength]."

Carlson, who last week launched his own streaming service, argued that political leaders in the U.S. and other Western nations have become increasingly irrational with their policies and that while corruption has always riddled politicians in Washington, D.C., their end goal has shifted in recent decades from selfish enrichment to the destruction of their own country.

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"If you live in a society where the people in charge just want to sell you out to get rich, that's bad," he said. "But that's not what we're watching. We're watching something much darker than that."

Carlson believes the tactics of the Biden administration "and their enablers in the Republican Party" indicate their intention is to destroy the U.S., which he noted is inexplicable in rational terms.

"It's a little bit like burning your own house down," he said. "So why would you do that? That's not just an act of destruction. It's an act of self-destruction. So, is that a political program? No. A political program is designed to help the people who institute it and their voters and donors. Their program helps nobody."

By implementing policies that hurt the economy, flood the country with unsustainable illegal immigration and effectively discourage young people from having families, Carlson thinks many elected officials are serving as "a conduit of evil," which he defined as a spiritual force that predates humans, works through them, and destroys its unwitting perpetrators after rendering them miserable.

"If you're channeling actual evil; if you're trying to destroy people for the sake of destroying them; if you are lying for the sake of lying, for the thrill of telling a lie; and if you are hurting people for the sin of telling the truth, and you're offended simply because it is true; if the idea that somebody somewhere might be saying a true thing enrages you, that's not politics," he said. "That's theology."

Carlson claimed that collective guilt and punishment based on increasingly prevalent identity politics is antithetical to Christianity and Western civilization, which he said emerged from a Christian worldview.

"But you are seeing a leadership class in this country on both sides who are starting to think that way," he said. "And that is a massive threat to you. So just remember, what threatens you is not a political movement; it's a spiritual movement. The plan can only end in true sadness and tears and weeping and gnashing of teeth. There's no happy ending to the story that they are telling."

Carlson said the political volatility in the U.S. has reached an unprecedented fever pitch and urged his listeners to exhibit "moral strength" in the face of spiritual evil.

"You can only fight back — in fact, maybe you can only survive — not by changing them because you can't, but by changing yourself," he concluded, "and by becoming more impressive, more honest, and as a result of that, stronger."

During a subsequent question-and-answer session, Carlson maintained his belief that "countries, like people, suffer consequences for immorality" and that promoting abortion, prostitution and gender surgeries for children "is a very dangerous thing to do, and we are doing it."

"And again, I'm not a theologian; don't ask me if [it's] the End Times," he said. "I have no idea."

In recent months, Carlson has frequently used theological language to explain cultural battles, arguing that much of the current political discourse transcends politics.

Days before Fox News canceled his top-rated primetime show in April, Carlson delivered an address at The Heritage Foundation that similarly presented the political debate over transgenderism and abortion as part of a spiritual war.

"When people [...] decide that the goal is to destroy things, destruction for its own sake, 'hey let's tear it down,' what you're watching is not a political movement, it's evil," he said at the time.

Rather than Christians getting caught up in "totally fraudulent debates" over cultural issues, Carlson proposed a commitment to prayer instead.

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