This is a rush transcript from “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” November 29, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARK STEYN, GUEST HOST: Good evening and welcome to “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” I’m Mark Stein, in for Tucker this evening.
Most Americans are enjoying the Thanksgiving weekend, but on this Black Friday, several Democrat presidential campaigns are priced to clear. With the Iowa caucuses barely two months away, the field’s clearly being split into potential winners and sure-fire losers.
Last summer, Kamala Harris was near the top of the polls. She was pushed there by a fawning media, which treated her as the second coming of Barack Obama.
FEMALE SPEAKER: One name of people — of the person that’s on people’s minds? Kamala Harris.
MALE SPEAKER: And the politician she reminded me of most then was Barack Obama. Kamala Harris is now running for president. And she is one of the top tier candidates.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: There’s a new challenger to Trump and she’s drawing huge crowds, Senator Kamala Harris from California kicked off her campaign this weekend surrounded by look at that crowd. Trump must be envious as hell.
MALE SPEAKER: Kamala Harris is probably somebody that on paper has the highest ceiling. You can envision a path for Kamala Harris that quite resembles Barack Obama.
STEYN: These are the experts, folks. By July after Tulsi Gabbard savaged her during a democratic debate, Senator Harris was going around bragging that that showed what an important candidate she was.
KAMALA HARRIS: This is going to sound immodest but I’m obviously a top tier candidate and so I did expect that I would be on the stage and take hits tonight.
STEYN: And right now, the top tier candidate is at 2.7 percent in New Hampshire, just ahead of — just below, in fact, Amy Klobuchar. She’s out of money and rapidly shedding stuff and according to a recent profile in the New York Times her campaign stuff got too wrapped up in the weird obsessions of lefty Twitter and forgot about the rest of the country. As a result, Ms. Harris thought lines like this would put her over the top for the nomination.
KAMALA HARRIS: This is a crisis of Donald Trump’s making and that’s why dude got to go, and when I am commander in chief, we will stop this madness.
STEYN: Dude got to go. Maybe Kamala got to go? Her campaign isn’t the only one circling the drain. Senator Cory Booker is surprisingly still in the race even though he hasn’t polled above 5 percent in months and the super pack created to support him just shut down. It turns out that saying politics be damned all the time wasn’t a great campaign strategy.
CORY BOOKER: Politics be damned. I have a job to do which is to hold the executive accountable. Politics be damned. This is our country. This is our Constitution. Politics be damned right now. This is a sad day, a sad chapter in American history. Politics be damned. It’s time to do what is right. Politics be damned. I just want to get to the truth. I want to do my job. Politics be damned. I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. I need to do that. Politics of this be damned.
STEYN: Politics be damned. He’s at 1.7 percent in Iowa. That’s where that gets you. the Booker and Harris campaigns could soon have some unexpected company, though. A month ago, just a month ago, Elizabeth Warren looked like the clear favorite to win the nomination. Suddenly she’s fading back into dude got to go territory. A new Quinnipiac poll shows Elizabeth Warren at just 14 percent. Nationally that’s half of what she had a month ago. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has actually passed her for second place. So, what’s to blame? A month ago, she was promising free health care, free college, free everything, but she’s spent a month dodging questions about how to pay for it.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Will you raise taxes on the middle class for — to pay for it? Yes or no.
ELIZABETH WARREN: Costs will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations and for hard-working middle-class families’ costs will go down. Hard-working middle-class families are going to see their costs go down.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: But will their taxes go up?
ELIZABETH WARREN: Well, but here’s the thing. I spent –
CHRIS MATTHEWS: But here’s the thing. I’ve listened to these answers a few times before —
ELIZABETH WARREN: How much are your costs going to go down?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: No, no, no. Different question. How much will your taxes go up?
ELIZABETH WARREN: No. It’s how much are you costs because it’s how much –
CHRIS MATTHEWS: That’s a different question.
ELIZABETH WARREN: It’s how much families end up spending.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I know that argument, but will you pay more in taxes?
ELIZABETH WARREN: But this is –
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Why don’t you want to answer that question because —
ELIZABETH WARREN: Because it’s –
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Because Jake said tonight that’s a Republican talking point. It’s not a Republican talking point.
ELIZABETH WARREN: Because this is –
CHRIS MATTHEWS: The question.
STEYN: The freefall shouldn’t be a big surprise. Elizabeth Warren has generated more cringe-worthy moments than any other democrat candidate.
ELIZABETH WARREN: Hold on a sec. I’m going to get me a beer. Hey. My husband Bruce is now in here. You want a beer?
BRUCE: No, I’ll pass on the beer for now.
ELIZABETH WARREN: I’m going to pull up a stool and sit down.
STEYN: Politics be damned. I — dude got to get me a beer. I learned English as a second language from democrat presidential candidates. It’s always an honor to have with us the author of the book, “What Really Happened,” New England radio colossus Howie Carr. What do these implosions mean for the eventual outcome of this race, Howie?
HOWIE CARR, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: In the old days, Mark, we could say they’re starting to separate the men from the boys, but I guess that would be sexist to say that now. So, —
STEYN: That’s not even binary. That’s unary or whatever.
CARR: I think the — what — you know, one of the key similarities between those three candidates is they all come out of deep blue areas and they’ve never had until now the kind of withering press scrutiny that most politicians have, whether they’re Democrat or Republican, but especially Republicans. I mean, look at, you know, Elizabeth Warren when she gets, you know, mildly criticized by Joe Biden of all people she says oh, it’s sexist and Kamala Harris is saying well, there isn’t room for a woman of color. You know, I — hey, come on. You know, they ought to talk to Republican women like Sarah Palin and Nikki Haley. The New York Times made up stories about them. These people all have glass jaws. You know? They just can’t take a punch and Elizabeth Warren’s case, you know, the old line from Sir Walter Scott, “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” I mean, she — so, I don’t want to be accused of being sexist again so can I call her mendacious, Mark? Is that an accurate word to describe her? She lies about big stuff like Medicare for all. She lies about little stuff like where her son went to school before college.
CARR: I mean, she just caught in that one last week and a couple of weeks earlier she got caught telling different stories about how her own teaching career ended. She plagiarized recipes. She’s gone from being a white woman to being a woman of color to being a white woman. Now she says she’s Okie down to her toes. You know, the thing is, she’s got a problem with Bernie, too, Mark, because I don’t think these people on the left, she’s running in the left lane there, the super left lane and they’re very — they’re a very unforgiving bunch, you know? Like the Catholic church has this concept original sin, but you can baptize yourself away. You can get rid of it. You know, Elizabeth Warren was for Barry Goldwater in 1964. They still don’t forgive her for that. They won’t let that go.
STEYN: That’s one thing they don’t forgive her for. Let me ask you this, though, because she’s in the left lane. Who’s the beneficiary of all these implosions? I see Joe Biden has launched a no malarkey tour of Iowa. I assume whatever millennial consultant focus group that found that it tested better than the no poppycock tour or the no flap dude tour, he’s not going down the dude got to go route. He’s aiming for a kind of slightly different market there, Howie?
CARR: He’s got — yeah, I mean, he’s trying to stay in that middle lane there, but I think, you know, he’s going to be facing problems from Buttigieg. I mean, Buttigieg is the one that’s making the moves in Iowa. Did you see he’s got a new ad out in Iowa saying, you know, I don’t think we can afford to have free college for everybody. And of course, AOC responds like Pavlov’s dog and says, “That’s a Republican talking point.” You know, whenever you bring up anything that’s sensible, they call it a Republican talking point. You just heard Elizabeth Warren saying that again. It’s — I don’t know who’s going to benefit from this. You know, Mike Bloomberg is in there then the –
STEYN: No, no, no.
CARR: — sound cut comes back.
STEYN: Now you’re getting really crazy if Bloomberg’s going to be the beneficiary of all this. Howie, thank you for that. We always appreciate your insight. You’ve known some of these creatures a long time. Thank you, Howie Carr.
CARR: Thank you, Mark.
STEYN: The acting deputy Homeland Security Secretary, Ken Cuccinelli, walked into a Washington, D.C. bar Wednesday night to attend an event for alumni of Gonzaga College High School. Unfortunately, he ran into a fellow alumnus and the former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and O’Malley then proceeded to go on a deranged tirade against Cuccinelli over the Trump administration’s immigration policies and invited the deputy secretary to slug him, to punch his lights out. Instead, Cuccinelli simply left the area. In response to all this New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg tweeted, “God bless Martin O’Malley.” Ned Ryun is the founder of American Majority and he joins us. You know how this goes, Ned? Half the time the Democrats and the media are pining for the old days of the lost civility and then they’re cheering on guys who walk into bars, former governors, and threaten to get into fisticuffs.
NED RYUN, AMERICAN MAJORITY: Well, I mean, not surprising that some of these journalists are acting like propagandists and circus seals barking and clapping obediently at every foolish thing Democrats do. But, you know, some people might think O’Malley just can’t hold his liquor. Again, another example of emotions overtaking reasoning with Democrats. If you can even use the term reason in the same sentence as Democrat. The fact is — the matter is the left wants to cancel any thought and opinion that they don’t agree with. What’s staggering with this virtue signaling though, with O’Malley is this is — Trump’s administration’s immigration policies are really just a continuation of Obama’s policies. And if you actually look at the statistics, which I know are now Republican talking points, at this point in his term, Obama had deported hundreds of thousands of more illegal immigrants than Trump has.
STEYN: Yeah. And basically, O’Malley’s complaint is ludicrous because he’s fine when Obama does it. When Trump and Cuccinelli do it, they’re fascists. What do you make, though, of Ken Cuccinelli basically choosing to walk away? You know, previously with these incidents, it’s been essentially members of the public who’ve driven prominent Republicans out of restaurants, diners, whatever it is. In this case, though, when it’s an actual former presidential candidate, is it enough just to say, “Whoa, pal” and walk away? Or do you think Cuccinelli should have actually taken him up and the two of them should have stepped into the parking lot?
RYUN: Well, first of all, I would never encourage, you know, fisticuffs in the parking lot. But at some point, we have to push back. I mean, I think O’Malley’s behavior is not only inappropriate, it’s deeply immoral. I think any elected official or former elected official who’s actually advocating for non-citizens over American citizens, that’s deeply immoral. The priority of any elected official, Democrat, Republican, left, right, is to prioritize the interests of the American people. And everything that’s happening with our immigration system has nothing to do with the priorities of the American people.
In fact, Mark, if they continue down this path, what they are trying to do is, again, do away with any sovereignty, any enforced national borders. They’re trying to do away with the entire concept of citizenship.
RYUN: They want to focus on mere residence of this country, which I think is a shame. But at some point, we actually have to call them out and say, “No, I’m not going to take this. You can’t actually shame me out of this. We do have to have this conversation.” At some point. You would like to see one of these major parties, the Democrats, stop acting like little children. But I don’t think we’re going to get to that point until they exercise the far left out of their mess, which I don’t think is going to happen anytime soon.
STEYN: Let me just go back to that point you made about morality, though. It’s one thing, if he genuinely believes that you can’t distinguish between 300 million Americans and the 6.7 billion people in the rest of the planet, that’s one thing. Maybe he believes that. But isn’t there a more basic morality question that the essence of politics, when elected governor for any kind of elected official is that you resolve your differences at the ballot box with people mocking your name rather than Cuccinelli’s name? Isn’t he denying his own profession in just wanting to get into a fight over this?
RYUN: But that’s what Democrats have been doing for the last three years, Mark. They have denied the will of the American people. They denied their constitutional choice in electing Trump. I mean, you would think we would get back to acting like civilized people and accepting a peaceful transfer of power. Democrats are not interested in that. I think they actually do think democracy is this — is becoming more and more inconvenient by the day, since these “deplorables” will not listen to their betters. And I think that they resent that.
So, no, I do think at some point we’d like to get back to that. But until they decide they’re going to give up on this resistance, I don’t think we’re going to see it. So, I think, obviously, I want to see Trump win again in 2020. But Republicans have to take the House back. They’ve got to keep the Senate. At some point, the Democrats have to have a come to Jesus moment and accept if we are going to continue as a constitutional republic, you have to accept one of the basic premises, which is a peaceful transfer of power.
STEYN: Okay, okay, Ned. We’re still waiting for the peaceful transfer of power from 2016.
RYUN: That’s right. [laughs]
STEYN: So, we’ll see how it goes in 2020. Mayor Sadiq Khan calls it part and parcel of living in a big city. London suffered another terror attack today near London Bridge, scene of a previous terror attack, by a man wielding a knife and wearing a fake suicide vest. Here’s how it all played out.
MALE SPEAKER: Breaking news is coming to us from London. We are just hearing of reports London Bridge has been locked down.
MALE SPEAKER: Terror on London Bridge as a man goes on a stabbing spree there during the start of the holiday season.
MALE SPEAKER: Social media footage shows members of the public on the floor grappling with the man, taking a large knife away from him, and holding him down until police arrive.
MALE SPEAKER: Officers shot and killed the man. Take a look at this video from the scene.
MALE SPEAKER: A counterterrorism official says the suspect was wearing a fake explosive vest. A witness described what she heard.
FEMALE SPEAKER: It was extremely frightening. Yes, because you don’t know what to do. You know, you heard gunshots and you just don’t know what to do. Why is gunshots going off in London again?
STEYN: At least two Londoners were killed in the attack a month before Christmas. Nobody would have died at all, though, if Britain had serious terrorism laws. The attacker, it turns out, was out on probation after already being convicted once for terrorism related offenses. He even had an electronic tag on him and was a guest at a Cambridge University conference on prisoner rehabilitation.
This wasn’t the only terror attack in Europe today. In the Hague, in the Netherlands, a man went on a stabbing rampage at a department store. Several people were wounded, hundreds more fled in terror, and the attacker is apparently still at large. Fox will continue to update you on both stories. The president spent Thanksgiving with the troops, but the press spread fake stories suggesting otherwise. That’s next.
Plus, President Trump has a plan to label Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations. We’ll discuss whether that will make them easier to combat. That’s straight ahead on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
STEYN: President Trump celebrated Thanksgiving by making a surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan but you might not have known that. If you’re one of the 12 Americans who still reads Newsweek. That magazine ran a story announcing that the president’s holidays plans were “Tweeting, golfing, and more.” In response, the president himself tweeted, “I thought Newsweek was out of business.” Buck Sexton is the host of the Buck Sexton Show and he joins us. Buck, you got to figure these — when you look at all the way this thing was set up, they spray painted another 747 in the colors of Air Force One and left it parked at West Palm Beach. Meanwhile, the president flies to Florida, flies back to D.C., and then out to Afghanistan. Was this just setting the media up for a huge trap?
BUCK SEXTON, BUCK SEXTON SHOW: They certain fell for a trip whether it was intentional or not. I think the president understands that anytime there’s an opportunity to troll his troll game is A+ but in this case, this is one of these times where the media’s going to move past this very quickly and a lot of other people will watch this and say this is part of a pattern. This is a feature. This is not a bug. Anytime there’s an opportunity to bash Trump they’ll leap on it, even if there’s a flimsy basis for it or the facts are wrong, but one thing I think is troubling, Mark, is that as this continues to happen, their audience doesn’t hold them accountable for this. Readers of Newsweek or this happens at CNN, it happens at the New York Times. They never get upset because as long as it’s anti-Trump they feel like it’s in good faith.
SEXTON: It’s good faith destruction of the presidency.
STEYN: Yeah, there’s something actually worrying there. They don’t care if it’s not true because as long as it’s anti-Trump that’s enough, even if there’s no basis for it. And while we’re on that topic, I thought that was — in the two days before this Thanksgiving thing they’re all going nuts over the Rocky Balboa bare-chested thing. And it’s a stupid non-story except that in the streets of Hong Kong you actually see brave people holding up that picture of Donald Trump because he’s actually speaking for them. So, in some strange way those Hong Kong protestors seem to have a better sense of what matters than the America media.
SEXTON: And there was also that really powerful imagery of Hong Kong protestors singing our national anthem, which I know went viral in the last couple of days. The president understands imagery and he understands messaging in a way the media still hasn’t really grappled with. There were some people who were running an analysis after the Trump/Rocky Balboa photo of how even though we all know –
SEXTON: We all know this is fake, it’s still problematic for the president to share something that’s fake because the president’s not allowed to make a joke? By the way, the president’s not going to stop making jokes, as you and I both know.
STEYN: No, no.
SEXTON: So, you have to wonder at what point do they just give this up and decide to act like normal people would when they see something like that.
SEXTON: Because the press just refuses to do. They adamantly refuse.
STEYN: Because even people who read Newsweek, whoever they are these 12 people, know that that’s not actually Trump’s chest in that picture. So, it’s a — but let me ask you this, Buck, because there are times sometimes when the American media are in tune with the rest of the world. For example, George W. Bush, they hated George W. Bush. It’s fair to say that the French and the Germans and all kinds of other people hated George W. Bush, too. On the other hand, you then have figures like Reagan and Thatcher who were genuinely heroic to people in distant lands and Trump I wonder where — the Hong Kong thing suggests that he might be somewhere in that territory.
SEXTON: Well, there certainly are countries who are going to have more support for Trump. Israel is one of them after moving the embassy, for example, decades after that was going to happen. Hong Kong — the people in Hong Kong understand something that our media does not, which is that Trump has been fundamentally right on confronting China, the tactics of it we could disagree with but that China needed to be dealt with and that that has sent a message. By the way, the Chinese economy is the worst its been in about 30 years which also affects their ability to crack down on protestors. By the way, you know, we just briefly touched on the Afghanistan situation before, but the truth is that the media, if the media just backed away from trying to trash Trump all the time they might recognize that he’s running a more sensible and successful foreign policy at this point than his predecessor did.
SEXTON: Four years in. I mean, that would be an interesting thing for them to pay some attention to.
STEYN: That’s not a topic they’re ever going to want to discuss. Buck, great to see you on this post-Thanksgiving.
SEXTON: Good to see you, Mark. Thanks so much.
STEYN: Every year Mexican drug cartels kill more people, far more people than Islamic extremists do in America. Now, just before the Thanksgiving holiday President Trump announced that he plans to designate those cartels as foreign terrorist groups, possibly exposing them to a more aggressive response from the U.S. military. Derek Maltz is former head of DEA’s special operations division and he joins us now. Derek, it’s odd to me as you say as we know, these guys kill a lot more Americans, a lot more closer to home. They use the same techniques, the Mexicans. They chop the heads off. They douse you in gasoline and set you alight and yet we have not treated them the same way as the Islamic groups. Why is that?
DEREK MALTZ, FORMER DEA AGENT: You know what? Because a lot of people don’t understand what’s going on like during the holiday season now, Mark, 90 people a day are dying from synthetic opioids, 190 a day are dying from drug overdoses. The families are suffering and the Mexican cartels are operating throughout America. They’re not just operating in Mexico causing death and destruction, they’re in our communities, they’re destroying families. So, people think of terrorists as these people on the other side of the world. They’re right here in our backyards and kids are ordering fentanyl and these Mexican oxy pills that are being made in labs in Mexico and dying instantly and we have people now in the beltway that still want to debate is this the right decision. Thank God the president is standing up for the American people.
STEYN: Well, that’s actually the curious thing because it’s this designation FTO, foreign terrorist organizations, and in fact these cartels are in effect domestic terrorist organizations. They operate throughout the United States with impunity. All — they’re not down on the Rio Grande. They penetrated as deep into the United States as they can go.
MALTZ: Mark, I would say they’re global terrorists because they’re operating in over 50 countries, they’re sending poison all around the world. They’re destroying citizens, not just in America, but in Canada and all over Europe and all over Australia and by the way, they’re also working closely with cartels in Colombia and Venezuela. They also are very aligned with Hezbollah terrorist groups. We had a case in the DEA where we seized, you know, all kinds of cash that was being looked — they were looking to launder money from Panama, from Guatemala, all over the world. But the biggest thing is President AMLO has already waived the white flag. He does not want to deal with these terrorists. The president gave him an opportunity and he choked. The president of Mexico is weak on terrorism. He’s weak on these transnational criminals and we need to step up and thank you President Trump for looking out for the citizens of America first.
STEYN: Why is the American left mad about this?
MALTZ: Because the American left is self-serving. They don’t understand the magnitude of the problem and it’s not their kids that are dying. All these families that woke up yesterday, they had — they didn’t have a nice Thanksgiving like we did, Mark. They had a miserable Thanksgiving because their children are dead from this poison. So, it’s not just the Mexican violence in Mexico. It’s the Mexican destruction in our cities here in America.
STEYN: Thank you. Thank you for that, Derek, and you’re right. This is long overdue, the designation of serious terrorist threat on the southern border and deeper than America, too. Meanwhile, our largest cities can’t even bother to clean up the trash that’s piling up everywhere. So, instead a conservative activist is doing it for them. He joins us here next.
STEYN: Millions of people still tune in to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to see giant balloons and top musical performers. But those top musical performers are as silent as the giant balloons. Instead, they simply lip sync along to pre-recorded tracks. Take a look.
STEYN: Even when he shut his mouth even when he shuts his mouth the singing somehow continues. A real Thanksgiving miracle. Leah Michelle’s voice sounded perfect, even though she hadn’t bothered to pick up her microphone yet.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Leah Michelle.
STEYN: Worst of all was Jimmy Fallon, who not only lip synced, but didn’t even seem to be lip syncing to himself.
If you can only sing one song life, it truly ought to be Bird, bird, bird, bird is the word. Still that is a lot funnier than his monologues these days, which is not funny at all, actually. As the Democrat Party lurches further and further to the left, the party is losing the basic willpower needed to perpetuate civilized living. Garbage is piling up in Democrat cities from coast to coast as municipal government no longer cares enough to keep their cities clean. So instead, third parties are stepping up. Scott Pressler is a conservative activist who has organized major cleanups in several cities. Most recently, his group of volunteers removed trash in Chicago and in Austin, Texas. And Scott Pressler joins us now. Scott, you started this after someone quite incredibly in the 21st century — developed a flesh-eating disease he caught a flesh-eating disease just from walking through the streets of Los Angeles.
SCOTT PRESSLER, CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST: That’s right. Yeah. When we went into Los Angeles, I was adamant that every single volunteer wear a hazmat suit. So, when we picked up 50 tons of trash, we had booties, gloves, Hazmat suits on to pick up trash in L.A.
STEYN: That’s amazing that it’s actually not safe to walk around without a Hazmat suit. These are the guys, by the way, who keep telling us that they’re saving the planet but can’t actually — to save the environment — can’t actually keep their own streets clean.
PRESSLER: Well, I think the difference is, you know, I am a conservative activist. I’m a bleeding-heart conservative, that instead of pointing my finger at people and saying, how dare you, I dare to go out with volunteers and pick up trash.
STEYN: Now, let me just ask you about the politics of that, because there’s a lot of thought. All these cities have been Democrat for decades and they’re filthy. If you knew California cities half a century ago, you would think that they’d been nuked or they’d been bombed or something terrible, terrible catastrophe had befallen them. And the politics of it would seem to suggest that you just say, okay, let’s leave it to these Democrats to run the cities into the ground and then people will get the message. Why do you prefer to actually act and clean up these dumps?
PRESSLER: Well, my statement by going into Democrat run cities is overtly political. I don’t have to go in as a Republican or a Trump supporter, simply the fact that I as a Virginian had to go into Baltimore, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, I’m making a political statement. But I’m not pointing the finger. My motto is stop talking, start doing. So, I’m leading with love and I’m leading by example, being an environmental steward and showing that Republicans do care about the environment. All we want is to make America a cleaner, greener place.
STEYN: What was Chicago like? Because to most non-Chicagoans, that’s a place of great danger. You had hundreds of volunteers out with you on the streets of Chicago.
PRESSLER: That’s right. In the “most dangerous city” and I say that with quotations, we had 250 volunteers, all from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, that were on 63rd Street. And I want to give a shout out to Pastor Corey Brooks, who opened Project H.O.O.D. and his doors to us in Chicago.
STEYN: And then in Austin, you also got some praise from the governor. You found hundreds and hundreds of needles that presumably could just be lying around. All terrible things could happen there. The governor actually thanked you for what you did.
PRESSLER: He did. Yeah, Governor Greg Abbott has done a great job at actually going into the city of Austin and helping to clean up. And the spot that we cleaned up under an overpass and under I-83, a homeless camp, the governor actually sent a cleanup crew to go in there. So, Governor Abbott is doing a wonderful job, even though the mayor of Austin isn’t doing his work.
STEYN: What’s the reason that the city of Austin, the city of Chicago, the city of San Francisco, what’s the reason that they actually can’t — I mean, that’s just keep garbage collection. That’s as basic a municipal function, a function of government as anything. What’s the reason they can’t do it?
PRESSLER: You know, it’s all politics, Mark. When we applied for dumpsters for the city of Baltimore, the first time we were denied permits, denied. And that doesn’t tell me anything else except for it’s politically motivated to stop a conservative from coming in to pick up trash. And so we did it anyway. Stop talking, start doing.
STEYN: Hey, good for you. You don’t need permits. It’s a basic civilizational function to be able to keep your streets clean.
STEYN: — to be able to keep your streets clean. Thanks a lot for that, Scott. Good news.
PRESSLER: Thank you, Mark.
STEYN: Good news. Tucker’s back for the next segment. As misery spreads across America millions of Americans are relying on antidepressants or other drugs to get through the day. What’s the solution? That’s next on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Welcome back and now here he is — here’s Tucker.
CARLSON: If you live in this country, you know an awful lot of people are on psychiatric medication all of the sudden. It’s not your imagination. The number of people taking pills to deal with depression, for example, increased 64 percent between 1999 and 2014 and that’s not even counting the many people who self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. What does that say about our society? That that many people feel hopeless enough that they take pills for it? Johann Hari is one of the people who thought most deeply about this question. He’s author of the fantastic book, “Lost Connections,” and a frequent guest on this show. He joins us tonight. So, Johann, you’ve really I think written more movingly and insightfully about this question than anybody I’ve seen. What do you think this tells us and is there a better way to handle depression?
JOHANN HARI, AUTHOR: Well, thanks so much, Tucker. I’m really happy to be back with you. You know, as you were saying that I was thinking about as you know I went all over the world trying to understand my own depression and this depression and anxiety epidemic that’s sweeping across our societies and there was one person in particular who really helped me to kind of change my perspective on this. It was talking to him that was one of the moments when it really fell into place for me. He’s a South African psychiatrist named Dr. Derek Summerfield [spelled phonetically] and he happened to be in Cambodia. Sorry. He happened to be in Cambodia in 2001 when they first introduced chemical antidepressants for people in that country. He was just there by coincidence. He wasn’t there to study this or anything. And the local doctors, the Cambodians, had never heard of these drugs.
HARI: But were like, what are they? And he explained and they said to him, “Oh, we don’t need antidepressants. We’ve already got antidepressants.” And he said, “What do you mean?” He thought they were going to talk about some kind of like herbal remedy, I don’t know.
HARI: St. John’s Wort or something. Instead they told him a story. There was a farmer in their community who worked in the rice fields and one day he stood on a landmine and he got his leg blown off. So, they gave him an artificial leg and he went back to work in the rice fields. But apparently, it’s super painful to work under water when you’ve got an artificial leg and I’m guessing it’s pretty traumatic to go and work in the field where you got blown up. The guy started to cry all day. He refused to get out of bed. After awhile he developed what was basically the classic depression.
HARI: The Cambodian doctors said well, this is when we gave him an antidepressant. And Dr. Summerfield said, “Well, what was it?” They explained that they went and sat with him. They listened to him. They realized that his pain made sense, that if you talk to him it had perfectly understandable causes in his life. One of the doctors had an idea. They said, “You know, if we bought this guy a cow, he could become a dairy farmer. He wouldn’t be in this position that was screwing him up so much.” So, they bought him a cow. Within a couple of weeks his crying stopped. Within a month his depression was gone. They said to Dr. Summerfield, “So you see, doctor, that cow, that was an antidepressant. That’s what you mean, right?” Now, if you’ve been raised to think about depression the way we have in our cultures, you know, that it’s just a problem in your brain, that sounds like a bad joke. I went to my doctor for an antidepressant she gave me a cow. But what those Cambodian doctors knew intuitively is from this individual’s story is what the leading medical body in the whole world, the World Health Organization, has been trying to tell us for years. We need to talk less about chemical imbalances and more about the imbalances in the way we live, and we need to find the cows, the solutions for those underlying causes.
CARLSON: So, there’s a reason, in other words, it’s not — it’s not that, you know, you have a head injury. You’re not Phineas Gage. There’s actually something wrong with your life and fixing that fixes your response to it?
HARI: There are some real biological things that can make you more sensitive to these problems and it’s always important to stress that and drugs can give some relief to some people. They gave me some relief for awhile, but ultimately didn’t solve my problem. But you’re right, the core of this is the social and psychological factors and these are things that to your grandmother and my grandmother would’ve been really kind of obvious. The United States at the moment, 40 percent of all Americans say nobody knows them well. For example, half of all Americans mostly through no fault of their own, have less than $500 in savings for if a disaster comes along, right? Now, if you said to my grandmother or your grandmother, gee grandma, do you think being really lonely and being really financially insecure is more or less likely to make you depressed, my grandmother would’ve given me a clip around the ear and told me to stop wasting her time, right? There are — I got through the evidence in “Lost Connections” that there’s scientific evidence for nine different causes of depression and anxiety. Two of them are in our biology. Most of them are in the way we live. Most of them are kind of obvious and then I talk about of course the solutions we need to build to them. But saying to people who are really lonely, who are being humiliated at work, who might have survived child abuse, a whole range of factors, saying to them oh, your — you feel really bad? There’s just something wrong in your brain and all you need to do is drug yourself is actually quite cruel. It’s not the intention — the people doing it are good people.
CARLSON: No, I get it.
HARI: Not intending to be cruel. But what you’re actually saying to people when you tell them that is your pain doesn’t mean anything, right? It’s telling people that pain is like a glitch in a computer program. But actually, if you’re listening to this, if you’re depressed, if you’re anxious, your pain is not a glitch. Your pain is not a malfunction. Your pain is a signal that your deepest needs as a human being are not being met by this culture that we’ve built.
CARLSON: Well. Exactly.
HARI: And together with that begin to fix that.
CARLSON: Change the way you live. That’s what it’s calling us to do. I agree completely. I don’t know why you’re the only person who’s saying this, but I’m grateful that you are you.
HARI: And –.
CARLSON: You shouldn’t be –.
HARI: Thanks so much, Tucker.
CARLSON: — but you are. Thank you very much for coming on tonight. Appreciate it.
STEYN: Johann Hari used to attack me in the British papers all the time. He seemed psychologically healthier these days. China is battling multiple cases of the disease that caused the Black Death. That’s right, medieval. Dr. Marc Siegal joins us next to say whether it’s headed here. Coming up on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
STEYN: China is supposedly modernizing and becoming a global superpower, but in other ways it still remains seriously medieval. Health officials there have just confirmed the fourth incident this month of plague, as in The Plague, the plague that killed half of Europe in the Middle Ages. How does the plague spread? And is it heading here? Dr. Marc Siegel is a FOX medical contributor and he joins us now. We’re —
DR. MARC SIEGEL: Hi, Mark.
STEYN: We’re laughing about it. But the three big pandemics of the plague since the 14th century have all come from this part of the world.
SIEGEL: And the reason for that, and we’re not really laughing about this part, the Chinese government — even though they’ve created the Centers for Disease Control that’s patterned after our own, where they literally track cases, and they know who’s sick — they don’t know how to inform the world about this. They suppress it on social media. They delete their tweets where they say, “Hey, someone has the plague.” They don’t tell the World Health Organization for weeks. As you were mentioning, this led to an outbreak of a virus called SaaS in 2003 that spread this over 30 countries. I’m worried about that happening with the plague. Now they have checkpoints on the roads. Can you imagine you’re driving along the road, and they’re stopping you to see if you have a plague? Or you go to an airport and they’re checking your temperature? It’s spreading panic in China right now.
STEYN: But isn’t this something to do with the so-called one country, two systems things? Because as with SaaS, and presumably it could happen with the plague, some guy in upcountry rural China eats the wrong marmot, and then his aunt goes to visit her cousin in Hong Kong, and one of them happens to be standing in the elevator at the Intercontinental, and the businessman who’s staying there gets on a flight to Cape Town or New York or Paris. And that’s how it spread.
SIEGEL: Exactly right. Mark, you could be working for the CDC. Let me tell you, it’s a bacteria, and it lives in rodents and rodents around the world still carry this bacteria. But unfortunately, in parts of China, they’re eating it raw. Also, fleas on the surface of these varmints then spread it to humans. So, fleas hopping from rats to humans. That’s why it was so deadly in Europe, because they had a problem with all of the rats. Now, the Chinese government right now is trying to kill all the rodents and the fleas and they’re trying to control it that way, which is probably a good idea. But the fear worries me because you know what happens when you get the plague, if it isn’t treated fast enough with antibiotics? It develops a lung form, then pneumonic plague can spread by literally coughing it onto somebody. So —
STEYN: And has a much higher death rate.
SIEGEL: Right. Over 50 percent. And two of the people that have had it this month have had this version. If they got on a plane, God forbid, came to New York, you could see a case here.
STEYN: Well before anyone invented air travel, in the 19th century, the last big pandemic started killing members of the Chinese community in San Francisco and Chester Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which everyone thinks he did now, just because he was a big, horrible, white racist, but in fact, it was a health issue.
STEYN: And I get the feeling that that would not be politically feasible at all today. So do we just have to trust to chance that nobody gets on that plane?
SIEGEL: No. We need to be fighting this point just as we’re doing on the show here. It’s not about, you know, one society versus another or the color of your skin. It’s about the risk to public health. And when you see a disease reemerging, even four cases in a month, is more than they ever had there, and we’re going to see a lot more cases. We need to get the information out there. It needs to be at airports and people need to be on the lookout. Fear spreads more disease than any virus and any bacteria.
STEYN: Well, that’s a cheerful note to end on for this Thanksgiving weekend.
SIEGEL: We’re safe now. We’re safe right now. [laughs]
STEYN: Don’t catch the plague before Monday. Another week of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” That’s it for us, and the show that’s the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink. Tucker, back next week.
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