In an explosive and at times distressing video, Tucker Carlson has torn into the thugs and rioters who have ransacked local businesses, and beaten small shopkeepers senseless, over the weekend. Notably for the United States’ most prominent conservative commentator, he was also unsparing in his criticism of President Trump, and tore into his administration’s inability to protect ordinary Americans.

When the mobs came, they abandoned us.

The nation went up in flames last night. No one in charge stood up to save America. Our leaders dithered; they cowered; they openly sided with the destroyers. In many cases, they egged them on. Later, they will deny doing any of this: they are denying it now. But you know the truth, because you saw it happen.

This is how nations collapse… when no one in authority keeps order. And when so many in our professional class encourage violence, American citizens are forced to defend themselves. They have no choice. No one else is going to defend them. They know that now. […]

Violence and looting are not forms of political expression. If you were killed tomorrow, how many buildings would you want burned to the ground in your memory? How many old women smashed in the street in your name? None we hope, because you’re not a vicious psychopath like the people you’ve just watched. […]

These people want a new system, one that is governed by force. Do what we say or we will hurt you!

In the television op-ed, Carlson castigates wealthy Democrats, many of them calling for violence from the safety of their secure compounds, but he also laid into prominent conservatives including Mike Pence, Carly Fiorina, Kay Coles James, Nikki Haley and Robert O’Brien for encouraging the violent chaos that has descended on the United States over the past few days.

Carlson’s most robust criticism was reserved for President Trump for his narcissism and inability to protect ordinary Americans.

On Twitter the next morning, he reassured America that he and his family were just fine. The federally-funded bodyguards had kept them safe. He did not mention protecting the rest of the nation, much of which was then on fire. He seems aware only of himself.

For people who like Donald Trump, who voted for Donald Trump, who support his policies, who have defended him for years and years against the most absurd kinds of slander, this was a distressing moment.

The first requirement of leadership is that you watch over the people in your care. […]

People will put up with almost anything if you do that. You can regularly say embarrassing things on television. […] All of that will be forgiven if you protect your people. But if you do not protect them, or – worse than that – if you seem like you can’t be bothered to protect them, then you’re done. It’s over.

People will not forgive weakness, that’s the one thing. That’s not a partisan point: it’s human nature.

Carlson suggested that the reason for Nero’s fame, even today, is that he abandoned his nation in a time of crisis.

Nero is the only Roman Emperor whose name most people still remember. Why? Because he abandoned his nation in a time of crisis, and 2000 years later we still don’t forgive him.

Donald Trump’s response to these riots, which is still ongoing, is the singular test of his presidency. About an hour ago, Donald Trump announced that he is going to marshall all available forces, military and civilian, to stop these riots.

He also stated that several times Trump has sought to crack down on rioters, but that he has been talked out of it by Jared Kushner and aides that Kushner controls.

Carlson called for an end to race-baiting from US leaders, giving the example of Art Acevedo that in incendiary comments described minorities as “his people”, leading Carlson to wonder whether other people would get a fair shake with justice in Houston.

But he also added a note of hope that most people still think of themselves as Americans above all else. While people of all colours have been engaged in looting and rioting, it is also notable that anger at police brutality and the destruction of communities across America cuts across class, race and gender lines, something that provides hope that the race-baiters will not prevail.

Watch the full video below: 

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