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The Seduction of Power: Tucker Carlson and Dave Smith on Libertarianism, Totalitarianism, and the Media

May 16, 2024

The Seduction of Power: Tucker Carlson and Dave Smith on Libertarianism, Totalitarianism, and the Media

The Seduction of Power: Tucker Carlson and Dave Smith on Libertarianism, Totalitarianism, and the Media

Key Takeaways

Tucker Carlson and Dave Smith discuss the seductive nature of power in Washington, D.C., and how it has led to a corrupting influence on both conservative figures and libertarian organizations. They explore the historical patterns of conservatism in America, where each generation seems to lose ground and accept the previous generation's big government policies as the new norm.

The conversation also covers the disappointing response of both professional conservatives and libertarians to COVID-19 lockdowns and totalitarianism, highlighting the lack of resistance to freedom-eroding policies. Smith critiques the performance of the conservative movement during times of crisis, such as the Iraq War and the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing the importance of courage and honesty in the face of popular and powerful opposition.

The podcast reflects on the nature of conservatism and libertarianism, their roles in resisting centralized power, and the challenges they face in a political environment that often favors acquiescence over principled stands. Smith offers a reflective look at the importance of staying true to one's values, despite the allure of power and the pressure to conform.

Best Quotes

  1. "Power is seductive. And I'm sure you know that from being in DC for so many years. You think about all the people in Washington, DC, and how much all of them wanted to suck up to power almost, right?"
  2. "The nature of conservatism or the conservative movement in America has always just been to lose. It's like, built into them. Like every generation just loses and then moves on to the next thing to lose."
  3. "This actually was the totalitarianism we've been worried about or talking, pretending we're worried about for a long time. It came, and a lot of them didn't say anything about it."
  4. "There are these moments where there's something's, like a white hot issue, you know, and it becomes very easy later after that passes to be on the right side of that."
  5. "There's something so counterintuitive about the idea that we have to destroy this country in order to save this country."
  6. "What else could describe lockdowns? That is totalitarianism. You had American citizens turning on their tv every morning to find out from their governor what they were allowed to do."
  7. "It almost seems like a professional wrestling thing where they're like they're the ones who are supposed to lose. At the end of the day, they kind of say the right thing, never really mean it, you know, and then ultimately acquiesce."
  8. "The US federal government is the biggest, most powerful government in the history of the world by far. There's not a close second."
  9. "As long as Washington, DC is the most powerful organization in the history of the world, and they're spending over $6 trillion a year, that is by definition, a swamp."
  10. "If you're a libertarian, you can't, you're not for government power, but you're also suspicious of oligarchs, right?"


The podcast episode presents an insightful and nuanced discussion on the political shifts within conservative and libertarian circles, the impact of residing in the heart of power, and the moral compromises that often accompany political ascendancy. It highlights the pivotal moments when courage and clarity of thought are essential and the unfortunate tendency of many to falter in the face of pressure.

The overarching message is a call to adhere to foundational principles, resist the temptation of power, and recognize the true nature of government as a force that must be resisted.


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