In his recent Twitter show, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson argues that American society’s once staunchly adhered to moral norms, or “taboos,” are being systematically undermined by those in power, leading to a shift in societal attitudes toward issues like adultery, drug use, and racism. Carlson insists these changes are not happening organically, but are instead being dictated top-down, sometimes forcibly. As he explains, “What we’re allowed to dislike is being dictated to us from above, sometimes by force.” These societal taboos, although not legally enforced, wield significant power in governing behavior, as illustrated by religious societies like traditional Christians, who reject behaviors like adultery.
Carlson noted a rapid change in these taboos, citing how it was once unacceptable to racially discriminate but is now mandatory in certain sectors like business, government, and higher education, as long as the victims are white. He pointed out that societal attitudes have dramatically shifted on issues like adultery, which once used to be a disqualifying factor for higher office, arguing that Bill Clinton was the last presidential candidate to face this standard. He states that many formerly unacceptable practices in America, such as stealing, flaunting wealth, striking women, smoking marijuana publicly, are no longer considered as such.
A particularly concerning shift, according to Carlson, is the softening attitude towards child molestation, which he describes as “the greatest taboo of all.” He pointed out that a generation ago, inappropriate interaction with someone else’s child would result in severe consequences. He contrasted the public reaction to the death of convicted serial child molester Jeffrey Dahmer in 1994, which was celebrated, with the attitude towards the Kyle Rittenhouse case in 2020, where the media portrayed the convicted child molester whom Rittenhouse shot in self-defense as the victim.
Carlson extended his argument by discussing a recent Wall Street Journal exposé about child pornography on Instagram. Despite the serious allegations in the report, no significant action was taken in response. Carlson criticized the inaction, stating, “The largest circulation newspaper in the United States revealed that one of the world’s most influential companies was promoting pedophilia, and nobody in power did anything about it.” He suggested that agencies like the FBI, which issued 10 of 11 press releases over the last month regarding January 6, were preoccupied with other issues, neglecting serious crimes like child exploitation.
While his show at Fox News was a major success with approximately 3.5 million viewers per night, Carlson’s inaugural Twitter episode has significantly surpassed that, currently showing 111.3 million views. His latest episode, featuring this discussion on societal taboos, has gained 44.6 million views in less than a day, indicating a continued high level of public interest in his content.