Editor's Note: This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the Nov. 2, 2020 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight"
On Saturday night, President Trump held a campaign rally in Butler, Pa. Butler is a town 35 miles north of Pittsburgh, and it's like a lot of places you'll find in this country once you head inland from the coasts.
Butler is a former industrial town -- they made Pullman rail cars there for many years -- but it's been losing population for decades. There are still a lot of nice people in Butler and for $60,000 or so, you can buy a decent house there. It's a place you might be happy in.
But our professional class is not impressed by Butler. They don't consider Butler, Pa. or places like it to be the future. To them, places like Butler are embarrassing relics of a past best forgotten. The men of Butler may have built this country, and they did, but they mean nothing to our leaders now. You can be certain of that because when large numbers of people in Butler started killing themselves with narcotics, no one in Washington or New York or Los Angeles said a word about it.
There have now been so many opioid deaths in Butler that a few years ago, residents built an overdose memorial in the middle of town. MSNBC didn't cover that.
So given all of that, it was interesting how the people around Butler feel about Donald Trump. Between 10,000 and 15,000 people came out to see him Saturday night, depending on whose estimate you believe. Pictures of the rally site showed a sea of people obscuring the horizon, the kind of image you would see of a visit from the pope.
When was the last time a political speech drew that many people? Well, the media didn't ask. Instead, they attacked the rally as a "superspreader" event. OK, we'll leave the epidemiology to CNN.
But the questions still hung in the air. Why did all those people come? They must have known that Donald Trump is the most evil man who hass ever lived. They've heard that every day for five years. They know that people who support Donald Trump are also evil, they're bigots, they're morons, they're racist cult members. They know that Americans have been fired from their jobs for supporting Donald Trump, not to mention kicked off social media, belittled by their kids' teachers and shunned by decent society. Only losers and freaks support Donald Trump.
People in Butler knew all of that. But on Saturday, they went to the Donald Trump rally, anyway. Why exactly did they do that? We should be pondering that question deeply as we watch Tuesday night's returns and as we live through the aftermath of them.
Millions of Americans sincerely love Donald Trump. They love him in spite of everything they've heard. They love him, often, in spite of himself. They're not deluded. They know exactly who Trump is. They love him anyway.
They love Donald Trump because no one else loves them. The country they built, the country their ancestors fought for over hundreds of years, has left them to die in unfashionable little towns, mocked and despised by the sneering halfwits with finance degrees -- but no actual skills -- who seem to run everything all of a sudden.
Whatever Donald Trump's faults, he is better than the rest of the people in charge. At least he doesn't hate them for their weakness. Donald Trump, in other words, is and has always been a living indictment of the people who run this country. That was true four years ago when he came out of nowhere to win the presidency. And it's every bit as true right now, maybe even more true than it's ever been. It will remain true regardless of whether Donald Trump wins reelection.
Trump rose because they failed. It's as simple as that. If the people in charge had done a halfway decent job with the country they inherited, if they cared about anything other than themselves, even for just a moment, Donald Trump would still be hosting "Celebrity Apprentice." But they didn't. Instead, they were incompetent and narcissistic and cruel and relentlessly dishonest. They wrecked what they didn't build, and they lied about it. They hurt anyone who told the truth about what they were doing. That's all true. We all watched.
America is still a great country, the best in the world, but our ruling class is disgusting. A vote for Trump is a vote against them. That's what's going on in those pictures from Butler. That's what's going on in this country.