What's the point at which rhetoric forces action? When do words become incitement? At what point do political attacks become so reckless and unhinged that you can no longer heal the divide they create with politics and force people towards something darker?
Well, it's hard to know exactly when that point is, but the left is getting very close to it. We could give you many examples of this. We will begin with this exchange from last Tuesday night on MSNBC. This is frequent guest, Malcolm Nance, accusing the president of the United States of sending secret messages to neo-Nazis:
Malcolm Nance, MSNBC commentator: "These people feel that they are the foot soldiers executors of what the disenfranchisement that the white race is feeling and Donald Trump is giving them subliminal orders in their head."
Subliminal orders. Whatever his faults, you can be certain that Donald Trump is not doing that. Trump is the least subliminal politician in American history. He has no subtext. That's part of the problem, of course. If he is thinking it, he is saying it.
The claim is ludicrous. But at MSNBC, it wasn't even the weirdest thing uttered on their air on Tuesday. That distinction goes to Frank Figliuzzi. He is a former FBI official-turned-talking head-conspiracy nut. He used numerology to explain the president's "coded messages." Watch this, and keep in mind, it is entirely real. We've not edited a single word.
Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI official: It's the little things and language and messaging that matters. The president said that we will fly our flags at half-mast until August 8th -- that's 8-8. Now I'm not going to imply that he did this deliberately, but I am using it as an example of the ignorance of the adversary that's being demonstrated by the White House. The numbers 8-8 are very significant in neo-Nazi and white supremacy movement. Why? Because the letter H is the eighth letter of the alphabet, and to them, the numbers 8 together stand for "Heil, Hitler."
Got that? Eight is a racist number. That's what they're telling you on MSNBC. In other words, things are getting dangerously crazy on the left. How crazy? Well, on Monday, former Jeb Bush spokeswoman, Nicolle Wallace explained that President Trump is planning a genocide of Hispanic-Americans. Watch this.
Raul Reyes, NBC news contributor: "He ramped it up again to the invasion, the warning people of the caravan and words like "infestation." What do you do with an infestation? With an infestation? The natural conclusion is to attempt extermination."
Nicolle Wallace, MSNBC anchor: "President Obama used the power of the presidency to try to pass comprehensive immigration reform with the Latino community, Latino leaders at the table. You now have a president, as you said, talking about exterminating Latinos."
"Exterminating Latinos." Keep in mind that Donald Trump, as a factual matter, got a higher percentage of the Hispanic vote than Mitt Romney did.
It turns out that not all Latinos believe in open borders; a lot of them don't. Some of them agree with Donald Trump on immigration. And yet the left is now telling you -- and demanding that you believe -- that anyone who supports Donald Trump is a white supremacist and must be destroyed. Now they're telling you that for political reasons -- this is election season, obviously, and they want more political power.
But there are other reasons, too, that they're saying this. Ever wonder why rich people seem the most hysterical on the subject? Ever notice that it's the highest-paid people on television who are the most determined to convince you that white supremacy is America's biggest problem? Why is that?
Simple. Every minute you're angry about race is a minute you're not thinking about class, which, of course, is the real divide in this country. Working-class people of all colors have a lot more in common -- infinitely more in common -- with each other than they do with some overpaid MSNBC anchor. And if you were allowed to think about that for long enough, you might start to get unauthorized ideas about economics, and that would be disruptive to a very lucrative status quo.
So they whip you into a frenzy of racial fear so that it never enters your mind. It's a diversion. Everyone else hates each other, they get to keep their money. Pretty tricky. Unfortunately, it's also destroying the country. This is the path to civil war, obviously.
This country is not on the brink of genocide. It's not even close to that. This is not a white supremacist country plotting the slaughter of its own people. It's a kind country, full of decent people of all races, who, like all people everywhere, make bad decisions from time to time. But they mean well, and they generally try their best.
So we want to take a second to pass on a sincere message to official Washington and particularly to our colleagues on the other cable news channels, and it's this: Please, for the sake of the nation, calm down.
Yes, America has problems. Yes, racism is one of America's problems. But so is a fading middle class. So is a terrifying drug epidemic that's killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. So is the national debt that is growing by a trillion dollars a year.
These are huge problems, and people know that. People know their country is in decline, and it's making them turn to new political leaders. Donald Trump was one of those new leaders. Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are a couple of others. This is a time of frustration, and it's a time of change. It's a hard time for America.
But this country is not on the brink of genocide. It's not even close to that. This is not a white supremacist country plotting the slaughter of its own people. It's a kind country, full of decent people of all races, who, like all people everywhere, make bad decisions from time to time. But they mean well, and they generally try their best.
So going forward, give them the benefit of the doubt, even when you disagree with them -- maybe, especially when you disagree with them. These are your fellow Americans. Cut them a break. They deserve it. And remember, the alternative is disaster.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Aug. 7, 2019.