Tucker Carlson is still attacking Tammy Duckworth’s patriotism and courage and she, in turn, challenges him on what patriotism actually means. He says she’s a fraud because she refuses to defend the position he falsely claims she holds.
TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Changes that profound deserve a debate, not some fake national conversation where they scream commands at you and you get to obey. But a vigorous, reasoned exchange between adults. We wanted to have an exchange like that with Tammy Duckworth tonight. So we called her office and we invited her on the show. Her flack informed us that before even considering our request, we must first issue a public apology for criticizing Tammy Duckworth. In other words, I will not debate you until first you admit you’re completely wrong. Keep in mind, Tammy Duckworth is not a child, at least not technically. She is a sitting United States senator who is often described as a hero. Yet Duckworth is too afraid to defend her own statements on a cable TV show. What a coward. Tammy Duckworth is also a fraud.
This is the person lecturing the rest of us about her moral authority as a veteran. Spare us. Tammy Duckworth is a callous hack who ignored the suffering of actual veterans when it actually mattered. She has no moral authority. She is just a politician like the rest of them. She works for us. This is a democracy. She has an obligation to explain herself and answer our question. And our first question would be how can you lead a country you despise? And that’s not something we would ask only to Tammy Duckworth, by the way. Hating America is a major theme in the Democratic Party right now. It’s everywhere. Turn on the TV.
Of course, she never said she despised the country. Quite the opposite in fact. Carlson is the fraud here. Duckworth wrote an op-ed for the New York Times arguing that neither Carlson nor Trump understands the nature of patriotism:
They should know, though, that attacks from self-serving, insecure men who can’t tell the difference between true patriotism and hateful nationalism will never diminish my love for this country — or my willingness to sacrifice for it so they don’t have to. These titanium legs don’t buckle.
The hateful vision for America parroted by Mr. Trump and Mr. Carlson will not win. Their relentless efforts to drive wedges between us will not work forever. We are too resilient a nation, too diverse a people, to let them.
In his farewell address, George Washington not only recognized his own imperfections, he also urged Americans to “guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism” and be wary of excessive partisanship. In the generations since, too many patriots, including many in my own family, have sacrificed too much to let our guard down now.
So when Tucker Carlson questions the patriotism of those willing to sacrifice for his freedom, or when Donald Trump promotes those smears — after having threatened to veto a pay raise for our troops to try to ensure the military continues honoring Confederate traitors who took up arms against our Union — remember Washington’s words.