Comparing racism from different eras: If only Tucker Carlson had been around in the 1950s he could’ve been a New York Intellectual.

TV commentator Carlson in 2018 recently raised a stir by saying that immigration makes the United States “poorer, and dirtier, and more divided,” which reminded me of this rant from literary critic Alfred Kazin in 1957:

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Kazin put it in his diary and Carlson broadcast it on TV, so not quite the same thing.

But this juxtaposition made me think of Keith Ellis’s comment that “there’s much less difference between conservatives and progressives than most people think. Maybe one or two generations of majority opinion, at most.”

When people situate themselves on political issues, I wonder how much of this is on the absolute scale and how much is relative to current policies or the sense of the prevailing opinion. Is Tucker Carlson more racist than Alfred Kazin? Does this question even make sense? Maybe it’s like comparing baseball players from different eras, e.g. Mike Trout vs. Babe Ruth as hitters. Or, since we’re on the topic of racism, Ty Cobb vs. John Rocker.

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