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Fox News host Tucker Carlson is no stranger to controversy. If anything, his fame and fortune depend on his willingness to stir it up, whether that’s by excusing gun violence in America or spreading dangerous nonsense like the “great replacement” theory. And while it’s probably best to just ignore someone who spends months obsessing over changes to the way M&M spokescandies look, we don’t have that luxury in Canada right now.

That’s because on a recent show, Carlson suggested Canada was in the process of turning into Cuba — and America should do something about it. "We're spending all this money to liberate Ukraine from the Russians. Why are we not sending an armed force north to liberate Canada from Trudeau?"

Carlson insisted he wasn’t kidding, but his suggestion was treated as a bad joke, which underscores the fact that “conservative humour” is little more than an oxymoron. Matthew Green, the NDP member of Parliament for Hamilton Centre, certainly didn’t find it very funny. He tried to get unanimous consent on a motion condemning Carlson for his remarks, one that didn’t pass muster with Conservative members of the House of Commons. That was a gift for Carlson, who used a clip of Green’s failed motion on his Wednesday show in order to continue riffing on his bit for another day.

To some extent, the online mockery that greeted Green’s failed motion was deserved. The House of Commons has bigger and better things to do, especially right now, than comment on the uninformed ramblings of a far-right American provocateur. But at the same time, we can’t ignore the way in which someone like Carlson is talking about our country — and the effect that could have on our shared interests down the road.

No, the United States is not going to invade Canada — not today, not tomorrow and almost certainly not in the future (although never say never: it did elect Donald Trump as president). But we should be wary of the way in which prominent right-wing media personalities are talking about Canada right now, and the degree to which they’re willing to delude themselves and their viewers about what’s actually happening here.

Carlson, after all, isn’t the only Fox News personality suggesting that Canada is some sort of illiberal hellscape right now. Tulsi Gabbard, who represented Hawaii in Congress and ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, is also using dangerous language to talk about Canada’s current prime minister. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Canada, has yet again very recently shown just how anti-freedom and anti-democracy he actually is,” she said in a recent video.

Carlson may have been joking about the idea of "liberating" Canada, but he’s probably dead serious about the notion that Canada’s current government is actively infringing on the freedoms and liberties of its citizens. It was Carlson, after all, who helped elevate last year’s trucker convoy into a global phenomenon on the far right. “Find an enemy, create a crisis, stay in power forever,” he said in his Feb. 21, 2022, monologue. “It's the oldest recipe for tyranny that there is. If we don't recognize it in our own age, it's only because nothing like this was supposed to happen in a democracy, but it is happening, most clearly in Canada.”

There’s a substantial subset of his viewers, and a smaller slice of the American population as a whole, that takes this portrayal of Canada seriously. They genuinely believe we’re being governed by communists, that we’ve fallen prey to a far-left dictatorship, and our freedoms are being suppressed in order to advance the wishes of the World Economic Forum or some other tinfoil-laden conspiracy theory. The longer people are fed that sort of toxic nonsense, the more likely it is that it winds up in the head of someone who could do something about it.

And while American troops and tanks aren’t about to roll across our shared border, Carlson’s brand of conservatism already has. On any number of issues, from the merits of gun control to the perils facing free speech and the unimportance of climate change, Canadian conservative leaders like Danielle Smith, Scott Moe and Pierre Poilievre are in lockstep with Carlson. If the Trudeau Liberals keep sinking in the polls, his imaginary invasion might not even be necessary.

No, Canada isn't going to be "liberated" by the United States. But Tucker Carlson's comments about it are part of a worrying trend — one that has already made its way across the border into our politics, writes columnist @maxfawcett. #cdnpoli

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Maybe this will wake up eastern Canada to the threat that MAGA style right wing crazy is well established here in the west. This must be addressed, and not by seeing ignorance, best exemplified in Ms Smith, as some kind of joke. It seems to me that this is a real threat to the country as a whole. The power structure led by the American resource companies already has a strong foothold here in Alberta, with only a weak opposition and no help from the national government to counterbalance it.

We likely need to save ourselves in Alberta. Which isn't going to be easy, after decades of complicity and self censorship. Danielle didn't appear out of no where, she's native to this place. And far too many of us, who know or should know better, if been silenced by a political conformity that is decades old and always has been tied to the foreign money that now owns over 90 % of the wealth all parties seem to think has to order to keep the province in the black.

Hopefully the spring election will give us a chance to send a message to right wingers who think we need saving.....but its not guaranteed.

This is psychological warfare being waged against the middle class. The scary thing is that it's effective on susceptible minds while normal people have absolutely no idea that it's happening. The Tulsi Gabbard piece is very odd - heck, Tulsi Gabbard is very odd - and I didn't realize how far right The Hill is. The comments posted by supposed Canadians are disturbing. "As a Canadian every single word gabard (sic) stated was true. Canada is becoming a scary place. This government need to go. And now." Another commenter suggests Trudeau will have to flee the country when his term is over. Wow! It would be good if Poilievre denounced this kind of thinking but I'm afraid it's a gift to him. He needs to be questioned on what he thinks is happening in the US politically and by that I mean the current Republican madness but I doubt we have any journalists with the backbone to have that confrontational conversation...or that PP would ever deign to participate.

This is American fascism, and Carlson is simply saying what Trump isn't in a position to say, quite yet.

I think this just puts more "proof" of the mindset (lack thereof) of Tucker Carlson and the thousands of others who believe what "it" spews. ""We're spending all this money to liberate Ukraine from the Russians. Why are we not sending an armed force north to liberate Canada from Trudeau?"" Really? So you want to have 1 NATO nation attack another, and don't think Article 5 would be implemented??

"Find an enemy, create a crisis, stay in power forever,” he said in his Feb. 21, 2022, monologue. “It's the oldest recipe for tyranny that there is."
Yeah, Carlson should know, he spends enough time doing it.

I do find it interesting that Canadian Conservatism generally supports the United States against Canada. And that's true on no matter what axis--cultural, policy, and even apparently supporting the United States against Canada should there be a war.

That is, for all their energetic flag waving, they are in fact traitors in the full technical sense of the word.

Agree on seriousness, disagree on tactics. When it's this early in the story, fascists can still be shut down by laughter, at least as well as by condemnation.

Indeed, your Carlson/Coulter/Shapiro guys have "outrage the libs" as their *business model*. Don't encourage.

Someone needs to liberate Tucker Carlsons walnut sized brain from the swamp.

Joe Rogan has broadcast on his most listened to US podcast, that Canada is communist. I point out the US is closer to facsism than we r to either communism or socialism.
But the Republicsns have a plan. First it was take over the courts and they have. Many US judges r elected and most are Republican. Then look at their Supreme Court. This is an ongoing well financed plan. Mainly by the Koch brothers.
Next phase in progress, flood the American Latinos with Spanish TV but mainly radio with a far right messsge day in day out, again financed by big money far righrs like Koch. The phase down the road is get 38 states with right wing Republican Governments and then amend the US Constitution to who knpws what.
Gerry mandering electoral districts already legitimized by Supreme Court.
Want a few more examples resd this:
And it may say racism,but is a 40 year plan

If the USA will invade Canada, frankly it will be our water they want and will take.
Canada has 20 % of all the world's fresh water. Fresh water is only 2.5 % of all the water in the world, and over half of that is frozen in glaciers or the Antarctic. And only 1% of that 2.5% is surface water. Source
And if u think our water is available, just remember 2021 dought and its' adverse affect on food like wheat,, beer barley, beans , lentils and of all things mustard and mustard seed. And especially cattle and chicken feed which is a partial cause of our food inflation today in 2023

Canada has a plan to prevent the water take over by America and that is to contaminate all the water by using it in fracking so there is nothing left to invade us for except tailings ponds and toxic deep wells.

Clever of us isn't it......and the Americans could argue they are coming to rescue Canada's water from Canadians.....knowing full well most of us are too thick to realize who it is owns all those fracking companies anyway.
Dumb folks with automatic guns always have the edge. Conservatives now this.

Thanks Matt. You have a great way of making issues clear, even when they are complicated by having many facets.

Unfortunately the bombastic Tucker Carlson, who seeks only his own aggrandizement, has a fair bit of sway. He is fomenting disrespect for our elected national government. Whatever one's personal politics this should be seen by all Canadians for what it is: a despicable, unjustifiable aggression.

Ehhh, disrespect wouldn't bother me. I don't respect 'em much myself. It's the systematic lies and promotion of violence that get me annoyed.