Tucker Carlson’s powerful speech: ‘Herd instinct is the strongest instinct’


A remarkable segment of Tucker Carlson’s speech at the Heritage Foundation 50th anniversary gala dinner in Washington, D.C. on Friday, which closed out two days of a summit on the political realities of our era:

 Carlson: I would just say two things about the present moment… 

The first is, you look around and you see so many people break under the strain, the downward pressure of whatever it is that we’re going through. The disdain and sadness as you see people you know become Quislings, you see them revealed as cowards, going along with the New New Thing, and it is always a silly thing, saying things you know they don’t believe because they want to keep their jobs… and you’re so disappointed in people. 

You realize the herd instinct is the strongest instinct, it may be stronger than the hunger and sex instincts. The instinct, which is inherent, to be like everybody else, not to be cast out of the group and shunned. It takes over in moments like this, it is harnessed by bad people in times like this to produce uniformity. You see people go along with this and you lose respect for them. 

That has happened to me at scale over the past three years. I’m not mad at people, I’m just sad and disappointed. How could you go along with this, you know it is not true but you’re saying it anyway. Really, you’re putting your pronouns on your email? It’s ridiculous. what does that even mean? You’re saying things you can’t define. 

“LGBTQIA+” Who’s the plus? The plus is invited on my show any time. Find a plus and I’ll interview him. What’s it like to be a plus? Am I a plus? I can do addition, does that make me a plus? No one even knows what it is, and the whole society… So you reach that place and you feel… I am so upset by some people I love and the country I revere… You see the sadness happening. 

But, there is a countervailing force at work always. There is a counterforce to the badness, it is called goodness! And you see it in people. So for every ten people who are putting he/him in their electronic J.P Morgan email signatures, there’s one person who says, “No, I’m not doing that, sorry. It’s a betrayal of what I think is true… of my autonomy. I am a free citizen and I’m not doing that, and there’s nothing you can do to me to make me do it. And I hope it won’t come to that, but if it does come to that, here I am.” It’s Paul on trial. Here I am. 

And you see that in people and it is a completely unexpected assortment of people… But because I’m sort of paid to predict things I think about what connects certain outcomes before they occurred. In this case, there is no thread I can find that connects all of the people who’ve popped up in my life to be that lone, brave person in the crowd who says, No thank you.”

You could not have known who these people are. They don’t fit a common profile… Some of them are people I despised on political grounds just a few years ago. You might know their names but I don’t want to wreck your dinner by telling you who they are. But there is in one case someone who I made fun of on television, and certainly in my private life in vulgar ways, who is really the embodiment of everything I found repulsive, who in the middle of Covid decided they’re not going along with it. And once you say one true thing and stick with it, other true things occur to you. 

The truth is contagious. Lying is, but the truth is as well. And the second you decide to tell the truth about something you are filled with this power from somewhere else. Try it! Tell the truth about something. You’ll feel it every day. The more you tell the truth, the stronger you become. That’s completely real. It is measurable in the way that you feel. 

And of course, the opposite is also true. The more you lie, the weaker and more terrified you become. We all know that feeling. You lie about something and all of a sudden you are a prisoner of that lie. You are diminished by it… Drug and alcohol use is the same way. It makes you weak and afraid. 

But you look around and you see some of the people who have really paid a heavy price for telling the truth. They are passed out of their groups, but they do it anyway. I look at those people with the deepest possible admiration…

But how about if you’re a senior vice president at Citibank and you’re making four million a year… you need this job, and your whole sector is kind of collapsing. There is no incentive for you to tell the truth about anything. You just go into reeducation meetings and go, “Oh, yeah, diversity is our strength. Equity in the capital markets. All right!”

So if you are the one guy who refuses to say that, you are a hero, in my opinion. And I know some of them, in fact, my job is to interview them. And I sit back and look at these people, and I give them more credit than people who display physical courage, which is often impulsive… Every man fantasizes about what he would do when the building catches fire and you hear a baby crying. You rush inside. No one is trained to stand up in the middle of a DEI meeting at Citibank and say it is nonsense. And the people who do that — they have my deepest admiration. Their example gives me hope. 

That’s the first thing… In this profound moment of widespread destruction of the institutions that people who share our views built… we can also see rising in the distance new institutions built by new people who are every bit as brave as the people who came before us. Amen!

Here’s the second thing, which is that it might be time to start to reassess the terms we use to describe what we’re watching. When I started at Heritage, the presumption was a very Anglo-American assumption, that the debates we’re having are rational debates about the way to get to mutually agreed upon outcomes. So, like, we all want the country to be more prosperous and free and people to be less oppressed or whatever. So we’re going to argue about tax rates… but the objective is the same. so we write our papers and they right their papers and may the best paper win. 

I don’t think that’s what we’re watching now at all. I don’t think we’re watching a debate over how to get to the best outcome. That’s completely wrong… There is no way to assess the transgender-ist movement with that mindset. Policy papers don’t cover it at all. If you have people who say, “I have an idea, let’s castrate the next generation. Let’s sexually mutilate the children.” 

I’m sorry, that’s not a political debate. What? It has nothing to do with politics. What’s the outcome we’re desiring here? an androgynous population? Are we arguing for that? I don’t think anyone could defend that as a positive outcome. 

But the weight of the government and a lot of corporate interests are behind that. Well, what is that? It’s not rational. If you say you think abortion is always bad, or sometimes it is necessary. That’s a debate I’m familiar with. But if you’re telling me that abortion is a positive good, what are you saying? Well, you’re arguing for child sacrifice… I have compassion for everyone involved, but when the Treasury Secretary comes up and says you can help the economy by getting an abortion — well, that’s like an Aztec principle, actually. There’s not a society in history that didn’t practice human sacrifice. not one, I checked… It wasn’t just the Mesoamericans, it was everybody. So that’s what that is. 

So what’s the point of child sacrifice? There’s no policy goal entwined with that. That’s a theological phenomenon. That’s kind of the point I’m making. none of this makes sense in conventional political terms. When people or crowds of people, or the largest crowd of people, the federal government, the largest organization in human history, decide that the goal is to destroy things, destruction for its own sake, let’s tear it down — what you’re watching is not a political movement, it is evil.


  1. Tucker makes sense. Herd instinct 101……..go out and get a tattoo. Or three, or four. Then, put pink dye in your hair. Get a nose ring or a diamond earing. But a new cell phone with 30 apps. No reason to hate Trump, except for sake of hate. Democrats are masters of herding.

    • Baaaaaaa…..baaaaaaa.
      And Joe Biden is our shepherd? 21st Century historians won’t know how to write this one up. The mindless drooler leading the flock over the cliffs.

      • Joe ain’t leading. He can’t tell a cliff from a tarpit. He’s just doing what his lesbian and tr* nnie controllers tell him to do. They run the White House.

  2. I’m a member of a herd…… I’m part of the Jesus sheepfold herd. Its true if a leader ain’t following God’s Word, i ain’t following them, i don’t recognize him.

    • I’m curious why you’re here. Most of your comments are only slightly topical and almost always with evangelical overtones.

      Do you consider MRA your mission field? Or are you just getting jollies putting your piety (giving the benefit of the doubt it’s sincere) on display for the world to marvel at?

    • Succinct, Bob, and correct.

      And, thank you, Suzanne, for posting this, in what I presume is his speech in its entirety.

      Without a doubt, Tucker will be missed by those of us who crave spoken truths. He is missed already; may he find a landing worthy of his talents and fire.

  3. I’ve never understood this ‘herd instinct’, nor the blind and cowardly conformity to which it leads. A number of posters here routinely display that sort of behavior, which to me is utterly alien and non-human. I simply cannot relate to those who blindly follow the herd, and I LONG ago learned to accept sometimes being the misfit, the loner and the outcast.

    • I give him credence because most of what he has to say is the naked truth and makes eminent sense. If he is being paid to say the truth and to make eminent sense, does that make the truth, and his eminent sense, any less valid? The logic of your argument eludes me.

      • He admitted he did not believe what he was asked to say, and the people he promoted are proven liars on the topic.
        Maybe he always tells the truth sometimes.

    • Thank you for reading MRAK Andy Holleman ! Welcome to an oasis where freedom of thought and ideas flourish. As you expand your worldview, may you and others on the Anch School Board realize that public schools need more reading, writing and arithmetics and less gender unicorns, pornographic books and lessons on white privilege. And BTW, are you voting the way you are supposed to based on the NEA that bankrolled your campaign ?

      • I’ve been a reader for some time. Your idea of my “expanding world view” may be your own imagination, as I don’t think we’ve ever had a discussion about anything.
        I can assure you that so much of the time being taken up in ASD with the things you list didn’t come FROM the ASD…..they came from the community by way of the students. But because of the way we operate, we do have to respond. That response is controversial, and sure, we wish all students got a reasonable response at home. Many do, but some do not.
        If I hear anything from NEA one way or the other, I’ll let you know. I will admit, a LOT of people bankrolled my campaign. They’re all welcome to call, as are others.
        Freedom of thought is an awesome thing. I just hope it’s coupled to some fact checking as well.

      • In all my time involved in union activities, I never once heard anyone be asked to lie.
        If you can’t imagine that, maybe you should check your list of friends and acquaintances.

  4. Tucker Carlson and truth are 100% synonymous. Master manipulation for clicks, ratings, and a gathering herd.

  5. My husband watches Tucker everyday. I have never seen this side of Tucker, possibly his evangelical side is curbed on Fox news…but I liked it and agree 150 %. It is so refreshing to hear the truth and know it’s the TRUTH ! Thank you SD for posting this.

  6. Hmm, wonder if they’ll censor him for pointing out what he did in the 2nd to last paragraph, just like what Eastman pointed out.

    The herd instinct is amplified in our modern times because the age-segregated school system teaches all youth to work on a peer pressure basis. That’s why homeschooling is so powerful, it raises independent thinkers.

  7. He’s not wrong, but he’s also not immune.

    How much is uncertain since Fox settled with Dominion.

  8. Yeah, I really admire the people who were willing to get fired rather than take the jab at my workplace. I wasn’t coerced, but I regret getting it.

  9. The herd mentality Has manifested in many of evils in the history of mankind. The problem is only about 10% of the people see the evil that is going on around them. 30% are part of the evil and moving it forward as it destroys, the last 60% just don’t care and turn their heads and act like they don’t see anything out of the norm.

    Tucker Carlson is part of the 10% that sees the evil and if you watch him with any kind of consistency, you will see that he is quite fair and an interviews, some of the brightest and most intelligent people in our society.

  10. Thanks for posting this. I watch Tucker and Jesse (Waters) every day because they are the closest we have to the old news commentators. They express the outrage and displeasure that I feel with what has happened to our press, our country, and our politics. We used to be able to respect one another whether we agreed with each other or not. Mom and Dad used to joke that they cancelled out each other’s vote, then laugh and carry on with life. So did politicians in those days. Now, not so much. Cooperation is now very rare, but needed so much more. And fringe groups seem to have taken over. Instead of being a nation of doers, we have become a nation of victims. It’s past time to shed this national pity party and get back to work.

  11. Tucker wore a bow tie and hated Trump, instead of fixing our budget and border, now Tucker wants to go after the powerless.

  12. Why would anyone give any credence to anything Andy Holleman says. By his own words, he will say whatever he is being paid to say.

  13. Yes, what a “powerful” speech. Never mind that he was/is part of the propaganda apparatus at Fox News that peddled false claims about Dominion voting machines and never mind that his network is going to have to pay out $700 million + to dominion as a result of those lies. No, trying to undermine a national election isn’t nearly as important as what peoples pronouns might be. Tucker isn’t a journalist, he’s a personality. And he has the nerve to talk about “truth”? Give me a break.

    • I always enjoy the brazen ignorance of lefties; they’re rarely right but they’re never uncertain. There is a reason that all the attacks on Trump and his allies have been in the Soros-controlled New York Oblast. You could not empanel a jury in New York that wouldn’t convict FOX News or any Trump ally of whatever a Soros AG asked of them. There really isn’t any way for any Republican to get a fair trial at the trial court level in the BoWash Axis of Evil.

      If you can’t win, you settle; it is that simple. In my working days I was always happy to authorize six figures for a settlement of a wrongful discharge suit in Juneau without regard to merit; there was no way the State could win at the trial court level. If you couldn’t kill the suit in motion practice, you settled. Dominion got less than they wanted, and they would have gotten it from a NYC jury. Then it would be years of litigation over the jury award; write the check and walk away.

      And, no, I’ll never give arrogant, supercilious lefties a break.

      • Art “No” Chance you are correct. I am not uncertain and right that the Fox-Dominion trial was not held in the New York Oblast. It was held in Wilmington, Delaware. Please continue with the brazen ignorance!

    • Is this more of your putative “libertarianism”, cman?
      I’ve said it 1000 times, and I’ll say it again: Hypocrisy, thy name is radical leftist.

  14. All three of my children were forced out of their job due to their jab refusal which is what I warned them about when they took jobs with Democrat run corporations. They are all now happily employed with conservative profit making businesses earning much more compensation with bonus incentives for additional effort and hard work. They now fully understand the repercussions of working for the democrat run FBI (friends brothers & inlaws)

  15. No indication if it was mutual or he was booted. Probably booted since this comes so quickly after the settlement with Dominion.

    There is evidence (circumstantial at present) indicating he knew the Dominion story didn’t have legs but rode it for ratings. Time will tell.

    Wonder if Hannity will be far behind?

    • Yes, it is time to make an example of these “election deniers “. It makes people question the validity of the communist takeover of our country. And state. And cities. They must be made to understand that it is the will of the people to be oppressed. They will all enjoy it once they learn to fit in. Those who don’t, well there’s a plan for them also. The Chinese government has it all figured out. Takes care of the labor shortage.

  16. James Madison studied Cornelius among others. Cornelius was the first gentile to convert to Christianity. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took two hundred years for the republic of America to gain its Constitution. Do you think Cornelius would have like living in America? So many woke democrats want to jettison the Constitution these days and yet people are still willing to convert in great numbers to a new American culture. Interesting. I wonder what President James Madison would say about this.

  17. Slowly the voices of those who question the “narrative” are being silenced on the main sites. They will be available in the hinterland of the web but will not see as many new viewers. Instead the government will control the narrative and decide what is “disinformation.” Jesse Waters will be next. Go to Tucker Carlson.com to keep up with Tucker. Ben Franklin said “You have a republic, if you can keep it.” It is getting to be patently obvious that we could not.

  18. Tucker’s brand is all about negativity, fear and hate. His addiction to using the C-word around the office sealed his fate. Adios lil Tuck.

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