The Most Important Lesson to Learn From Teddy Roosevelt | Tucker Carlson

39 mins read | by Calvin Audibert | April 29, 2024

Source: FULL SPEECH: The Most Important Lesson to Learn From Teddy Roosevelt ( Summary:

Tucker [00:00:12] Thank you. A man I can look up to.

When you told me that in Wisconsin, I was actually on the way to our annual grouse trip. North of waters. What a great state. It’s like Maine, where I live, except flatter and a lot friendlier. And you told me that I didn’t even believe you. And then I looked it up, and it turned out to, of course, be true. And it didn’t really actually surprise me at all, much as it horrified me, because, of course, in a moment where anything that is sacred is under attack, they’re going to attack the thing that is most sacred to me, which is the relationship between man and animal. That comes really only through hunting. So of course, and that’s why one of the reasons I was so honored to be asked to come here, tonight, also, any group with Teddy Roosevelt in the name, it’s, like, done. I’m there.

When I was a kid. Teddy Roosevelt was the, was the model of manhood in my house. And I’m not that old, actually. Despite my appearance, I, I grew up in a world where Teddy Roosevelt was commonly acknowledged as, like, the archetype of what it meant to be a man. And if you’re interested in this life, I’m sure everyone here is, you know, read the Morris biographies and, you know, knows a lot about Teddy Roosevelt.

But the thing you notice immediately is that at every moment in his life, when things kind of fell apart, he instantly retreated to the wilderness. That’s the first thing he did. When his father died when he was 19, at Harvard. First thing he did was go to Maine. Which, you know, I’m we’re flattered by that in Maine. And wound up spending the winter a lot of the winter in Maine, hunting, fishing and trapping, in the state, in northern Maine. Climbed Katahdin. And started a lifelong friendship with his guide, which, you know, those of you in the room who’ve hunted and fished your whole lives know about that sort of weird, almost holy relationship you can have with a guide that can extend the entire course of your life and the person. We have a couple of them in our family’s life who are, you know, who sit at our Thanksgiving dinner table every year. And that’s how close it is.

The relationships that you build with people through the sports of hunting and fishing are not like other relationships at all. And you see it in the people. I met a ton of people before giving the speech. And, I have to say, of the women, not only are they very pretty, but I would say about 60% had cross necklaces on, which is I’m just going to say it my favorite thing. You approach me with a cross necklace on, I love you. Not only because you my remind me of my wife who wears one, but because, you know, symbolizes what’s important to me. But it shouldn’t be surprising that a group dedicated to conserving God’s creation would be wearing a necklace like that. Because the connection between people and land is really the connection between people and the eternal, in my opinion. And no, it is, if the most important thing to you is God’s creation, you know, it tells you a lot about who you are.

And I have to say, like Teddy Roosevelt, I’ve not lived half as an exciting life as Teddy Roosevelt, who’s literally as you everyone famously knows in 1912, while giving a campaign speech, running for president, a campaign he never should have run. Even a man as great as Teddy Roosevelt was subject to hubris. But he’s giving a speech, and a man called John Schrank walked up and shot him point blank with the 38. The gun I carry, I think a lot of the 38. I think it’s a pretty robust cartridge. But somehow his glasses case stopped it, and, he spent the rest of his life. He lived another seven years, with that 38 slug in his flesh and gave the speech anyway after being shot. Imagine the kind of man it would take to give a speech, a 90 minute speech while bleeding with a 38 slug in you. And I think, could I do that? No, I would, I would. I would, I’ve been shot. He was running on the Bull Moose ticket that year. And instead of saying, I’ve been shot. He looked calmly at the crowd and said, it’s going to take a lot more than that to kill a bull moose. Which I can tell you, as someone who lives in Maine is true. Hard to kill a bull moose with a 38. But still so impressive.

But one of the things about his life that has resonated in mine. Is that when things get bad, you retreat to the wilderness. And when things started to get super crazy for us in Washington, the city that we spent most of our lives in, my wife and four children, you know, maybe 6 or 7 years ago, our first instinct was to move to the town that we had gone to our whole lives in Maine and not in coastal Maine. Not in the you know, the lighthouse and lobster role Maine. But the macaroni and cheese fentanyl Maine up near Canada and, which we love, an area where literally the only reason to live there is if you love nature, there’s nothing else there. There’s nothing.

I was I’m sitting next to Cabela’s, and I got super enthusiastic about their store in a way that I think made them uncomfortable, because I was such a fanboy about it, but because when we got to Cabela’s two hours south of me in Scarborough, Maine, everyone in my town of 100 people was like, they got a Cabela’s in southern Maine, no one goes to southern Maine because that’s where all the people you don’t want to be around live. But the whole town made the pilgrimage to buy cheaper ammo and sporting clays at your store. And that’s not surprising, because why would you live there otherwise?

So to live in a world of people who really don’t have a lot, I mean, actually the town I live in is poorer than any inner city neighborhood in the United States, literally in per capita. I mean, there are two houses walking distance from my house without running water. I’ve got two people who work for me who grew up without running water. I’m not overstating. It’s just a fact. And so this is a legitimately, one of the poorest counties not on an Indian reservation in the United States. But it’s a pretty happy place, actually. And I’ve always thought that it was happy, not because anyone’s thriving. There are no jobs, and drug use is endemic. And that’s, of course, really sad. And it kills a lot of people. And there’s kind of no excusing that. But if you talk to people, they’re they’re pretty satisfied with their lives a lot more than if you’re poor in a city. You could be twice as rich to be ten times as rich in a city, and not be as happy as the people who are standing outside our gas station.

The only store in town watching the bear hunters come in in September. In Maine, you have to take the tooth out and give it to the lady at the cash register to tag it. And so there are, you know, trucks out front every morning and people are comparing bears, dead bears. Everyone’s like, you know, pulling up the teeth and kind of hoping they’re still dead, then yanking them out. And bring in the lady who is like collecting teeth. Then they all buy the little shots of Allen coffee, brandy and generic cigarets to celebrate. And, you know, it’s a very culturally specific place. Those of you from Wisconsin can kind of relate. Less beer in the morning, more liquor, but whatever. It’s the same vibe and everyone’s happy.

And there’s not one person there with health insurance, I don’t know, there isn’t. I mean, that’s real. I don’t know. I’m not aware of any dentist within a 20 minute, 20 mile, 25 mile drive from where I live, and everyone lives on, well, water. You know, the combination of very hard, well water with all kinds of minerals and no dentist is pretty intense as you can imagine. And I’m not mocking. I’m marveling at how rooted and happy people are. I’m not just guessing. I’m not a passerby having been in the same town for 50 years. So I’ve seen this and I’ve seen it collapse. Economically truly collapse.

As the Dowel Mills went under and the wood products business moved to Canada, and all the economic changes that globalization wrought that really wrecked rural America. And those of you who live in it know. But what’s so amazing is that the spirit of decency remains, and that is directly tied to it, is a product of the connection that people have with nature. That is not just the saving grace. It’s the whole point. It’s the whole point.

If you are highly aware of the natural world. If you have a deep relationship with animals. Then you’re a different person from the people who don’t. It’s just true. I hunt with dogs. I hunted with my dogs yesterday and I’m not going to talk about my life. My wife says, no one wants to hear about your dogs. And I always say, I think people really do want to hear about my dogs, actually. And she always says. Ever been on a plane? And some, like, half drunk person pulls out pictures of their grandchildren? Who are all kind of weird looking and you have to pretend they’re cute. I’m like, yeah, I hate that. She’s like, that’s what it’s like when you talk about your dogs. Everyone’s like, oh, your dogs are so interesting.

So I’m not going to tell you about my two flushing dogs. The two probably best grouse dogs in Maine. Best quail dogs in Florida, Springer and an English cocker. Incredible animals. Lifetime dogs. Brookie and Alice. Amazing. But I, you know, I hunt them. You know, I’ll just be honest, multiple times a week. And we were just talking the kibbles. I was talking at dinner about how when you hunt with dogs, you’re not really hunting. The dogs are hunting and you, like, come home and take credit for. And I killed this or that. You know what I mean? A mountain lion bear. In my case, a quail or a grouse or a pheasant or whatever, chucker. I’m not above hunting chucker, anyway. And you know, I shot this, I shot that, and then I go on about how the 28 is actually superior to the 20 and I’ll, you know, but it’s all kind of a lie, your dogs did that. And in so doing you had this relationship with these animals that transcends the moment. In fact, it transcends the era. This is the only carnivorous animal human beings have ever domesticated. We’re not even sure how or why people domesticated dogs, but we know for a fact since the beginning of any kind of human civilization, people have lived with dogs. They’re in cave paintings. They’re in graves. And why is that? Well, who knows why. But it’s only through the experience of hunting with them that you begin to maybe understand the roots of that. And the main thing that you learn when you hunt with dogs and you don’t learn this in any other way, is that the distance between people and animals is a lot narrower than we imagine that it is.

And I don’t think people who don’t hunt. Who don’t work with animals. Work with animals. Understand that? I don’t know how they could. It’s a completely different experience to come home to. You’re one of those weird hybrid dogs that everyone has down there. Part poodle. I don’t even know what they’re called, but they’re supposedly better for your furniture or something. I don’t know, whatever. I’m sure they’re fine. I’m not even going to say it. I’m not going to say it. But if you come, I know I’m being mean. I can’t control myself. Remember talk show host. Okay. But if you, you know, have a dog at home and I would I’ve had them all my life, many of them for the time. And that’s wonderful. But the experience of working with a dog. Hunting with the dog. Sharing a mission with the dog. Communicating with the dog while working in nature. Brings you insights into yourself, into people, into the natural order of the hierarchy of living things. And I would say into God that you would never have otherwise. We flatter ourselves. Oh, you know, it’s us. And then all the animals. And I do think that people who live in cities and want to ban hunting because it’s mean to animals. Or speaking out of such ignorance that it’s hard even to take it seriously. What do you know? What’s a deciduous versus a conifer? Like, name three bird species. Like, do you know anything about nature? Nothing. And it’s only from that position of ignorance that they can issue decrees that we’re banning on hunting because it’s mean to animals. And the response from people is like, well, where do you think food comes from? And they always say that you know where you think food comes from, what comes from animals, right? Protein comes from animals. But I would take it even. And the next step, which is to say, like adults are talking. You have no idea what you’re talking about. You literally have no idea. You’re so ignorant. I mean, the first rule of politeness is be quiet when you don’t know what the adults are talking about. And we should enforce that. I don’t think the clever retorts about, oh, you need hunting, you need animals. Be quiet. And by the way, stay away from our power grid. You don’t understand that either. You belong in the sociology department of a community college, and that’s fine. We can sort of wall you off. And you know what they say. Keep Austin weird. We’re sorry. Mean? That’s what they mean. People with elaborate earrings who work at a community college is totally fine. You’re in your little lane, but stay away from the things that keep civilization going. Like energy and infrastructure and air travel. Like agriculture. And, yes, like hunting and fishing. Because you just don’t know. And that’s fine. You live a spiritually impoverished life alone. You’re only human. Contact us with a DoorDash guy and Netflix. And I’ll pray for you. But you get precisely zero power in our society because you’ll destroy it, because you’re dumb and you don’t know how dumb you are. Now you can’t have my firearms. What? I’m not going to give em to my five year olds. I’m not giving them to you either. Back off! And so I guess what I’m really saying, I don’t want to go on too much about what you already know, which is that hunting, the importance of hunting and fishing go far beyond the number of fish you catch or the moose you shoot. Though it is inherently beautiful. I mean, I literally live in a house where my grandfather’s doll sheep hangs over my over my reading chair, which he shot freshman year at Yale, and he was the pistol champion at Yale and a great hunter and amazing shot. And he promptly became a chronic alcoholic and achieve literally not one thing for the rest of his life. No, like literally not one thing. He was a disgraceful man. But in his younger years, he shot this animal which has graced our living room. You know, it’s 100 years ago. We shot this. And like, that’s kind of enough, actually. He brought this beautiful thing from nature into my house and that and of course, his genes produced me and then my children. And so we’re grateful for that, for his genetic contribution made doubtless well, drunk, but. I’ve said to my wife, you know, I’ve made fun of my grandfather, but of course, really? No, because he was he was drunk. But, but I’m grateful for what he left me, which is this animal head or several animal heads. And like that suffices for me, actually, because they’re so beautiful and they’re a reminder of the world beyond my iPhone, which is the real world. It’s the actual world. The world that I can’t touch. No doll sheep knows what I is. No doll sheep is mad at Mark Zuckerberg for stealing the last election that they would be if they knew, but they don’t. And that’s kind of beautiful. In fact, it’s the only thing that’s beautiful. And the people who do it and who understand that are better people, and I hate to say, like any one group is better than another, but it’s just true. And I know that because I’ve been around it my entire life. My moments in duck camp with my dad and my brother. Were the happiest moments of my childhood and my moments in the field, with my brother and my son and my nephew and my son’s wife, who we somehow convinced to shoot. I don’t see a lot of that ladies in the field, but I love hunting with her. And those moments are the happiest moments in our family. And we’re fanatical fly fishermen, too. And we’ve been, you know, obviously around the world fishing. And but those mean that is my family is being outdoors with them. And so it makes all the difference. But it’s under attack in ways and this is what and I’ll by the way, stop and take your hostile questions in just a second, which I look forward to, but. It’s under attack in ways I don’t think that we fully perceive. And I’m so grateful for you all because you’re fighting this battle on the federal front and with the government, the largest landowner in the United States. And I think that’s absolutely essential. I mean, of course it is. And it’s also very complicated and very difficult and also incremental. I can say, as someone who watched the process for decades in Washington, you don’t, you know, no victory is permanent. These are won. You know, a little bit at a time. Nothing is an absolute victory. It’s a little bit like the First World War. You win, but you don’t really win. You know, there’s another war 20 years later. So, that’s the nature of influencing, government. But I don’t think that those are the only threats. And I want to suggest two other threats that we never acknowledge, particularly those of us on the right. And I’ll just be honest, I am on the right, or I’m identified that way, I guess. But the world has changed so much that I think a lot of us who are middle age need to update our files a little bit on what the big threats are. And of course, you know, in the West it’s a completely different story. I live in a state where there’s, you know, almost no government land and no real property, right? So you can just walk onto someone else’s land in Maine and kill all their animals. So it’s a complete different world than, say, Montana, Wyoming or Nevada or whatever. But. The two other threats that people don’t mention. One is development. And because firms never want to mention this because they’re for free enterprise, and a lot of them are developers, and I think a lot of, you know, some developments, great people need a place to live. And I don’t I think housing prices are one of the most important question in people’s lives. Right. But I also think it is fair to say, and conservatives never say it, that not all development is the same. And if you come into my pretty nature center town with 19th century buildings and build something really ugly made out of plastic, that makes the landscape. You know, it’s basically spray painting a Rembrandt. If you make the landscape uglier where I live, then you’re my enemy. Sorry. And no one wants to say that. But I don’t know why. Beauty is essential. It’s as essential. I would say over time as air or water or food. We can’t really live fully as humans. Without it. We will be diminished without it. We punish our most dangerous citizens by putting them in concrete cells alone, without beauty. If you wonder how important beauty is in anyone who hunts or fishes knows that a huge part of the experience is the stream itself. Regardless of the massive fat, square tailed brook trout that reside there waiting for your flight or the field itself, or hunting dall sheep at altitude. It’s like the mountains are a huge part of it. The solitude is a huge part of it. God’s creation. I mean, I was stuck in New York City for years in my grim television job trying to pay private school tuition, none of which was worth it, I would say, in retrospect. And I was stuck there on the weekends for four years, and I had no outlet because I was in midtown Manhattan, which really is an offense against humanity. And so I would trudge with my fly rod to Central Park to try and catch some of the radioactive diseased bass. And if you’ve ever, you know, put together, you know, a six weight in, Central Park. I mean, it’s literally weirder and more offensive than, say, shooting heroin or mugging somebody in Central Park, both of which are just features of the landscape. And of course, you know, it is just mugging. It’s drug use. We get it. What are you doing, you freak? And I was confronted repeatedly, but that’s, and of course, I hated the whole thing. But I needed to do it. Because you have to do it. You have to be in a place where human beings and their folly haven’t made things uglier. You just have to. Or else you die inside. It’s like that important. And. I think that’s the story of every person, whether we recognize it or not. And so, again, anything that destroys the landscape thoughtlessly mean all development destroys the landscape. Some of it’s necessary, but if there’s no effort at all to preserve beauty. If everything is done purely to maximize the return for the people who did it, leaving behind the detriments this ugliness that the rest of us have to live with for generations, then that’s a crime. And we should say so. No, you’re not allowed to build something ugly in my town. I’m sorry. You can’t, because I live here. No, you can’t build an industrial wind farm on the mountains that I look at. And if you’re going to do that, we’re going to find out if a three way can take one down. And this is, no, this is like a massive debate where I live. Can a three way do. That’s pretty good running around like it could do it right now. 50 BMG minimum. I’ve never actually done it. I’m moving toward doing it. I will do it before I die. It’s one of the. You know that little bucket list thing? You know what I mean? Vacation in Tahiti. Mile high club. Whatever’s on yours. Okay. Wow. We would have said that. Sorry. I just I just I just revealed too much. But seeing if we can actually stop an industrial wind turbine. Yeah, that’s on my list. It is. And I’m going to do that. And when I get taken to jail, I’m going to be a prisoner of conscience. I’m going to be the Julian Assange of Western man. Yeah, I did it. Yeah, I did it, and I did it for humanity. That’s why I did it. But it’s just interesting that okay so bit this attack and these are private companies from Canada doing it where I live. And whatever you think of wind power, I mean I’m not actually against wind power on some principle. Of course not when it’s not a bad idea. And now solar not an inherently bad idea. I’m not that much of a crank. But it matters both whether or not it works. Spoiler, it doesn’t. But it matters most of all to me. What it does to nature. And if you’re going to make the mountains around my house into industrial wind farms and destroy the view, I think it is totally fair for me to say you can’t destroy the view. And people like, oh well, what? You know, why is the view? Why is that of significance as compared to, say, the profit that the Canadian private equity firm will make by destroying your town? I’d say, well, I actually think it’s kind of more important. It is, it is. Beauty is more important than whatever the Canadian private equity firm is making. And by the way, get out of my country. Okay. Scamper away. I don’t think we should be ashamed to say that at all in some massive, ugly housing development. How about you build a massive, beautiful housing development and it cost you 20% more? But you know, that’s kind of the price of not destroying things. And we’re going to demand that you do that. But we don’t. I mean, sort of sit back and go, that’s the free market. Well no one’s. Well, I would say two things. One. I’m strongly for the free market. I wish we had one. We don’t need an economy based on monopolies that exist because they have favor from the government, period. That is our economy. And second, like, how far do we want to take the ideology here? I’ve got a bunch of kids. I’m sure everyone in the room has a bunch of kids because of the kind of people would have a bunch of kids, and God bless you for that. But if you’re like, well, I’m not going to kind of raise or direct my kids as they grow up, just sort of hoping, you know, they arrive at a good place. It’s kind of a free market as opposed to childhood. You’re gonna be visiting your kids in rehab. For real? That’s not how you raise kids. You raised kids with intention. You don’t have to be a fascist about it, but you have to clear, articulate. This is what our family stands for. These are our values. This is what we believe. This is what we do, what we don’t do. You can’t smoke pot at the breakfast table. Sorry. We don’t do that. We don’t have a free market approach to that. And no, you can’t build another dollar store in my town like, no. And look. Maybe I’ll burn it down if you do. How’s that sound? Because it’s my town. Oh, you’re so radical. Really? I’m the radical one. I rolled into your town and made it ugly. I don’t think I did. I think you did that. I think you’re the radical. And I’m responding in self-defense. And don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying that with a little bit of menace. And I mean that because I think the stakes are that high. If you wake up, there are parts of this country. That look? Nothing like they did 20 years ago. And I drive through them. And I said. Who built that? Where’s the architect? And why is he not in prison? People didn’t build buildings like that. 80 years ago, there wasn’t one building in America that look like that. Why are we doing that now? And why are we letting them do that? And rich people don’t live like that. There’s no building like that at the Yellowstone Club. In case you haven’t been recently. Baker’s Bay doesn’t have a dollar store. It’s true. The snickering ones who’ve been to Baker’s Bay, you know, not all sure, because no one wants to live around that stuff. So why are we doing this? Two rural Americans who everyone knows in their hearts or the best people that we have. And they have the greatest claim on this country because they’ve been here the longest. Their family have been here the longest. And so why do this to them? Because we can. It’s totally immoral. Hurting people because they don’t have the power to fight back is the worst thing that you can do. It’s beating an animal. But we do it and no one says a word about it. Then people hunt and fish and defend rural America. Not just America, but Americans, the people who live there because they’re the best people. And they’re hurting. And the second thing that we should be very concerned about is related to the first of this population. So I, we spend a lot of the winter in southwest Florida and and of course, you know, we’ve got amazing tarpon and redfish and particularly snook fishing tarpon in the spring, but snook all year round, huge neck, 40 inch duck. Try to catch one of those on a fly sight casting. I mean, it’s harder than tarpon. It’s amazing. But we also have, over the last couple of years, really good, native quilting, which is kind of amazing considering we’re that far south. I had a huge ranch outside of Fort Myers, huge second biggest ranch in Florida. I know the people who own it. Wonderful people have had it for over 100 years. I’m not going to name them and embarrass them, but they’re a great family. And you know, the land in Florida doesn’t produce a lot at this point. It’s like citrus is dying. So it’s like, you know, cattle, of course, breeding cattle, not raising them. They go to Texas for that. But, watermelons and sod don’t get a lot out of the wind. So they decide, you know, how how can since we have so much land, maybe we could manage it for a while. Quail and go, which is very complicated. Anyone from Texas can tell you it’s very. Quail are like a mystery of the universe. We don’t really understand how they work. We could send a man to the moon, but we can’t keep the bobwhite population healthy, right? Which is extremely distressing. Like, I don’t care about the moon. I care about bobwhite. But anyway, those are my prayers. Those are my priorities. But they have succeeded. The ranch managers and a 3000 acre portion of this ranch, all of whom dip and drink Mountain Dew like first thing in the morning. Not one of them finished high school, and all of whom are geniuses, have succeeded in bringing back wild Florida quail. I jumped to Covey yesterday morning. Or I would say to the Cabello’s point, my dogs jumped. Well, Covey was like a flock. It was like 30 birds. They did that. They’re not, you know, no one is going to give them a Presidential Medal of Freedom. No. If I ever get in the office, that’s the first thing I’m doing. But. But I thought, how did they do this? They did it because they have a lot of land, because they have space quail and all animals, actually. And particularly game birds and big mammals and even smaller mammals. They need land. They need space. And in Florida right now, a lot is going on in Florida. That’s great. It’s a refuge, you know, for normal people, but it’s also completely overburdened by people. And they’re developing Florida without any thought. I mean, they’ve been doing this for 50 years, but right now it’s accelerated in the last three years, particularly in the southwest part of Florida. So between Naples and Fort Myers, they’re developing it heedlessly, and land is disappearing and encumbered. AG land. All kinds of weird tax income, encumbrances on it is like $10,000 an acre because there’s so much pressure. And this one families has said, we’re not selling, and we’re going to just create this amazing resource by bringing natural quail back. And I thought. That can’t happen unless somebody decides that open space is worth it for its own sake. Not just for quail hunters, but for everybody, for people who drive by, for the birds themselves, for migratory birds, and yes, even for the hated pigs. And I do hate the pigs, and I wish someone figure out how to shoot them more effectively during daylight, obviously. But I also sort of love the pigs because the pigs, which were of course originally domesticated animals, the hogs. Sort of. We use the whole landscape. But they don’t care whose land it is. There’s no fence that can keep them in their way. Smarter than almost any of my college roommates. And they’re like. They’re like the bison of the modern era. They roam free, despite all our attempts to pen them in and shoot them from helicopters with arrows. And by the way, I don’t really think you can kill a hog with 2 to 3, but my son claims you can. But whatever. The point is. Keeping land open. And away from development. Not because all development is bad. It’s not. You know, I’m not here from Earth First or something. Though, you know, I don’t dismiss all their priorities, at all. But anyway, the point is. That is essential, and it’s going to be harder than ever because of population growth. And population growth is the one thing that nobody ever talks about. And the only people who ever talk about population growth are like the crank ante children. People like no one should have kids. I think Americans do have tons of kids. I only have four. I wish I had ten. I’m not even Catholic and I really mean it. So I’m totally for children. I hate any attempts to convince people not to have children because children are the only thing that matters, obviously. And dogs spaniels. But. But I’m not talking about population growth driven by happy Americans deciding they want to continue their line with a new generation. That’s not happening. I’m talking about population growth from the rest of the world through immigration. 10 million people in four years at least. And there’s a huge debate about the legality of this and our countries being invaded and all the stuff. It’s all true. And I have strong feelings about all of that. I’m sure everyone does. But people miss. The most important fact of immigration is the bottom line number of the people who live here. And it doesn’t matter what they’re like. If every one of them, and I think a lot of them probably are great people because I like people. I think God created all people. And I probably like a lot of people, broke our law to get here. As mad as I am that they did it because I just like people. But at a certain point it doesn’t matter. The result is a crowded country, and I can tell you with someone who’s been in, you know, a lot of countries, many, many countries around the world for a living for 30 years. You do not want to live in a crowded country. You just don’t. And we never say that. Because we’ve never had to face it. Because even in our grandparents lifetime, there were parts of the country that were kind of like unknown. And even now there are parts of me and I’ve never met anyone who’s been there. Well, I have a camp on a remote lake. There’s no road. To get there. I mean, there are still remote places in the United States, and many of you have hunted and fished. You know, in them. But that will end if this country becomes crowded. And the second thing that will happen and inevitably does is it’ll become physically dirty. And it’s just so interesting that you are not allowed to say that that really what is the word triggers people if you talk about littering? Well, I think littering is one of the gravest crimes against humanity you can commit. I think the act of littering throwing garbage into nature should be punished with maximum physical severity. And I absolutely mean that. I’m not joking. And it’s so interesting because it’s I mean, it’s the it’s the most profound act of disrespect against nature. It affects everybody else. When you throw a bag of McDonald’s out of your window, or dump a gallon of motor oil into my trout stream, other people are affected by it. It’s just too disrespectful against something that you didn’t make. It’s not yours to destroy. And what’s so interesting is that I grew up. I was born in 1969, in California, San Francisco. So bizarre place. You can’t even go now, but whatever. And. Which had a very strong hunting and fishing culture. And my family had been there for, you know, 150 years or whatever, literally. And in, in Golden Gate Park, there’s a fly casting pool built during the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the WPA built a and I’ve cast it. And there were the I don’t know anyone spay fishes, but I spay fish, you know, double handed rod casting. You know, get your Skagit head and go practice in a public park. That’s how profound the sporting culture was in San Francisco in 1933. They thought it was a good use of public money to build a fly casting pond. Not with fish in it, but did you see how far I can? Can you cast the whole fly line? And these are oiled silk fly lines. Imagine that today. Of course not. You couldn’t even get a pickleball court built in a public park. So in my childhood, the dominant PSA on television was the crying Indian. Do you remember this? You know, supposed to make you feel guilty, white man or whatever for throwing your McDonald’s out the window. And I did feel guilty. And I hate white guilt. I’m just saying it’s one of the most poisonous things ever created. But I’m all for that kind of guilt. You should feel guilty if you litter. Period. Turns out the guy in that I was not even Indian, he was Sicilian, whatever. But the point was, the point was, hey, people have been here a long time. Don’t wreck it. And yet, for some reason, everyone feel so guilty not about littering, but about telling other people not to litter that nobody does. I think this is a really big deal. The beginning of my awareness of the natural world. Even before I was allowed to shoot a gun or cast a fly rod. Which I started pretty young, very young. But even before then, my awareness of the importance of maintaining natural beauty came from that stupid PSA that played during Gilligan’s Island with the crying Indian in his canoe with garbage floating by. Do you remember this ad? Yes, and I remember thinking, man, the worst thing that you can do. Is make the landscape uglier. That’s the worst thing. I don’t know who’s doing that, but they should be executed. And I still feel that way. And I mean it to. You think of all the people who are punished? People still in jail from January 6th. There are no letters in jail. Why is that? But it’s not even. Even if you don’t have a medieval punishment mindset like I do. Okay, so even if you don’t want to go full Saudi on the letters. You have to acknowledge that a respect for the natural landscape is a key component of citizenship, of belonging to this country. Because what is this country actually? A question we’re going to have to ask ourselves increasingly in the coming years, as there’s no majority of anything. So what is it that holds us together as a nation? There are 50 components in this nation which is the size of a continent. Bordered by this, you know, frozen wasteland to the north in this chaotic drug cartel scene to the south. And then in the middle is this country we called the United States of America. Why are the United States on the basis of religion or race or even language now? So what is America? Well, I would argue it’s not. Hey, it’s not a lot of the things we say it is. What it really is is America, the landscape. It’s physical America. This is the prettiest country on planet Earth. And I went to Ischia in Switzerland twice last month. Not because I know. I can’t believe this. It sounds so douchey. I happen to be over there. Not because I’m always skiing in Switzerland, because I was working and I had to stop and say, yeah. Okay, okay, rich guy. All right. One time, I flew on Air Serbia. Coach. Okay, so that just gives you a sense of how glamorous my life is. But whatever. The point is, I was just standing in Vermont, and, like, we’re both very pretty alpine towns. It’s a beautiful country. The alpine parts of Switzerland are famously beautiful, right? Not as pretty as where I live. Just not. It’s not as pretty. Nothing is as pretty as the United States of America. Nothing has deeper resources. The United States of America. Nothing is more freshwater than the United States of America. Fresh water, which we completely take for granted. The rest of the world is dying for it. They’re building desal plants that they can’t afford to run. We have more. We have the Great Lakes. We, the Great Lakes. We have more water than in lake by called Siberia. Like we are so blessed by a resource. I’m not even mentioning our energy resources or our mineral resources, which are immense, or timber resources. They’re incredible. Our energy resources, California, the Great Plains, like no one has this. We have this, and no one appreciates it. Instead, we’re talking about all the innovation in Silicon Valley and like the dumbest people, the ugliest place, producing the most pointless products, and all we do is talk them up. And no one ever says anything about our real wealth, which is physical. And I guess if you live on your iPhone, you don’t even notice the physical. You don’t notice the McDonald’s bag in the park. You don’t notice the litter. You don’t notice the filth you don’t know. Is the homeless guy dying of a fentanyl O.D.? You don’t notice anything. You don’t notice the actual pollution, all of your concerns, your theoretical climate. We control the weather. Now, we’re not saying we’re God or anything. We happen to control the weather. Right? Okay, sure you do. Shot. You don’t control anything. You’re not even married. Be quiet. You can’t even convince a woman to like you. Like your achievement. As I’ve slept with all these girls and matched up with some stupid app. Really? Make the same one happy for 30 years and get back to me then. You’re a man. Anyway. Sorry, sorry sorry, sorry. I’m completely out of control. But the point is. What matters in America is right in front of our faces. It’s what God gave us. It is the. It’s the promised land that our ancestors inherited. Were bequeathed, I would say. And to the extent that we preserve that and not just preserve it, but celebrate it proudly, and the people who are blessed enough to live there in these sad, dying little rural towns with the best people we have wasting away. We should protect them and the and the landscape around them. And we should do it with pride and with maximum vigor. We should do it like Teddy Roosevelt would have done it. So with that, I will stop and take your questions. Thank you. Oh, don’t stand up. I won’t. Come on. I’m from a culture of cruelty and confrontation. So I hope someone will, scream at me as a fraud or a climate criminal really quick so I can get back to the life I’m used to. Do you have any questions? I don’t even know how long I went, but. Oh, you’re talking about the, tobacco free nicotine product I use? No, I can’t, I can’t promote. I probably shouldn’t do it. No, I like a lot of people who hunt and fish a lot. You know, I grew up using tobacco. My father’s only instruction to us when we were kids was. Filters are bad. They clearly block the oxygen. And then he told us he learned this in Marine Corps. That when you smoke a straight. He smoked camels. We smoked camels. He was like. When you finish it, you field strip it, and you roll up the paper in a ball and you flick it away, and then the enemy doesn’t know you’re an American. Because it. And I was like, pop, we live in La Hoya. Like, I’m not. What? You know what? What enemy are you talking about? He was never clear on that. But we always dipped, on always like an a duck blind. Because you can’t smoke with mittens on. It’s freeze. It used to be freezing in duck blind, so we would always dip Copenhagen. And I just kept doing it my whole life until I realized that, actually, women don’t like it. I thought that was a lie. You know what I mean? One of the one of the great sort of puzzles for men when they get married and then they have daughters, is to is to discern between the things that women claim they don’t like and the things they really don’t like. And I’m not going to go through what those might be, but, there are several. But but in the actually don’t like category is chewing tobacco. And I learned this. And when my son got married he’s like, how is it? She told me I can’t dip in bed. And I was like, well, that seems reasonable. I mean, I’m like, not a feminist, okay? I actually believe in the patriarchy. And I think you should run your house like David and Solomon ran theirs. You know, I, I get it, but I do think that’s a fair request. And he goes, I don’t think she means that Isaac does. She means it. She means it. Yes. Yeah. They’re not into it. I’ve been through this with your mother for about 33 years and not into it at all. And, so anyway. But Jen is quite a good option, I would say, if you want the life enhancing effects of nicotine without the carcinogens. And you want to feel the hand of God, massage your central nervous system. Not not to oversell it. But I, I think it’s a pretty good product. Yes, sir. Yes. So the question was, you went to Russia, you met with your handler, Vladimir Putin, who paid you in gold rubles. And, and then you scampered back to the country. You’re working to subvert the United States, and you complained about American architecture as opposed to, Russian architecture. How do you respond to the criticism? And I think how do you process it was the question, and the answer is I haven’t really processed it because I’ve been on the road and been in a lot of places since then. But I would just say the obvious, which is, you know, there are many things I am not all of them good at all. But among those is American. I’m American, I’m, like, fundamentally American. My parents, my family’s been here, you know, hundreds of years since the colonial period. And, I have no other passport. I’m totally rooted here. For good or bad, I’m never leaving. I don’t care what happens here. I’m never going anywhere. And I’ll die here. I’ll be buried, you know, in our family plot in Maine, next to my parents. And so, I’m for America. I’m highly concerned about the people who run the country. Not just officially, but the people who, exert influence on the decisions that are made. And I don’t think they’re worthy of it at all. And one of the things that Teddy Roosevelt wrote quite a bit about, I would say, just turn it back to, to TR, who was a, like all of us, a flawed man also, and didn’t live long enough actually to, to write about what he had learned through the tragedy in his later life. His son was famously killed in the summer of 1918, in the First World War, a war that he had pushed really, really hard and very thoughtlessly, in my opinion. And then his his favorite son, Quentin, was killed, behind enemy lines at a point. He was in the Army Air Corps. And Roosevelt died the following January. So five months later, and he never really told us what he learned from that. Unfortunately, because I think he would have had a lot to say about how that changed him and we would be the beneficiaries of that wisdom. But we weren’t. So we got into another war. So but anyway, that’s my opinion. But one thing he did write a lot about was the need to have an impressive ruling class, and he was often called a populist. And of course, he went after the trust, including a trust that my relatives controlled the Sugar Trust. They have a Meyer Sugar Trust, which he destroyed. But. He was a product of that same class. He was a ruling class guy, and that’s why he was an effective critique of that class, because he knew them. He wasn’t sort of pressed against the glass, hoping to be one of them. He was born one of them in New York City. I think I’m East 30th Street. If I’m correct. They wait. The point is, he knew the people he was talking about, and he knew how unworthy they were of leadership of a country. That’s great. And that’s why his criticism stung. That’s why his reforms worked. Because he knew what he was talking about. He wasn’t trying to get rich. He was rich. He didn’t. They didn’t have anything that he wanted. He had social status and he had money. And so he cared about the country, cared about nature. He loved animals. And as decent people do. He loved children. He had a ton of them. And he loved the nation enough to call out the bad actors in the ruling class. Not because he was against ruling classes. He was a man of deep learning. His the book that he wrote at Harvard, The Naval War of 1812. The two volumes is still in print. And he wrote it. It’s still signed at the Naval Academy, or was a couple of years ago. He wrote it because he was bored, because Harvard wasn’t hard enough for him. That’s how that’s how intense his intellectual energy was. He wrote like 50 letters a day. And he read all the time while exercising. He read. And one of the things he learned from his deep reading in history was that the ruling class, the hierarchy, is a feature of human nature as it is in the animal world. There’s one head dog in the house. And if there’s any confusion about who the dog is, who’s in charge, the dogs will kill each other until a leader is chosen. It’s just a feature that we didn’t create, and it will never change. So populism as an idea is stupid. You’re not. You’re not going to have a flat society. You’re always gonna have a hierarchical society. What you’re looking for is a ruling class that is wise, who understand their own limits. Who know that they’re not God, and who treat the people beneath them fairly and with love. Who care about the people they lead. Love is the key. And I’m not a liberal. Hardly. I already said I want to execute literacy. So, you know I’m not a liberal. But I’m going to use liberal language when I say love is the key. You have to love the people you’re in charge of. Whether it’s your children or your troops, if you’re an officer, whether it’s your employees, if you’re an employer, or whether it’s your voters and citizens, if you’re a political leader and if you don’t love them, you will hurt them. It’s really, really simple. Beneficence has to be at the heart of your motive. And if it’s not, you’re a bad leader. And Roosevelt understood that and said that much more than I am now doing. And we don’t have that. And that’s what drives me crazy. It’s not a question of Biden versus Trump. I mean, it is, strictly speaking, that question. And I have obvious preferences, which I’ve expressed many times. I don’t Trump last night, but it’s much bigger than that. It’s the people who’ve reaped the most benefits from the system. They don’t believe in the system and don’t love the people who made those benefits possible. The rest of the citizenry, they don’t. And I live in one of those towns, and I’ve seen it. They don’t care at all if everybody in the town I lived in died of a fentanyl O.D., there’d be no story in the New York Times except as a curiosity. Entire main town dies. Oh, no one cares. You have to care. That’s why you’re a good parent. Not because you’re super smart or, like, unusually selfless. You’re not Mother Theresa. You’re just like a goofy dad. Like the rest. You know, we’re all just goofy dads, like, making dumb mistakes with our kids. But if we love them, they’ll turn out okay. That’s all that matters, is your motive. And that’s why everybody can be a pretty decent parent. Everybody, even the super dumb people. You’re like, oh, that person shouldn’t have kids. I think they should actually. I think they should. Because they can do it. All they need is to love their children and they’ll get it right enough. Don’t make dumb the dumb people will make probably make more mistakes because they’re dumb. But I’ll still be okay if they love their kids. And it’s exactly the same with our leaders. Everyone’s like, our leaders are so unimpressive. Yeah, well, if you only knew I know them. Are you joking? You wouldn’t hire them to run your kids birthday party. They’re losers. But they’d still be okay. They’d still be good enough. Maybe not the best we could get, but that’s all right. You’re not always going to get the best. They would be okay if they loved the people who live here. And so that was basically my that’s just my message to this. And I have a message. It’s that it’s like, why does a place like Russia run by Vladimir Putin, who I’m not endorsing, don’t want to live in Russia? I would if I wanted to, but I don’t I don’t want to. I’m not kidding. I’m not Russian. I’m American. I just want that here. I don’t want their system. I want their language. Their food is excellent. I will say that. But I do want to live in a place it’s a lot prettier. And the question it evoked in me was, why isn’t my country and its cities in particular that pretty like, what’s the answer? Oh shut up. No. How about no? I’m not going to shut up because I’m 54. My kids are going to. I don’t have to. And now I’ve got the internet, so be quiet. No. What’s the answer? Why does Moscow, Moscow, which I don’t even want to go to? I mean, I have no idea what. Moscow. Well, I never been there before. I had no interest in going there, ever. The main reason I went there is because he told me I couldn’t go. Well, I think I can because I don’t know who you are. You’re not my dad. Back off. I’m going to Moscow. Anyway. So I went there and the first thing I noticed was and I didn’t like the system, and I believe in free speech and of American. I want to live in America, but it is so much prettier than any city we have. Didn’t make me love Russia or love Putin. It made me really mad at the people in my country. Why are you putting up all these ugly glass buildings everywhere? No one likes those. There’s no privacy in them. One of the beauties of being in solitude in the woods is there’s privacy. We have a fishing camp in our family purchased for $70,000. Just for the record, it’s one mile of trout stream. Very productive trout stream, by the way. We’ve never managed it in any way through native wild trout, and my kids are always like, no one’s ever been on the property except us. That’s it. It’s 25 minutes to my house. It’s my favorite place in the world. In fact, my backdrop for our show that we’re doing is video shot in our fishing camp because it’s so beautiful. $70,000. That’s rural America. And my son always because, you know, we could fish naked. We can’t because the mosquitoes, the black flies that we fish very. We we actually we actually fish like Bedouin, you know, totally covered up. But but whatever you could because there’s no one there. So it’s in privacy. We have freedom. That’s why we have doors on the bedroom. Not because we’re ashamed what we’re doing in the bedroom, because that’s a prerequisite for freedom is privacy. Anything that denies us privacy is an attack on our spirit and on our on our humanity. In a glass building. An open floor plan where everyone works in a cube is an assault on my spirit and dignity as a human being. And nobody says that you’re a freak. You’re weird. Theory is not weird. Theories are the most obvious observations a man could make. And that’s all I want to say, is we don’t have to live like this. And we shouldn’t live like this. We should refuse to live like this. You cannot dehumanize me. You can’t tell me what to say or think. You can’t force me to live in a way that I wouldn’t force my dogs to live with bed. Train them, by the way. So that right there. But whatever. That’s all I’m saying. And if you denounce me as a tool of Putin, I don’t care. Because I don’t care about you and your dumb opinions. Adults are talking. That’s it. Thank you.

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