Mike Pence, Tucker Carlson, and the Global Elite Conspiracy to Turn Us All Into Paranoid Cranks

By Jason Jones & John Zmirak Published on July 31, 2023

The Stream’s John Zmirak and Jason Jones have been engaged in a dialogue over U.S. policy toward Ukraine, and the broader implications of the conflict among conservatives over Russia’s invasion. After their two-part conversation on this site, they recorded a 90-minute podcast, and have debated the issue further in long phone conversations. Here’s a third back-and-forth between them, presenting the highlights of that fruitful, ongoing exchange. You can watch’s Tucker’s full interview with Pence here:

John Zmirak: I thought Tucker Carlson’s exchange with Mike Pence over Ukraine really highlighted the split among conservatives, between populists and Establishment types, patriots and globalists.

Jason Jones: I had real problems with what both of them said. I usually love Tucker, but I think that he might be starting to go off the rails.

John Zmirak: Really? You don’t agree with Gateway Pundit, that this short conversation might have “ended Mike Pence’s political career”?

Jason Jones: It very well may have, but not because Tucker’s question was so profound and insightful. It was actually kind of demagogic and intellectually dishonest.

John Zmirak: Pence’s answer was just pathetic, as if somebody like me had scripted it, in a satire I’d dashed off, which nobody would publish because it seemed like a nasty straw man parody. But here Pence was, actually saying that decay in America’s cities wasn’t “his concern.” He only cared about the shifting battle lines between two distant, corrupt Slavic oligarchies.

Jason Jones: No doubt Pence’s answer was pathetic. There is a much better answer to Tucker’s question, which I would have given, based on the slaughter and destruction I saw first-hand that Russia is visiting on innocent, conservative Christian civilians in Ukraine.

Don’t Blame Ukrainians for the Democrats’ Treason

John Zmirak: Okay, so you’re Mike Pence up on stage. What would you say to Tucker Carlson’s question about the U.S. pouring money into the Ukraine war, while our borders are broken, deficits are exploding, and cities are crumbling?

Jason Jones: Something like the following:

Tucker, you are smarter than that. Our cities are not failing because they are not receiving enough federal dollars. They are dying because of Democrat one-party rule, where our police are vilified, and villains are deified. Our once-great cities are failing because prosecutors are failing to prosecute serious crimes, and our crime fighters are being defunded.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is part of a larger war, which China, Russia, and Iran are waging against our civilization and its values.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is part of a larger war, which China, Russia, and Iran are waging against our civilization and its values. It’s a vicious, deadly war, and it can be seen in the devastation of Ukrainian hamlets and villages and in the moral and human wasteland in America’s once-great cities. While Chinese/Iranian drones slam into residential buildings and Russian soldiers litter land mines across Ukrainian farms, military-aged Chinese men are flooding across our southern border. Fentanyl is pouring into our communities with deadly consequences.

First, we need to use the total weight of the U.S. economy to apply pressure on Ukraine and Russia to call a cease-fire and negotiate an armistice. Until that happens, we must supply Ukraine with the weapon systems they need to repel the invading Russian army. On the home front, we need to secure the border. And wage war against the cartels trafficking and distributing fentanyl in our cities. We must liberty our energy producers to flood the global market with oil. We must become energy independent, flood the global energy market with oil and natural gas, and starve Putin of the cash he needs to continue the war.

We need to support Ukraine in its war against Russian aggression and return its borders to where they were before the invasion. We must secure our border, protect our youth, and decouple our economy from China.

While Russia, China, and Iran are waging war against our values, we are losing the war at home to define those values. We are fighting a two-front war. First, the foreign war against those outside the West who despise our values — who are trying to defeat us militarily, economically, and socially.

Then there are those who hate our values from the inside — from advocates of trans ideology and the LGBTQ leviathan to the enemies of economic and religious freedom. As president of the United States, I will ensure we win both those battles. To lose either front is to lose everything.

The House Republicans gave us hope recently in their Defense authorization bill, pushing back on trans ideology and taxpayer funding of abortions for military personnel. They increased funding to square off with China and funded support for Ukraine but with strict audits.

As president, I will go beyond that and do everything I can to bring this war to an end, including defunding Putin’s war machine. We have more oil than Russia, oil than Saudi Arabia, and much more natural gas than the rest of the world. All we need is for the federal government to get out of the way of oil and gas energy. We must let them do what they do best: Produce the cleanest burning, cheapest, and most efficient energy in the world.

We can and will, if I’m elected president, meet the energy needs for the United States and the entire world for a century. I would remove the ridiculous and counterproductive regulations allowing our energy companies to expand our existing refineries and innovate to meet further the needs of the American people and the world. That would leave Putin without either guns or butter.

We Are All Gnostics Now

John Zmirak: That’s powerful. I agree that it’s silly to scapegoat the Ukrainians for taking our money to defend themselves, as if they were stealing bricks from our southern border Wall. The Democrats would literally rather burn the money than use it to build that. Why not burn it in Ukraine, killing white conservative Christians on both sides, and making their donors in Blackrock a little bit richer?

In the course of these conversations, you’ve convinced me that the people we usually like and trust on the alternative, populist Right have gone a bit bonkers over Putin. I think that Catholic Integralists, who fantasize about an intolerant Catholic state are just Western, bootleg Putinists. They see him closing down Catholic and Evangelical churches — and they’re envious, because they dream of an autocratic regime here that would close down Orthodox and Pentecostal churches. Indulging in such power porn is less work than fighting for preborn babies at state legislatures, or volunteering at crisis pregnancy centers. More fun, too, if that’s what you’re into.

More importantly, I want to pivot off something you said here before. We’ve been talking about the rise of “Gnosticism” on the Right — of the tendency to seek out “secret knowledge” that explains all the chaos and evil around us, which can save those of us in the red-pilled, “based” subculture. It’s secret knowledge that “saves,” which is the literal definition of what Gnosticism promises. You said:

In the wake of COVID and the 2020 election, conservatives — or, more accurately, the normal, hard-working people of America — have undergone relentless gaslighting. It came from the media, the White House, and even our religious leaders.

A weaponized Department of Justice abuses us; PTA moms and devout Catholics are terrorized by the FBI while Hunter Biden goes on a globe-trotting financial and sex crimes spree undeterred by the law. In a world where all the old heroes have shape-shifted into villains, why can’t the villains shape-shift into heroes?

Let me push that insight further. During the psy-op COVID panic, our elites consciously lied about the origin of the COVID virus. See this stunning expose from the British centrist site Unherd on how the same scientists who privately said that gain of function research in China was to blame publicly denounced anyone who voiced that same suspicion as “conspiracy theorists” and “xenophobes.” So men in white coats like Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins were toying with us. Then they collaborated with globalist institutions, from the World Health Organization to Youtube and the CDC, to censor and silence dissent.

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They rushed through a vaccine dependent on organs stolen from dead, pre-born babies. Our churches (which got huge payments from the federal government in PPP loans) shut their doors, and told us we were morally obligated to take the Dead Baby vaccine. Big Pharma colluded with the government and media to lie about possible side-effects—reports of which are exploding now, as athletes drop dead of heart attacks, often shortly after getting vaccinated. The WHO did an Orwellian edit of its own website to eliminate “natural immunity,” as if that basic truth of biology had never been discovered.

Those of us who relied on samizdat, underground, under-the-radar sources of information knew better than to take the vaccine. Some of us got COVID. Almost all of us lived, and now have superior natural immunity. None of us are dying of myocarditis, or worrying about the “exotic cancers” that Dr. Peter McCullough is now seeing emerge, in the wake of the massive mRNA experiment on billions of human beings.

The “secret knowledge” we had about COVID, which we got through covert, red-pilled dissident media, literally saved us.

So the “secret knowledge” we had about COVID, which we got through covert, red-pilled dissident media, literally saved us. Likewise, we have solid information on 2020 election fraud, Hunter Biden’s corrupt activities that included his father, and the FBI’s involvement in provoking violence on January 6. All of this was labeled “misinformation” by the authorities the Establishment tells us to trust. That same Establishment is misinforming people about the risks of “gender-affirming” (that is, sex-destroying) medical treatments, and shoving it onto schoolkids.

How can we tell people not to become Gnostics, when the knowledge that could save them literally is kept secret, by a totalitarian Establishment that’s perfectly happy to lie?

Are we really surprised that people like us, who’ve been relying on these alternative media literally to save our lives and health and families, now believe those media when they repeat Russian propaganda, which says that all the reports of Russian atrocities are also lies — just like what the same MSM sources told us about COVID, Hunter Biden, and January 6?

This viral political ad says it all better than I can (and notice how Ukraine gets tossed in):

Solidarity with the Vulnerable Is the Answer

Jason Jones: The answer to that is solidarity with the vulnerable. I was one of the first people in the U.S. arrested for protesting the lockdowns. What led me to protest was my concern that a slowdown in food production would produce famine — we wrote about that. We are among the first in the world warning about the consequences of COVID policies. How they cause the greatest crisis in hunger since World War II.

My concern for the vulnerable led me to flout executive orders and protest those policies. Also I launched the “film your hospital” movement in Feb. 2020. I saw that COVID testing offered was a charade. They wouldn’t test sick people. My video went viral thanks to Alex Jones and I became a regular guest host on his show and Steve Bannon’s shows. My motive wasn’t Qanon or conspiracy theories but concern for the vulnerable. I had to share that with the world. Likewise when I saw that COVID was producing 7-mile-long lines for food. Police confronted me when I set up a food pantry.

The answer to Gnosticism is to stand with the vulnerable, at whatever cost to yourself. Get arrested, confront the authorities. Get assaulted for filming.

It’s easy to just share conspiracy theories, but to go out and try to help the victims of our elites is not as pleasant. The answer is standing with the vulnerable, which includes the victims of Putin’s war in Ukraine. Pretending that you’re a victim is just part of Victimism.

Whose Side is Mike Pence Even On?

John Zmirak: Going back to Tucker Carlson and Mike Pence, I wish that Tucker hadn’t made the poor people in Ukraine the “hook” for showing that Mike Pence doesn’t care about the Americans he claims to support. You wrote what Pence should have given as an answer. Let me offer what Carlson should have asked as a question:

Mike, Americans want to know if you really care about them and their best interests. Convince me that you do, in light of the following:

  • In 2015, you threw conservative Christians under the bus in Indiana. You’d promised to back the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in that state, which protected believers from frivolous “discrimination” lawfare by the hugely rich LGBTQ machine. When the Human Rights Campaign snapped its manicured fingers, the Chamber of Commerce and other business lobbies rose up against the RFRA law, warning of boycotts and lost business, lower revenues. You folded like a cheap tent.
  • In 2016 during the transition, when President Trump had recruited General Mike Flynn to watch over and clean out the Deep State, it was you who convinced Trump to believe the FBI’s made-up charges against Flynn, and dump him. The whole FBI campaign to destroy President Trump, including two fake impeachments and prison terms for Trump supporters, was only possible because of you.
  • In 2020, you refused to seriously consider the alternative slates of electors in places where credible charges of election fraud existed, to at least test in court whether you had the authority to send the matter back to the states. In fact, you denounced the mostly peaceful protestors of January 6 — who were honeycombed with FBI provocateurs — as insurrectionists.

Why should Americans trust you about anything?

Jason Jones: That would have been a great question. I hope you can capture an interview for The Stream. Mike Pence’s answer showed radical indifference toward the real human beings who are living and dying in the real world, signified by the words strung together in Tucker Carlson’s question. Of all of the candidates in the GOP primary, only Donald Trump seems to understand these questions of a significance much greater than personal ambition. As Trump said: “I want everybody to stop dying. They’re dying. Russians and Ukrainians. I want them to stop dying.” Following Trump’s lead, conservatives should unite and raise their voice united in the call for a cease-fire; the world should hear from a chorus of voices, “we want them to stop dying.”

John Zmirak: It’s crucial that we become and remain the Anti-War Right, not the Pro-Russia Right. We need to remember the ugly trajectory of the Vietnam anti-war movement in the 1960s. Young Americans who understandably objected to being drafted — a grave imposition on your liberty, fit only for national emergencies — to go fight in a dubious war in distant jungles for a corrupt regime that had no popular support. To protest that was perfectly patriotic. Murray Rothbard, the great libertarian philosopher, lent his support to people saying that.

But within just a few short years, the anti-war movement was dominated by Marxist sympathizers, who were applying double-standards to whitewash Communist atrocities, demonize America’s allies and even our troops. Pretty soon you had Jane Fonda in Hanoi calling for a North Vietnamese victory. I don’t want to see the people whom I rightly trusted on the COVID panic, the election steal, and the January 6 “Reichstag Riot” making pilgrimages to the Kremlin and posing with former KGB agents.


Jason Jones is a senior contributor to The Stream. He is a film producer, author, activist and human rights worker.

John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”

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