OXFORD — Despite a drama-filled exit from his hosting duties from the highest-rated Fox News Channel program, Tucker Carlson said very little about his former employer during a speech given at a Rainbow Omega fundraiser on Thursday night.

Before a sold-out crowd at the Oxford Performing Arts Center, Carlson offered a wide-ranging commentary on the state of society and how the nation's elites sometimes attempt to manipulate the American people.

The former FNC host spoke highly of Alabama and said the perception of the state had changed for the better.

"It has everything that I like," he said. "It has really nice people, Christian people. It has amazing food. I have the world's worst eating habits, and here that's not judged. Everything is tasty ... I love that. I love the lack of judgment. I think it is physically beautiful. The state of Alabama is beautiful — from the coast to north Alabama, the whole thing."

"It's funny — I was thinking this morning, you know, I've lived in the Northeast most of my life. And Alabama is one of those places that people in New York, for example, sneer at Alabama," Carlson continued. "I was thinking this morning, I hadn't heard that in a while ... It's one of those things, national perceptions kind of shift slowly, and you wake up in the morning, and everything is different. The rest of the country's view about Alabama has just changed completely because they realized that's how you're supposed to be living."

Carlson said his belief is backed up by migration to Alabama.

"Why are they moving here?" he said. "They're moving here because Alabama is everything you would want in a place that you live. It has cohesive communities, super nice people, gentle people, people who care about their neighbors, and it has an abundance of nature, something that, I think, we undervalue. We went through this weird kind of mass hypnosis where everyone was convinced we had to move to some horrifying concrete city in order to make a living, and sort of forgot that actually, you need to see green or else you go insane. If you get to alienated from God's creation, you become fundamentally alien."

"I thought to myself, when you think of Alabama if you don't live in Alabama, as a place that has a lot of the past attached to it," he added. "And I thought today, especially in the numbers, that Alabama is not the past. Alabama is the future, and what a great sign that is."

Another highlight from his speech dealt with charitable giving and reminding the audience of the purpose of giving to charity, and vouched for Rainbow Omega and its mission — a faith-based non-profit organization that provides vocational and residential programs to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"There is an awful lot of emphasis on helping people who are making no effort at all to help themselves — who, in fact, are taking," he said. "You can make a case for that. Again, I am not a theologian. I'm not going to weigh in on if that is bad or whatever. But there is almost no emphasis at all on helping people who are sincerely trying and are kind of not making it. There's almost there but not there,"

"In other words, whether it is the charitable contributions, the checks that you write, or the services that you perform, the deeds that you do — knowing that there is a flesh-and-blood human being whose life that you tangibly improve by what you actually do — that's what charity actually is."

Carlson noted how government has abandoned the notion of helping those who are trying to help themselves.

"I personally think that ought to be the role of the federal government," he added. "They ought to think that way. How do I help my people? One-hundred-and-five thousand died of fentanyl ODs last year. How do we fix it? I'm not sure, but ignoring it is not the first step. It's not, but they do."

"I don't know what the problems are exactly," Carlson continued. "I watch them for a living. I'm not sure how we fix them, but I know we can help each other. We don't need to wait for an election to do that. You all proved it in what you're doing. You can do it now. I think doing it is a reward. If you want to save the country, love each other."

Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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