Video: Fox Host Tucker Carlson Attacks 'Inelegant, Creepy' Metric System that the U.S. Alone Has Resisted

Fox News host Tucker Carlson railed against the metric system of measurement in his show on Wednesday night, describing it as "inelegant" and "creepy." James Panero, a cultural critic and executive editor of The New Criterion, joined Carlson for the segment.

Panero recently wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal attacking the metric system with its meters and kilograms and urging America to stick to its customary system of measurement, which resembles the old British Imperial system.

"Almost every nation on Earth has fallen under the yoke of tyranny—the metric system," Carlson said. "From Beijing to Buenos Aires, from Lusaka to London, the people of the world have been forced to measure their environment in millimeters and kilograms. "The United States is the only major country that has resisted, but we have no reason to be ashamed for using feet and pounds."

Panero called the metric system "the original system of global revolution and new world orders."

Carlson replied: "God bless you, and that's exactly what it is. Esperanto died, but the metric system continues, this weird, utopian, inelegant, creepy system that we alone have resisted."

Fox News Tucker Carlson metric system
Fox News host Tucker Carlson discusses 'Populism and the Right' during the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

His guest said America should stand strong against pressures to switch to the metric system, bringing it in line with much of the rest of the world, because customary measures such as feet, inches, miles, and pounds helped foster the Industrial Revolution and put men on the moon.

"The metric system, meanwhile, is the product of the French Revolution. It was imposed at the business end of the guillotine," Panero said. "It's assumed to be progressive. It's assumed that everyone has gotten to be behind it."

Carlson characterized the metric system is "completely made up out of nothing."

"It's totally made up," Panero said. "Even worse than overturning custom has been the meter's imposition of ten. It's a ten size fits all mentality. Now here's how it gets crazy. The French Revolution went all in for 10. They tried to impose a 10 day week, 100 hours, 100 minutes, 100 seconds—they had a whole revolutionary calendar."

The critic conceded that counting by 10 is useful for "abstract calculations," but said it is bad for "measuring things in the real world," and that customary measures could be traced back thousands of years.

"There's a reason why our measuring system is twelves, eights, and sixes. It comes from ancient knowledge, ancient wisdom," Panero said.

"From the Romans, 12. From the Babylonians, 60. Why? Because those numbers divide up evenly into thirds, fourths, halves, and enables common people to make calculations and to measure their lives without complex arithmetic. What's a third of a foot? It's 4 inches. What's a third of a meter? It's 33.3 something centimeters. It doesn't even add up. You see the problem right there."

He called the customary measurement system quaint "but it's ours."

"It connects us to our ancestors through cups, through teaspoons and tablespoons, I can still cook the recipes of my grandparents. And it's that connection to the past that the French Revolution and the revolutionaries have always tried to destroy," Panero said.

Carlson concluded: "I'll accept the kilometer when we accept the euro—never."

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates which countries are sticking with the Imperial measurement system.

Imperial measurement system countries
Countries that are sticking with the Imperial measurement system. Statista