The Left’s Brazen Hypocrisy on the Rittenhouse Case

Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP

As the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial continues, many on both the left and the right have been sounding off about the incident in which he shot three people, killing two of them. Despite overwhelming evidence that the 17-year-old had been attacked and likely would have been in worse danger had he not acted, the hard left is attempting to paint this as an example of a white supremacist who showed up in Kenosha because he wanted to shed blood.

This particular narrative has all but completely crumbled as more details of the encounter emerge. But this doesn’t mean the left isn’t still trying to demonize the young man for defending himself. One of the points that have been made since news of the incident surfaced is that Rittenhouse should never have traveled to Kenosha with a rifle in the first place. Indeed, at 17-years-old, he was not old enough to carry a firearm according to Wisconsin law.

People on both sides – including myself – have pointed out that showing up while the riots were in full swing wasn’t exactly the best idea one could have had. In fact, if I’d done something similar at his age, my Mom would have beaten me so badly I’d have come out of it speaking Chinese with a Scottish accent.

However, those on the left taking issue with Rittenhouse’s armed presence at the riots don’t have a leg to stand on. Why? Well, Breitbart News’ Alana Mastrangelo made an excellent point on Twitter when she wrote:

Leftists ask why Kyle Rittenhouse felt that he had any business in Kenosha.

Meanwhile, I’m wondering why people felt they had any business rioting, looting, assaulting, threatening, and setting things on fire in Kenosha.

Mastrangelo is right. The same people questioning Rittenhouse’s presence at the riot were the ones who either remained silent, defended, or cheered on the riots in Kenosha and all across the country. These people ran interference for those engaging in violent activities.

Even though at least 20 people died in the George Floyd riots, Democrats and their close friends and allies in the activist media didn’t dare to condemn the violence. Yes, to be fair, there were some on the left who criticized those who looted and burned buildings. But for the most part, the left-wing chattering class did not have much to say about businesses – including black-owned businesses – being destroyed by rioters.

The left’s stance on these matters is nakedly political; they condemn Rittenhouse’s actions and are even still milking the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol building. But they never had that same energy for those who destroyed parts of cities.

The bottom line is that the hard left has no problem with riots as long as it’s their people doing it. Even this situation is purely political for them.

If Kyle Rittenhouse had been an Antifa operative fleeing from crazed MAGA hat-wearing demonstrators, they would be singing his praises. They would be claiming that prosecutors are only trying to convict him because he was standing against racism. In no scenario would they go to bat for the people he would have killed.

Conservatives who question Rittenhouse traveling to Kenosha are still condemning the riots themselves. They recognize that two things can be true at once: Rittenhouse should have stayed home and the riots should never have happened.

Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with people motivated purely by partisan politics, they are unable – or unwilling – to look at an issue objectively. This is why the issues we face might not ever be resolved. Hopefully, by some miracle, some sanity can be injected into our political discourse. I don’t think anyone wants to see what will happen if it doesn’t.