Salvo 08.28.2020

Rittenhouse and the White House


The Left is losing the argument, so they want to burn it down.

Kyle Rittenhouse, age 17, has been charged with first-degree homicide after he shot three people during the riots ravaging Kenosha, WI. Kyle lives 30 minutes away in neighboring Illinois. He took his rifle to the scene of the violence to help defend small business owners. “People are getting injured,” he told the Daily Caller that night as he stood outside a row of boarded-up windows. “Our job is to protect this business and part of my job”—Kyle has an extended affiliation with his area police cadet programs— “is to also help people.”

In an altercation of which the details are still unclear, Kyle was seen being chased and attacked by rioters before allegedly shooting three of them, killing two. And now from the Daily Mail to Insider to the Washington Post, you will be hard-pressed to find a major mainstream outlet that does not describe Kyle as “fixated on” or “obsessed with” the police. The narrative groove into which this kid will be slotted—disaffected lone gunman, small-town resentment, simmering white rage—is already painfully clear.

President Trump’s use of memorable epithets as a political tool has been much remarked upon: “Crooked Hillary.” “Low-energy-Jeb.” “Sleepy Joe.” But it has been less often observed that Trump didn’t invent the technique out of thin air: long before 2016, the press was well-practiced in the art of branding undesirables with a one- or two-word interpretation of events that they had yet to even describe.

“Lone wolf.” “Incel.” “Police-obsessed.” This isn’t some abnormal innovation by an evil reality-TV demagogue. It’s the standard practice of our legacy media, who fall readily into sinister lockstep the minute they slurp up the pre-approved story about the next poor sap to become grist for their mill.

By the time the full truth comes out—by the time new body-cam footage reveals that George Floyd was drugged beyond reason, complaining about not being able to breathe well before he was on the ground, and fighting erratically with the police; by the time it’s revealed that Jacob Blake had a knife and was not “breaking up a fight” but had stolen the car keys from a scared woman who called 911—by that time the epithet, and the narrative, are already firmly in place. The victims have already served their purpose, sucked dry for whatever last ounce of power they can afford to the kinds of people who run and fund CNN, the New York Times, and the Pulitzer Center.

Doubtless this will be true also in the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, who will still be tarred as “police-obsessed”—read: bloodthirsty and unhinged, even if, as we suspect, the footage and the facts reveal he is nothing of the kind. Some journalists are, predictably, calling him a “white supremacist.” The “evidence” for this seems to be that he posted that “Blue Lives Matter” and possibly attended a Trump rally.

But—and here is another reason to abjure the black pill—there are signs that this time, the newspeak won’t work.

Don Lemon signaled the other day that the rioting has to stop because “it’s showing up in the polling.” We’re mordantly amused by his unintended candor, and we hope to God it’s true. Indeed, we suspect it is: we suspect that as livestreams on Twitch and firsthand reporting on Twitter break the Left’s decades-long chokehold on public information, the cracks in the surface will become too readily apparent for the people to ignore. The well-polished ringleaders of our media circus are losing control of this election, and we can see the desperation behind their eyes. We can almost smell it through the screen, almost read it in their phony little chyrons.

They are throwing everything they’ve got at this election—trying to cancel Tucker Carlson (using embarrassing boomer memes) for defending Kyle Rittenhouse. Trying to paint Rittenhouse himself as the latest in a line of disaffected white men. Trying to tell us not to see what we plainly see.

It’s not working. The American people—real Americans, patriotic Americans of every race—are fed up with this soulless, shameless, ceaseless insurrection. They, like us, “will not throw Kyle Rittenhouse under the bus” to appease either woke mobs or polite company. They are not bending the knee. They are not raising their fists. And they are not going to roll over to cast a desperate, sniveling, pleading vote just so the beatings will stop.

The Left is losing this fight, and all they know how to do when that happens is lie, lie, lie. Failing that, they’ll try and shut you up. In its latest iteration this technique has reached the highest levels of their political apparatus: Nancy Pelosi says there shouldn’t be debates because “I would not legitimize a conversation” with Trump. Hillary Clinton says Biden shouldn’t concede a Trump victory “under any circumstances.” Kamala Harris simply warns us to “beware” because the riots are never, ever, ever going to stop. They can’t persuade us, so they want us silent and scared.

They can’t even deceive us into believing in their virtue like they used to do. This ain’t the good old days anymore, and none of that voodoo that Chris Cuomo used to do so well is working its mesmerizing magic. They cannot intimidate the people into voting for them, either—although they are trying too, they seem to recognize this approach is backfiring. The Left is at last revealing its endgame, showing how much respect they have for the Constitution and “democratic norms” they were oh so concerned about over the last four years: if they can’t win this thing, they want to steal it, and if they can’t steal it, they want to shut it down.

But every word they say shows they feel the tide turning against them, and every dilation of their pupils betrays their dawning realization: infuriatingly, impossibly, they might just fail to keep us under heel again, even after levying the full force of their power against us.

What happens if you stage a revolution and nobody shows up? Well, then your oligarchs, your bureaucrats, your functionaries are truly obsolete. It’s not only President Trump that reveals, never mind causes, their weakness. The very institutions the left controls have already been rendered obsolete, in part by changes wrought by digital technology. Every day that goes by, from Hollywood to Higher Ed, their very existence as we’ve known them makes less and less sense. They don’t work well anymore. Those in charge sense this; their desperation grows more frenzied by the day.

But the rest of the country senses it too. The Left in this country has had its hand around the people’s throat for long enough. A reckoning is coming. So as far as we’re concerned: maranatha, baby, and good riddance.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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