If you’ve spent any time listening to me, you know that I don’t suffer ignorance gladly, and perhaps only when it is combined with arrogance does it become more reprehensible.
A confident person is able to form an opinion, calmly make a case for it using facts, logic, and reason, and listen intently to those who are willing and interested in doing the same.
An arrogant person forms an opinion first and then seeks out those who agree with his conclusion to bolster his claims, without ever checking the veracity of what he’s being told or considering the motives of the speaker he has sought for validation. From there, armed with only the information he wants to believe, and with no interest or desire in hearing alternative views, he loudly repeats whatever surface-level talking points he can remember, and then quickly tries to demean or personally attack anyone who suggests there might be more to consider.
It is the latter group that populates, permeates, and for the most part, dominates society today, and certainly, this group controls entirely both sides of the media and social media as well.
Both sides of the political and social aisle have adopted the same tactics; find out first what their tribe thinks, and then formulate whatever story you have to in order to defend the thinking of your tribe. Using the same person as the obvious example would be as follows: If Donald Trump said it, then, as far as the right tribe is concerned it is true and/or it should be, so we shall support it. Meanwhile, the far left tribe is immediately certain that it is both a lie and it is dangerous and must be objected to. Clearly, this is ludicrous. Trump said and did a lot of great things, while also saying and doing a lot of very stupid and wrong things.
At this point, I have lost 90% of you, and that’s the problem. The idea that I suggested that Trump did anything well, made half of you laugh and scoff, and the idea that I posited his mistakes and blunders means I have no idea what I am talking about…and neither side has any interest in actually hearing the answer to the question “like what?” Some might scream it, but when an answer is presented, it is met with derision, personal attacks, and accusations that factual statements are lies.
This is playing out before our eyes in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, a man who is, depending on your tribe, either a racist, white supremacist, far-right extremist murderer, or an altruistic young man that we need more of in America who was just trying to help his community and, in the process was attacked and became the victim who ultimately prevailed through self-defense.
Neither is close to true, and nobody cares.
As the trial of Rittenhouse comes to a close, an endless parade of morons bombard the airwaves and social media with half-truths and provably untrue “explanations” as to why the trial is, or isn’t going their tribe’s way.
My current favorites are pro-Rittenhouse people who offer up one sentence hot takes like… “looks like he’s going to walk…what do you say now?” Right behind them are anti-Rittenhouse folks who have formed a conspiracy theory cocoon around themselves by making the judge the villain, and a racist himself.
Of course, most of the people offering up these opinions and explanations have not actually watched the trial nor read the transcripts, they’re just repeating what Tucker Carlson or the ladies from “The View,” tell them is happening.
I, on the other hand, have watched AND read every single minute, not just from the trial, but also, all of the pre-trial motions and decisions, and have absolutely no doubt about the events that transpired last summer, who is at fault, who is to blame, and what the legal ramifications will and should be. I am also blessed to have a deep understanding of how the law works, and a calm acceptance that the American justice system, like the nation itself, is the greatest on Earth, while also being far from perfect.
Rittenhouse was allowed by the judge to present a case of self-defense, which, under Wisconsin law, means that the prosecution must show either that he did not fear for his life (impossible under the circumstances) or that he provoked the attacks which led him to have to defend himself. The latter was the obvious path, and the prosecution, led by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, botched it entirely. Binger, for the record, is the worst prosecutor I have ever seen in my life. Atrocious does not begin to properly describe how bad he is at his job, based on this trial. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-criminallaw/chapter/5-2-self-defense/
It should have been quite easy to show that Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, had absolutely no business being in Kenosha in the wake of the Jacob Blake riots, other than to incite, provoke, and, if he was lucky, maybe kill a few people. It was proven under oath, contrary to the narrative we’ve been told, that he had not been asked, nor even welcomed to protect property, specifically, a business known as Car Source. Even if the owners of Car Source HAD asked for a militia to defend their property, it was certainly not Rittenhouse’s place to drive from Indiana and then brandish an AR-15, not to mention the fact that he left the property to hunt down…errr…I mean administer medical aid to people, a laughably asinine storyline, which even if true, should have been shot down with a simple “if you hadn’t been there in the first place, (a place you didn’t belong at all), and if you hadn’t left the Car Source property in the second place, you would have never been in fear of your life,” retort. Somehow, prosecutor Binger couldn’t land that plane. Unbelievable. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/11/09/kyle-rittenhouse-trial-prosecution-rests-defense-opens/6362457001/
It is true that the judge has ruled almost universally in favor of Rittenhouse’s team, but to assert that he has made it impossible to convict is ridiculous. While it would have been easier to prove his guilt had the judge allowed evidence to be presented which showed Rittenhouse’s clearly racist, violent-prone, and non-remorseful behavior before and after the night in question, it did not make it impossible. Nor does it justify the prosecutor getting scolded and lectured multiple times by the judge for appalling behavior and tactics. Not to mention, they over-reached from the jump by charging him with intentional homicide, forcing them to prove pre-meditation, which they were never going to be able to do, especially after the judge ruled that all previous behaviors were inadmissible. https://apnews.com/article/wisconsin-police-trials-gun-politics-kenosha-8cd887f731ace320bf945f9524ceb252
On the other side, I am not about to leap aboard the train of celebrities and athletes claiming that Rittenhouse was faking when he broke down on the witness stand last week, practically appearing to hyper-ventilate. Calling someone a liar is never an intelligent tactic when trying to make a point or win an argument.
Here is what is almost certainly going to happen this week:
- Rittenhouse will be found not guilty on all of the charges that really matter. Ironically, he probably will be found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm, which under Wisconsin law actually voids your right to self-defense. But that doesn’t mean that the jury has to then convict him on the greater charges, and I don’t believe they will. It may end in a hung jury, but either way, Rittenhouse will be free by week’s end.
- Riots will erupt both in Wisconsin and across the country, and when they do, look for myriad Rittenhouse copycats, emboldened by the verdict, to patrol the streets looking for hoodlums who will also be well-armed as a result of the decision of the jury. More killing will ensue.
- Rittenhouse, himself, will head one of two directions; he may become the next George Zimmerman; a hero for the right-wing until he does so many embarrassing things that he can no longer be defended, or he may wind up in congress alongside Marjorie Taylor Greene and other lunatics that are driving the Republican Party into the same ditch that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and her “squad” are sending the Democrats. This congressional stint of Rittenhouse’s will, of course, come after he does an hour-long sit down with Tucker Carlson and becomes a Fox News Contributor. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman/
- President Biden will fail miserably in addressing this properly as he continues his march towards being the most unpopular President in American history, which seems to be his goal.
- Conservatives, who like to paint themselves as aligned with law and order, will do as they did after the January 6 capitol insurrection and completely bail on and ignore law and order and align themselves with Rittenhouse, a vigilante who is aligned with the Proud Boys.
This brings us back to the consistent evolution of both political parties and their followers; ignore your core values when it is more important to find a way to justify the behavior and outcome that you desire.
So, when someone says, “looks like he’s going to walk…what do you say now?” I say this: O.J. walked too, and he should have based on the trial. Again, if you actually followed it, they absolutely did not prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, Simpson’s guilt. But no one with sense believes for one minute that he did not kill Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. Rittenhouse is a murderer. He is not to be revered he is to be disgusted, and he certainly is not “just a dumb kid.” His resume is already quite full of all of the evidence we need to know what a cretin he is, and the fact that people are proudly aligning themselves with him is beyond disgusting…but then again, so is the society in general at this point.