Conservatives Gonna Keep Idolizing Kyle Rittenhouse Until There's A New One Each Week
Most of you reading this probably aren't crazy about armed vigilantes patrolling our streets, especially when they're clumsy 17-year-olds with an itchy trigger finger. But we're all coastal elites who've spent so much time burning flags in our liberal bubbles we've forgotten that some average, salt-of-the-earth American Joe or Jane Sixpacks are out of their fucking minds.
Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teen charged with double homicide and assorted felonies, has inexplicably become the hero conservatives need as the country descends into a lawless dystopia where AR-15-toting minors roam the streets.
Local Wisconsin crackpot Vicki McKenna was among the first conservatives to suggest Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense when he crossed state lines with an illegally obtained firearm, killed two people and maimed a third. The teen's defenders, including the president, assume the people he shot were defacing private property, but unlike Rittenhouse, they won't have the benefit of an actual trial, because he killed them.
The shouty radio host asked her listeners last week if they were prepared to follow Rittenhouse's example, considering how well that situation turned out for everyone involved.
MCKENNA: Have you cleaned your guns lately? Do you have enough ammo?
You should assume any potential insurrectionist worth a damn cleans their guns regularly. That's basic gun maintenance for dummies. It's like asking a doctor whether they've washed their hands recently.
MCKENNA: Are you going to be ready to defend your property, your people, against the imminent violence being unleashed by people whose endgame is total destruction of our way of life?
The way of life she's endorsing is the Wild West where every hour on the clock is High Noon.
McKenna claimed “Rittenhouse's instincts in reacting to the threat were pretty textbook." She's talking about human beings. She wishes she "could have been able to do the same thing," which was brutal, dumbass murder, but she doesn't think she would've been as “composed." She just needs more time with that psychopath's textbook she referenced.
David Clarke, former Milwaukee sheriff and Gap Band cosplayer, is a frequent guest on McKenna's show. He graciously performs the service of making her seem rational. Clarke has demanded a more “forceful" response to the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, because he's "tired of seeing these subhumans be allowed to destroy property." All lives matter unless they commit a Class I felony. (Murder, by the way, is Class A.)
A day after Rittenhouse's spree killing, Clarke defended vigilantism while guest hosting "The Mark Belling Show."
CLARKE: You know what happens with inaction? People take the law into their own hands. Government is leaving them no choice.
Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back on August 23. The unrest that developed since then is apparently so dire, Clarke's ready to abandon due process and our entire constitutional democracy.
CLARKE: No choice. I don't advocate for some of the stuff that's starting to happen, but I am certainly done — I am through with condemning it. I'm done with that.
Oh no! We've lost David Clarke's moral center and usual pragmatic response to social unrest.
Clarke spends a lot of time vilifying Black Lives Matter protesters, but he isn't actively condemning rightwing violence. Although, that would prove uncomfortable considering when he was sheriff, he allegedly allowed several people, including a baby, to die in his jail.
CLARKE: I am just telling people, "Hey, you're on your own." Think about it, have a plan.
Yeah, so, a "plan" sounds a lot like premeditated murder.
CLARKE: Act reasonably. You have to act reasonably. Then you are going to have to articulate what you did afterwards.
Murder is rarely reasonable. That's the challenge Kyle Rittenhouse will have when trying to convince a jury he's not guilty. But it's not the Kyle Rittenhouse in custody who should concern us. It's the copycats listening to McKenna, Clarke, Tucker Carlson, and the repulsive rest. They might want to become “heroes," too.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."