The saga reveals where we’re at currently, and where we’re probably headed
The Rittenhouse saga has, at least in my own mind, made clear that we no longer live in the United States of my youth and upbringing. I cannot pinpoint precisely when our country was transmogrified into something else entirely, but it happened fairly recently (within the last ten or fifteen years) and the result is that we are, broadly speaking, two radically different peoples living under the same system of government and society. For open and obvious reasons, this can’t continue indefinitely. This is going to get resolved, one way or the other.
Don’t believe me? Then look at the Rittenhouse affair, from beginning to end. From the very inception of the controversy to the end of the trial yesterday with a verdict of Not Guilty, people were viewing two radically different scripts, despite there being only one set of clear facts.1 Kyle Rittenhouse was attacked by thugs with criminal records and he defended himself using lawful and legal means. Yet for the past nearly year and a half, the mainstream media, powerful elites and politicians, and progressive drones all maintained (and continue to do so, despite the not guilty verdict) that Kyle Rittenhouse was a white supremacist vigilante who murdered two people and nearly murdered two others.
These two narratives are so diametrically opposed, and so intrinsically unreconcilable, that one is left to wonder how our society has devolved to this point. I don’t claim to have all the answers. But I have some thoughts on the subject, which I will share in this essay.
In order to understand why the Kyle Rittenhouse affair turned into a culture wars flashpoint, we have to understand some starting principles of how the Left views reality. In my view, it all comes down to a semi-religious worldview, a weltanschauung through which the contemporary Left views the nature of reality itself. Without this, we cannot possibly hope to understand the contextual placement of the Rittenhouse saga.
I believe there are deep threads that tie the Kenosha riots to the underlying concepts of the 1619 Project, the initiative started by Nikole Hannah-Jones, race hustler and grifter extraordinaire2. The Kenosha riots themselves were egregiously inspired by the riots kicked off by the death of George Floyd. I don’t want to get into the Floyd saga here, but there is a definite interstitial relationship between all these things.
The “anti-racist” grifters’ main point is that America is irredeemably racist, and always has been, and bizarrely enough, always will be. If we accept this premise as true, then upholding law and order in America is tantamount to perpetuating literal white supremacy. Perhaps if we take this twisted logic to its inevitable conclusion, we can apprehend the events of 2020 with greater clarity.
Ostensibly, Kenosha was burning because police shot a black man. Media malpractice has continued to peddle lies about the incident. The truth is that Jacob Blake attempted to kidnap a child at knifepoint and was shot because he posed a dangerous threat. It’s really that simple. Jacob Blake was a convenient excuse for anarchists, Leftists, rioters, Antifa members, and BLM protestors to set their community of Kenosha on fire. None of this reasonably disputed. The video evidence is massive. Sure, some of the folks there at Kenosha were honest protestors, despite being misled by the media narrative that Jacob Blake was another Black “victim” of police brutality. But most were there to burn stuff down and cause mayhem. Half the city of Kenosha went up in smoke.
Which leads to another awful truth. The leaders of the state of Wisconsin and the city and surrounding area of Kenosha failed to do their first duty of governance: keep the civil peace. They literally stood down and cowardly turned Kenosha over to the mob. When police and government abdicate their obvious duties, then by default citizens step up to fill the breach and the void. Enter Kyle Rittenhouse, who at that time was an idealistic seventeen year old kid. He had a father and relatives who lived in Kenosha. He was worried about what was going on up there and decided to enter the scene.
Commentary after this point becomes mixed and muddled, especially on the conservative side. Some conservatives maintain that Rittenhouse was an idiot to go into Kenosha and had no business being there. That it was foolish for a kid to go into the lion’s den like that. Some have even said that Rittenhouse was reckless for doing so. I wouldn’t go that far, but I am also rather agnostic on whether he should or shouldn’t have gone. Obviously, in hindsight, not going would have spared him the trauma of the last year and a half. However, it is correctly pointed out that Rittenhouse had just as much as a legal right to be in Kenosha as anyone else there that fateful evening, including the sex offender thug and the other two violent malcontents that he first shot and killed in self defense.
Kyle Rittenhouse’s presence there with an AR-15 seemed to “trigger” folks on the Left (and some on the Right.) That same AR-15, by the way, saved his life, and he broke no laws in possessing it. But the Left views an armed citizenry as a barrier to their naked desire to burn down cities. That’s really what provoked the militant Left and dragged the rest of their Leftists with them into Clownworld.
The trial was a political show trial, worthy of late 1930s Stalinist Soviet Union. The assistant district attorneys violated long-standing Constitutional norms in order to get the jury to convict. One particularly egregious example was ADA Binger’s commentary on Rittenhouse’s post-arrest silence. It’s been a hallmark of an accused constitutional rights to remain silent and not to be punished for it, yet Binger explicitly tried to do just that, leading to this incredible rebuke by the trial judge.
Ultimately, the jury reached the only logical result that the evidence demanded: acquittal. Kyle Rittenhouse dodged a political bullet. In addition to finding Rittenhouse not guilty, the jury essentially found the mainstream media guilty on six counts of deceit, lies, and fomenting riots.
However, more than Rittenhouse was on trial. It was the very concept of armed self-defense. This needs to be made clear. The Left does not want you to have the right to defend yourself with a gun. Our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms was also silently on trial in this case. Thank God the law of self-defense is still clear, even to left-leaning members of a jury of a left-leaning state like Wisconsin. The real question for me is: For how long? That’s a serious question that we all should all ponder.
Let me quote a perceptive author:
The great tragedy of Kenosha is that, in a matter of days, civilization collapsed so fully that the only people willing to stand against chaos were teenagers and twenty-somethings who barely knew how to shoot, much less how to fight, and not at all how to establish or maintain control. That is the reason people died, and the reason Kyle Rittenhouse will spend the rest of his life with the weight of having killed them: the wholesale dereliction of basic duty by an ineffectual government, and the inability of the whole society to form men as capable as they are willing to step into the breach. Once the regime finally crawled out of its bunker, with whole sections of the city turned to ash, the best it could manage was to send some effeminate mediocrity to prosecute the youngest of the LARPers for killing a pedophile and a wife-beater in ham-fisted self-defense.
Binger’s failure is deserved, and it is just. It saves Kyle Rittenhouse from a life of wrongful imprisonment. But it does not save him from what brought him here in the first place: absolute failure all the way down. The decline of Kenosha into an anarchic wasteland. The degradation of citizens to a status almost as debased as their government. Even with the smoke cleared, even with Rittenhouse acquitted, that remains. No order. No victory. No heroes. Barely men.
I circle back to the title of my essay, the Rittenhouse Apocalypse. It’s an apocalypse because it’s a revealing, it’s a disclosure of truths. Our country is tearing itself apart, bit by bit. We’re seeing the fabric of America being ripped apart by race-hustlers and Leftist provocateurs, many of whom inhabit high places in our country’s elite layers. The take away for me is rather simple: they want us, law-abiding Americans, to sit back while they burn our communities out of rage. They know that they can, in many cases, get the police and the politicians to back down in risible cowardice. The only thing that’s left are people like you and me who own guns.
That’s why the Left went after Kyle Rittenhouse.
1 The video evidence was incontrovertibly on the side of Kyle Rittenhouse. The testimony elicited by the prosecutors’ own witnesses largely substantiated the underlying story. Their case therefore imploded.
2 Being a race grifter is lucrative: she won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize.