Where is your personal responsibility now?
I guess you could say that there’s nothing that I dislike more than a hypocrite. If you can’t walk your talk, then shut your mouth and stop talking. For me, a large part of integrity is being true to what you say you believe in, which is why I’m so disgusted right now with the large number of people who claim to care about their country, who say that they believe in the rule of law, and yet are ready to throw all of that out the window when it suits their own personal interests.
Don’t get me wrong, people of all political and demographic stripes can be guilty of acting to feather their own nest and pursuing what is expedient, but when doing that becomes a political movement that plans a criminal act, you’ve to begin to wonder just how many lies a person is willing to tell themselves in order to allow them to proceed.
Many of the same people who thought that Colin Kaepernick was despicable and unpatriotic for peacefully protesting racial injustice by quietly kneeling during the National Anthem had no problem with a mob occupying the Capitol and taking down the American flag in order to fly a Trump flag instead. And even if not everyone who was present approved of that, they were all there for the purposes of interrupting the lawful transfer of power based on a fair and free election. That was the entire point, so there’s really no wiggling out of that part.
See here for a summary of all of the various agencies and groups who certified the election as having no credible evidence of fraud. “Notably, all 29 Republican secretaries of state were surveyed, most responding directly to the Times. None reported any major voting issues, refusing to back up Trump’s portrait of a fraudulent election.”
Peaceful protest is a right guaranteed by the constitution, but breaking into the Capitol is not. Protesters become criminals when they tresspass, destroy property and harm individuals, no matter how justified their cause. And on top of that, protesting police brutality, which is an actual documented problem, is not the same thing as taking the law into your own hands to try to stop duly elected officials from being certified for office.
Just as I’m sure the majority of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters did not condone the rare instances where police officers were shot or killed, the majority of the crowd at the Capitol likely did not condone beating an officer to death with a fire extinguisher, but they were there looking for Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker Nancy Pilosi, and other members of Congress. Intent was somewhere in between coercing them and killing them. No matter where you were on that spectrum of intent, where is the “law and order” in that?
If a central tenet of your belief system is to obey the rule of law, to keep order, and for people to take responsibility for themselves and their actions, then what the hell are you doing storming the Capitol? How do you justify that to yourself in your own mind? Life isn’t going how I want it to, so I’m going to take matters into my own hands and make somebody pay. That shouldn’t be the rallying cry of the “law and order” crowd. Right?
And to top it off, they spread lies to justify it all. The steadfast belief that Trump was telling the truth and had won the election only increased every time that Republican polling place workers or Trump-appointed judges verified that the election had taken place fairly and that Biden actually won, by quite a lot. Perhaps even worse was the despicable smear campaign against some public figures who were falsely depicted as being in favor of violence in support of the BLM movement.
Besides the fact that each of these women has been clearly photoshopped in to images of one of the few fires that took place during a BLM protest (93% of the protests have been shown to have been peaceful), they are each quoted out of context to make it seem as if they support violence, when they did not.
Both Maxine Waters and Nancy Pilosi are speaking about other events from several years ago, and although Kamala Harris supported the protests she was very vocally against violence or looting. There is no evidence that US Rep. Ayanna Pressley supported violence either. PolitiFact declared this meme to be mostly untrue because although the words were spoken by these women, they were skewed and twisted so as to create a false impression of their intent and meaning. These women have good grounds for suing for defamation of character if they were to ever establish who created this meme.
Creating an intentionally misleading piece of propaganda that depicts black women and the hated Pilosi as being in favor of rampant destruction to further BLM goals (which were overwhelmingly peaceful), when they did not, is low. Participating in distributing and sharing this smear campaign because it feels good to clap back at people who you don’t like being in a place of power isn’t any better. Where is the integrity? Where is the personal responsibility here? Oh, I forgot — that doesn’t apply to people who are doing things you don’t like.
After reading Moral Politics by George Lakoff I now understand that legitimate authority is central to many people who hold right-leaning views.
The obligation to obey is a metaphorical debt. You owe obedience to someone who has authority over you. If you obey, you are paying the debt; if you don’t obey, you are refusing to pay the debt — an immoral act, equivalent by moral arithmetic to stealing, a crime.
So they had to cook up a bunch of lies in order to make it seem like President Biden does not have legitimate authority — because he does. But you stand for things we don’t like is not a sufficient justification in a democracy for insurrection and sedition. I don’t care if your cultural centrality is being threatened. Grow up and act like an adult. Be a real patriot like the many Republicans who are doing just that — being loyal to the country, rather than to politics and self-interest.
If you are going to say that you stand for the rule of law, if you are going to say that you stand for personal responsibility, then you need to do better than making up lies, spreading dissent, and inciting resentment against those you aren’t happy to see in power. You need to find another way to deal with your upset that things aren’t going your way than to plot to break the law, turn on the police for not fully enabling your plot, disrespect the American flag, and tell a bunch of lies to justify your actions. Otherwise, you’re nothing more than a common hypocrite.
© Copyright Elle Beau 2021
Elle Beau writes on Medium about sex, life, relationships, society, anthropology, spirituality, and love. If this story is appearing anywhere other than Medium.com, it appears without my consent and has been stolen.
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