Riots, lost elections, and political zealotry: why I oppose these behaviors when both parties do them

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

I’m tired of the media gaslighting the whole country. 

My opinion of yesterday was that it was ugly. I hated seeing people breaking into the Capitol,  breaking things in the Capitol, going into congressional offices and taking selfies in the congressional chambers. I think people who committed crimes should be prosecuted for their actions. I don’t think that Trump did enough yesterday to denounce the destruction and also dragged his feet in conceding the election. Those are horrible errors on his part which will impact his legacy.

2020 protests vs 2021 protests

But the gaslighting comes in the form of the two different standards that we see. 
Yesterday’s riot is (rightfully) condemned, but it’s as if this summer didn’t happen. We had riots and destruction all across the country. The narrative was that those protests which did over $1 billion in damage were “mostly peaceful.” 
The Federalist had an article today called People compared them to our founding fathers and the Boston Tea Party.

The Federalist links to a Mother Jones article titled “Riots aren’t irrational.” GQ ran an article called “Why violent protests work.” And on and on.

All of that was acceptable. But yesterday was bad. And I’ve heard different explanations for why yesterday was different. 

People temporarily created their own autonomous zone in Seattle. 
But yesterday was “treason.” Yesterday was a “coup.” 

I’m consistent. I think both were bad. 

Admitting defeat in 2016 vs 2020

As I write this, it was only this evening that President Trump acknowledged defeat in the election. I’m glad that he did. He needed to. But he should have already done that. I know that there are lots of allegations of voter fraud. I can even agree that it happened on a small scale. But there were investigations. The justice department is headed by Trump’s personally appointed attorney general. Trump’s justice department has said that there was not widespread voter fraud. 

Trump should accept the results of this election. But we also went most of his term with the media and many on the left never accepting Trump’s win. Even in the final weeks before November’s election, Hillary Clinton was still saying that the election had been stolen. 

We heard it was Russian collusion. We heard the election was swayed by social media. That was all fine. 

I’m consistent. I think election losers should both concede defeat and then not continually backtrack and talk about it being stolen. 

Trumpism vs Social Justice Warriors

I’ve seen lots of editorials about “Trumpism,” and how Trump’s supporters are a personality cult. I can concede that SOME Trump supporters are that way. But that also goes both ways and we see an almost religious fanaticism from some some of our social justice warriors as well.

The religion of social justice has its priest (people like Ibram X Kindi, Shaun King, Robin Diangelo) who are the mystics who point people to the higher truth of their worldview. It has its own scripture (their books and writings). Wokeism has its own affirmations. It has its own rituals of absolution (public acknowledgement of guilt). Wokeness has its own force that explains the world (racism).

It turns out that in a society where we get more and more invested in politics, and where we do more and more fear mongering about defeats and demonizing of the other side that people get very entrenched in their beliefs and it becomes a quasi-religion to some.

But it happens on both sides. And when both sides do it, that’s a bad thing.

Collective guilt

There were indeed many peaceful protests this summer, which happened without incident and where people wanted to peacefully demonstrate and make their voices heart. God bless those people. That is their right as Americans. But the coverage wanted to make it seem like essentially all of our protesters were people demonstrating in this fashion. Then we have yesterday, and anyone who supports Trump is collectively guilty

I’m hearing the narrative that law enforcement went easy on the protesters because the crowd was largely white. We had police allowing buildings to be burned down in major cities. In certain areas, police were ordered to stand down.

Again, I’m not defending destruction which happened yesterday. I’m just asking for some consistency.

So as a Christian, I do denounce this rioting and destruction. I believe in what is true, and just, and good. I think the idols we make of our politicians are corrosive and dangerous. I think our great nation is in a dark place and that the gospel and revival. For Christians, we must pray for this and work towards being light in a dark world and being peacemakers in a contentious world.

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