Yes, Kyle Rittenhouse is a Hero
The sunshine patriots are at it again, folks. In either another unreciprocated attempt to appear even-handed, or from a deep sense of shame at their own meekness, a number of conservatives are bleating that, while they support Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal, they nonetheless take pains to emphasize that he is not a hero.
Tom Slater at Spiked writes that Rittenhouse should have stayed at home. John Kass of the Chicago Tribune also writes that Rittenhouse shouldn’t have been there, and that he’ll carry the “stain” of this forever. Tiana Lowe at the Washington Examiner writes that Rittenhouse’s victimization doesn’t automatically confer heroism, and that he “should never have gone to an active riot zone in defiance of a curfew.” Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz (who defended Jeffrey Epstein in court and who argues the age of consent for sex should be fifteen) likewise says Rittenhouse shouldn’t have come to Kenosha.
Former police chief Dan Llorens lets readers know six times that Rittenhouse is “no hero” and speculates that, as Rittenhouse grows older, “perhaps he will begin to understand.” Because nothing wins over a skeptical audience like belittling condescension. Yet, one wonders how the Kenosha police officers -- the ones actually there during the riots -- felt about the armed citizen patrols as they handed them bottled water and told them, “We appreciate you guys, we really do.” Perhaps Llorens could lecture these officers about their need to “begin to understand.”
To the aforementioned commentators, allow me a polite suggestion. Next time your country, city, or neighbor needs some fellow citizens willing to step up, take your own advice and stay home. There is some clear misunderstanding on your part as to the meaning of heroism. If being a hero means penning opinions from the safety of our computers, in protected neighborhoods light-years away from the nearest mob, and prattling out more yawneroos about how if those socialists keep trampling on our liberties, we're gonna rise up, and this time we mean it, then you and I make King Leonidas and his 300 look like the Three Stooges in Idle Roomers.
But there exist other definitions of heroism with which popular opinion would more probably concur. A 2011 study published in the Review of General Psychology asserts that heroism is characterized by:
- Acting voluntarily for the service of others who are in need, whether it is for an individual, a group, or a community
- Performing actions without any expectation of reward or external gain
- Recognition and acceptance of the potential risk or sacrifice made by taking heroic actions
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology posited that heroes have twelve central traits, which are:
- Moral integrity
Did Kyle Rittenhouse’s actions in Kenosha and thereafter lack a single one of these traits and characteristics? Were his actions not the textbook definitions of heroism?
Martin Luther King said, “Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles; Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances”. On August 25, 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse resolved, despite obstacles, to pick up a weapon and defend law and order. In November 2021, he took the stand, confronted his accusers, and then faced the jury eye-to-eye as they delivered his fate. And for the next week, he was again libelously slandered by the president, the vice president, governors, congressmen, professional athletes, celebrities, elites, and almost the entirety of the mainstream media.
And the Monday morning quarterbacks of Conservative Inc., ashamed that they’d submissively surrendered to circumstances rather than help Rittenhouse, joined the Left in their attacks. They dismissed his courage and attempted to paint him as a naïve, video-game playing, wannabe Rambo who became a vigilante the minute he crossed into Kenosha and picked up a weapon. He also picked up a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and graffiti cleaner, but don’t let that wreck your narrative. But assuming vigilantism was his original intention… what’s your point?
In August 2015, the mostly peaceful Moroccan national Ayoub El Khazzani boarded a Paris-bound train and began shooting passengers. American citizens Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone, and Alek Skarlatos, as well as British citizen Chris Norman and two French citizens who remain anonymous, tackled and subdued Khazzani. And in October of this year, former Marine James Kilcer happened to be at a Chevron gas station in Yuma, Arizona, when three mostly peaceful masked thugs entered the store brandishing handguns. Kilcer quickly disarmed and tackled one, sending the other two fleeing the scene in a mostly peaceful manner.
These citizens did their duty, in an unofficial way, because the official organizations are not controlling crime effectively.
Kyle Rittenhouse was attempting to prevent crime because the official organizations in this country, from the DoJ and FBI to governors and mayors and Soros-funded district attorneys, are buffoonishly inadequate at best and brazenly treasonous at worst. Conservatives who admonish Rittenhouse for not “staying home” have no realistic solution for an entrenched bureaucracy and a Pravda media which openly supports criminals, encourages riots, and attempts to crush any and all dissent with the entirety of the state security apparatus and its legions of ski-masked brownshirts.
Was Rittenhouse naïve? Maybe. But naivete does not preclude heroism. If Rittenhouse was naive to the degree of nihilistic destruction of which the unhinged Left is capable, then he shares this fault with his conservative critics. And it is here, thankfully, where their commonalities end.
Bob Dylan said, “A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” The dirty little secret on the Right is that all of us, myself included, know full well that Rittenhouse and those like him are, more than our articles and social media posts and mouse-click fundraisers and cruise ship conventions, exercising the courage of their convictions. The least we can do is thank Rittenhouse for this courage, and acknowledge the fact that too many of us self-described patriots thrice his age had a responsibility, the responsibility that comes with our freedom, to stand with him against the mob. Rittenhouse is a hero. Conservatives wagging their finger at him are the exact opposite.
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