Over the past few weeks, I’ve bookmarked a few absolutely blatant double standards held by conservatives. Today, I’d like to share two of them.
Here’s our first double standard:
This you? https://t.co/Ue27NHhewf pic.twitter.com/6O2txs1YJA
— KnowNOthing (@KnowN0thing1) November 24, 2020
Charlie Kirk is the founder and president of the ultra right-wing nativist group Turning Point USA. I was unable to find his original tweet (the screenshot here does not include the time stamp), so I wasn’t able to find the specific thing he was responding to (and it’s possible the tweet is a fake). However, the idea that you cannot pick and choose what laws to follow has been a constant conservative talking point when discussing both immigration and Black Lives Matter protests (vis a vis curfews).
Indeed, Trump himself has constantly tweeted “LAW & ORDER” as a response to Black Lives Matter protests (regardless of whether a specific protest turns violent), while simultaneously encouraging his followers to violate lockdown and social distancing orders put in place by state and local governments.
So, which is it? Do laws have to be obeyed, or do they not? Do we pick and choose which we think need to be obeyed and which don’t, or not? It’s the inconsistency that is maddening. Pick one!
Here’s our second double standard:
They're not pro-life, they're anti-abortion, exhibit eleventy bazillion: https://t.co/2hN6gVaW9N
— Kathryn Brightbill ✒️ (@KEBrightbill) November 23, 2020
These tweets I did track down, and Anthony Sabatini did indeed tweet both of these things. Kyle Rittenhouse, of course, is the Illinois teen who traveled to Wisconsin and shot and killed two people during protests following the police shooting of Blake. Sabatini is not the only one celebrating Rittenhouse; a great number of his fellow conservatives are doing the same.
Sabatini’s comments are in line with a bizarre celebration of violence that is so often tacked onto efforts to end women’s access to abortion services. Think of how conservatives celebrated Trump’s comments encouraging his supporters to beat up protestors, or encouraging police to be wantonly violent toward suspects, for example. Think, too, of conservatives’ support for the death penalty.
Lest anyone claim that this contradiction can be explained by the insistence that abortion ends “innocent” lives, it really can’t:
Question: Do staunch abortion abolitionists (AAs) really prioritize "the innocent"?
A test: We asked whether it's worse to convict the innocent or free the guilty. AAs were ~20% LESS LIKELY to say convicting innocent is worse & >2X as likely to say freeing the guilty is worse. pic.twitter.com/KmHORVp4XW
— Samuel Perry (@socofthesacred) November 12, 2020
Yes, you read that right—people who want abortion banned are disproportionately likely to think it’s better to lock up innocent people than to let a guilty person go free.
While I can’t speak for every person who wants to deprive women of abortion access, a lot of them seem to be motivated more by a desire to punish women who dared have sex outside of marriage than an actual interest in protecting or valuing life: if they actually valued life, after all, they would have a very different approach to our criminal justice and policing system, and even to our social welfare system.
I’m not sure what the solution is here—or how shining light on double standards necessarily fixes anything—but seeing this kind of thing over and over again is dispiriting. I would far rather discuss the merits of issues with someone who has actual values and consistent standards than with someone who seemingly endorses whatever they feel like at the moment, damn consistency.
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