Ever since the fateful day of Jan 6, 2021, the political right has been treated with extreme scrutiny by the media, the public, and elected officials. Terms like domestic terrorist and insurrection are used freely to describe anyone wearing a MAGA hat. Some in the media have even claimed to expect a reaction comparable to drone strikes on American citizens. Not only has the backlash and sloppy grouping of ideologies gone too far, but even worse, it has further revealed a glaring trend in modern America: hypocrisy and inconsistent political standards.
As a 28-year-old, I have grown up in a world that taught me to expect political hypocrisy. Early in life, I learned that there are two rule books – a rule book for the progressives and a rule book for everyone else.
Racism was terrible for everyone unless it was racism against Caucasians (as a person of mixed ethnic heritage, this standard has bothered me for as long as I can remember).
Free speech was fantastic, and nobody deserved to be silenced unless the person in question was a "right-wing extremist" who could be unjustly and conveniently categorized as a "Nazi."
Border barriers, guards, and guns were discriminatory, dangerous, and disgusting unless they were used to protect an elitist elected official or a Hollywood star living in a gated and guarded community.
Even though I grew up knowing and expecting the hypocrisy and double standards of progressives, the past year left me consistently surprised by the bold nature with which lies were leveraged. Before we go any further, let me clarify something: what happened at the DC Riot was inexcusable. Investigations about precisely who was involved and where the blame should be placed are underway.
That said, I see a staggering double standard being applied to the political right – a standard which was entirely absent from the political left during months of deadly and destructive riots. In this writing, I want to talk through a brief comparison of the two oddly similar situations and the oddly different reactions they've received.
First, let's look at the titles used to address the riots of the left and the single riot from the right. When addressing the DC Riot, two words seem ever-present: insurrection and terrorism. Don't believe me? Take thirty seconds and browse through google results for Jan 6, the Trump impeachment, or any other topic tied to the riot. You'll see these words pop up time and time again. How about the months of deadly leftwing riots? These were treated quite differently, with leaders insisting that they were a myth or that the riots were merely "fiery but mostly peaceful." Preferential treatment and conveniently selected words seem like a go-to strategy for the media and the left. The truth, though, is that by definition, we have faced insurrection across America for more than half a year – and almost every bit of it came from the political left.
Next, let us consider the timelines involved in the left-wing riots and right-wing riot. There is no need to draw this point out as the comparison is simple. The left rioted, burned, killed, attacked, robbed, and destroyed under the guise of seeking justice – they started shortly after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, and scattered riots still occurred in February 2021. The right-wing riot lasted for several hours on a single day in early January of 2021. No violence or suffering is OK – but the fact stands- months are worse than hours.
How about the social reception by the media and elected officials? Again, this comparison is both alarming and straightforward. After millions of dollars in damage, many killed, extended violence, and traitors claiming American soil in CHAZ/CHOP, leading democrat Jerry Nadler said that violence and riots were "a myth." Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, and Mike Doyle were some of many democrat officials to participate in protests which ended with destruction and, in some cases, outright rioting. Their participation was not only tone-deaf and reckless from a security standpoint, but it also happened amid the height of COVID lockdowns and efforts to social distance. Masks and social distancing were often absent practices at riots and protests, leading to untold numbers of infections and deaths. CNN talking head Chris Cuomo lied about American law and supported violence when he said, "Show me where it says that [American] protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful." Arguably the most egregious source of support for violence is found in our sitting Vice President Kamala Harris, who publicly supported an effort to bail out rioters. Some of the rioters bailed out went on to further the destruction and damage upon their release. Indeed with this precedent, conservatives as a whole were treated with grace and fairness after a single day which saw a contextually small group rioting. Wrong. Conservatives were entirely shamed and disowned. The rioters were (justifiably) decried within a day by President Trump, elected republicans, and conservative influencers.
Humans have a common enemy: death. The passing of a loved one is always tragic. That said numbers matter. 9/11 was worse than a highway accident that killed two people. We recognize this reality in almost every instance except... riots. When counting civilian and law enforcement deaths, the left-wing riots claimed between 25 and 35 lives (the range of numbers exists because there is some disagreement regarding which casualties can be fairly counted as the riots' direct results). The right-wing riot has similar discrepancies in how deaths are categorized and blamed on an event or group. Still, tallies consistently range in single digits, with between 3 and 7 people losing their lives. Leftist rioters injured approximately 700 cops, while the right-wing riot wounded 14. Much like the timeline addressed above, this does not justify any of the wrongdoing which took place, but numbers and severity matter.
Buildings are not people, but they are tied to people. Some buildings like public and federal houses represent our country and communities. Other buildings, like private homes and businesses, represent hours of life, dreams, safety, and hopes. Several dozen federal and state buildings were damaged, invaded, or claimed by left-wing riots through the months. A single federal building was damaged and infiltrated during the right-wing riot. Millions of dollars of damage were done to small businesses and homes amid leftist riots. Not a single home or small business is known to have been targeted on Jan 6.
What about the legal response? Leftist officials and Hollywood stars denied that crimes were happening and supported bailing out criminals. Local leaders told their police departments to stand down. Military support was repeatedly refused all around the country in Democrat-controlled regions as city blocks burned. When President Trump finally sent federal law enforcement to protect the public, he was called an authoritarian. When the DC Riot broke out, police and national guard were authorized to send reinforcing units within minutes.
Lastly, what was at stake in each of these situations? Many will say, "Aha! This is where the difference lies. You see, the right-wingers stormed THE CAPITOL!" This avenue of thought is wrong for two main reasons. Left-wing rioters threatened to storm the White House before being beaten back by law enforcement, physically attacked elected officials around the country, stormed state buildings, attacked and claimed police precincts, and damaged private homes. The only difference is that A-list political celebrities were in the capitol while run-of-the-mill cops and local leaders were pushed out of their buildings around the country. I do not recognize an inflated sense of importance for elitists. Secondly, many of the DC elites were entirely silent or supportive regarding months of left-wing riots. These same elites were stunned when a riot knocked on the doorstep of their workplace. In short, when the attacks were in YOUR neighborhood and claiming YOUR workplace, riots were treated as a myth or a movement worth supporting. When a riot infringed on a day in the life of American Oligarchs, the situation suddenly changed. A wall was immediately erected, troops deployed, patriotism and the American way quickly became very important.
The Path Forward
I hope this comparison will help expose some of the partisan and deceptive lies being consistently told. I do not support political violence, and I have said so always. The American left has a different standard. The radicals openly support violence as long as it is from their side - then they turn around and attempt to claim a moral high ground at the first opportunity. To people like this, I can only say shame on you – your willingness to destroy lives for a political narrative disgusts me. We should all be willing to stand against the abuse of innocent citizens and police officers. The sooner we can agree on such an elementary topic, the sooner we will have some national unity semblance.
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About the Author:
Luke Negron, is an Air Force veteran, writer, speaker, and activist. He has over a decade of private sector experience - including working to pay his way through Grove City College, where he graduated with Political Science, National Security, and Communications studies in his professional experience. He is proud to say he relates to the American middle class - having worked in restaurants, construction, and technology. In 2020 he was the Republican Nominee to the U.S House for Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district. He has worked with a long list of charitable organizations including Samaritan's Purse, The Pittsburgh Project, and Cleanup 412. As a social and political leader, his goal is simple: to reclaim politics of, by, and for the people.