On Monday, progressives will borrow Trump's playbook: Rigged election becomes rigged trial.
A majority of Republicans still believe Trump won. Progressives claim they are frightened by a lack of institutional trust - yet come Monday, they will claim the Rittenhouse case is rigged.
Ever since the unprecedented election fraud claims from Trump, progressives have been spouting about the dangers of eroding trust in our institutions; continuously highlighting how Trump and his supporters’ claims of election fraud will damage American democracy.
They claim, rightfully so, that the erosion of American democracy could lead to a catastrophic scene in 2024 - and that “Trump and his cronies” will be ready to take advantage of the situation. They forget, however, what saved American democracy last time:
No, not Mike Pence. No, not the Democratic party. No, not the … you didn’t really think I was going to say it was the Republican party, did you?
It was: the courts. The justice system, with its honorable judges, swearing to uphold the Consitution, saved American democracy. It was, in many ways, what “stopped the coup”; and it will be what will stop the next one; if that time ever comes.
Undoubtedly, Democrats could be dependent on the courts in 2024, as Trump (if he is the Republican nominee) will likely take the result to the courts if he loses again. For that reason, surely upholding the public trust in the courts and the court system would be a top priority for Democrats fearing a second, more successful coup?
Well, then came Kyle Rittenhouse. The then 17-year old shot and killed two, and wounded one, in Kenosha in August last year. The media immediately focused on the race and politics of it; that is, unfortunately, the narratives that get clicks in today’s America. Painting a picture of a white-supremacist, Trump-loving, deplorable, Proud Boys-kid, shooting protestors at a so-called “peaceful protest”, not only fits better in a broader narrative about race and inequality in America; but is far more interesting compared to a rather boring story of self-defense. The stage was then set for chaos, as the trial of Mr. Rittenhouse began.
As the prosecution called their witnesses, and the defense cross-examined the called witnesses, it became gradually clearer that the picture painted by the media was far from accurate. The realization that Mr. Rittenhouse would likely go free, dawned on progressive activists. The only logical solution is to do what they so desperately (and rightfully) berated Trump and his supporters for doing - to claim fraud. They couldn’t be wrong, so it must all be rigged.
Allegations already range from the classic the judge is a Trump-fan (for having “God Bless the USA” as his ringtone), to the less-grandiose-but-still-serious claim that the judge is clearly biased towards Mr. Rittenhouse. The progressive trust in the justice system will erode even more than it already has. And the erosion of trust in institutions is a bad sign for the future of American democracy; regardless of the claim coming from the left or the right.
Come Monday, if Mr. Rittenhouse is acquitted, progressives will claim it as a sure sign that the legacy of white supremacy still lives on in American institutions.
And come 2024, if Trump loses, his supporters will claim it as a sure sign of a rigged election.
they’d both be wrong.
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