Well, Kyle Rittenhouse walked today, garnering five not guilty counts after killing two people and wounding a third, after wandering around shooting protesters far from his neighborhood.
It’s a travesty of justice, no doubt. But what it portends is really what’s unnerving. It could chill protest in this country, making people fearful that they are not protected when they exercise their first amendment rights. The right in this country has an itchy trigger finger, and is looking for an excuse to, in the words of Marjorie Taylor Greene, “shed some blood”. They’re already doing things like gussying up in tactical gear at school board meetings.
It worries me that Trump’s first term was just a dry run for a much more violent, authoritarian America to come. Democrats are losing the message war thanks to a media that enjoyed the Trump circus more than it does the legislative accomplishments of the party. People aren’t seeing the positives because no one is showing them in a way they can understand. Democrats will not be able to hold the line against the much easier to digest rancor of outlets like Fox News. The end result will be a marked coarsening of the discourse in America, punctuated by stochastic violence.
The future is supposed to be brighter. But the new optimism is about to be strangled in the crib by hate.