Essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Had he lived in today’s world, he might have saved his poetic stiletto for a human flaw more threatening than the tendency to stay the course: hypocrisy. No hobgoblin, hypocrisy is real and particularly glaring when practiced by officialdom.
Practiced to perfection have been the double standards applied to persons who burned and pillaged cities across the nation during summer 2020 compared to those who rampaged at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The black-clad anarchists have been treated as if they were nothing more than misbehaving schoolchildren. In contrast, the flag-waving trespassers have been hunted down and locked up by President Biden’s Democratic establishment. Justice is now the handmaiden of politics.
Since Democrats have created a commission to investigate the Capitol breach, it should surprise no one that two-thirds of likely U.S. voters want a parallel probe of the 2020 riots, according to a new online survey by the National Police Association and Rasmussen Reports. Only 21 percent disagree.
For their part, congressional Republicans find appalling the two-track prosecutorial practices engineered by their Democratic antagonists. Accordingly, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and 10 Republican colleagues have pointed out the glaring inconsistency in a July 20 letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“DOJ’s apparent unwillingness to punish individuals who committed crimes during the spring and summer 2020 protests stands in stark contrast to the treatment of the individuals charged in connection with the breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.,” reads the missive.
“Whether it is a mob breaking laws in D.C. or a mob in Portland or Minneapolis, the standard of justice should be the same in America.”
The comparative toll from the violence is startling. During the 2020 riots, one federal officer was killed and more than 700 officers were injured; 81 burglaries of licensed gun dealers occurred with 1,116 firearms stolen; and 876 arsons were tallied, according to the Republican text. An additional two-dozen murders of civilians and as much as $2 billion in insured property losses were not mentioned. During the Capitol riot, one trespasser was killed by U.S. Capitol Police and medical emergencies caused four deaths; and the building suffered $1.5 million in property damage, according to news reports.
The Capitol demonstrators – rioters and nonviolent alike — have been pilloried in the Justice Department’s online defendant database and the FBI’s most-wanted website. GOP lawmakers write, in contrast, “reports indicate that prosecutors have approved at least half a dozen deferred resolution agreements in federal felony cases arising from clashes between protesters and law enforcement in Oregon last summer.”
Were Emerson to have encountered a political climate similar to today’s, he might have written a countervailing rhyme, to wit: “Flagrant hypocrisy is the destroyer of amity, spreading alarm and anger within humanity.”