Jonah Goldberg
+ Your AuthorsArchive @JonahDispatch Editor-in-Chief, @TheDispatch (, LAT columnist. AEI Fellow. Host Remnant Podcast. Majordomo for Zoë and Pippa. Jan. 15, 2021 2 min read

Having just heard the 5,000th Trump apologist pundit make the same argument(s), I feel like venting.

So, as the say, thread:


If your only -- or even simply your first -- point in defense of Trump is that Democrats are hypocrites or have double standards, you are in effect arguing that the left dictates your standards. ...


If you say Trump can't or shouldn't be held to account because liberals didn't hold their own side accountable for (what you allege) was similar incitement or behavior, what you're really saying is you care less about your own standards than the hypocrisy of the left...


I have no problem complaining about the hypocrisy of the left. But even if the facts were exactly as you allege, I still oppose incitement and unconstitutional behavior. The left's shifting standards shouldn't change conservatism's standards.


If my kid shoplifts, she'll be punished. If she complains her friend's parents don't care about shoplifting so it's unfair for me to punish her, I'll say "I don't care what they do" (even though I do care and I'll make a stink later). None of that changes what's right.


I'm not an expert on Christianity. But my understanding is that if you sin and are called to account for it, replying "Yeah, but look at what the Muslims do" is not a defense. Again, no expert so I'm open to correction.


But that's my point. Vast swaths of what passes for serious conservatism and analysis boils down to whining that the left is trying to hold the right accountable to the right's own standards -- and that that's somehow unfair.


Just because the left is outraged that the president lied about the election being stolen so much that a mob stormed the Capitol and killed people on the president's behalf, doesn't mean conservatives SHOULDN'T BE OUTRAGED BY IT FFS.


And just because you think their outrage is hypocritical, inconsistent, partisan, or set to the wrong tune for all I care, that shouldn't lessen your anger or outrage one iota.


In fact, you should be *angrier* b/c this wannabe celebrity despot implicitly & explicitly claims to be acting & speaking for you. You should be screaming, "This isn't who we are" or "Not my name you staggering jackwad." Not bleating about how some Democrat is a hypocrite.


Conservatism claims to believe in serious notions of right & wrong. We (claim to) champion moral clarity. If your first response to every misdeed of your side is to criticize the other side for condemning it. That's not principled conservatism, it's hackery.

Vent over.


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