Consequences for Thee, Not for Me

Felipe De La Hoz in The Baffler:

If anyone is tried for sedition after this whole wretched ordeal, it should be Donald Trump and the repellent congressional creatures who cravenly believed they could direct the QAnon crowd and keep them in their control. The fact of their failure, their monumental miscalculation, does not absolve them of their culpability. We’re already seeing figures like the pusillanimous Missouri Senator Josh Hawley denounce the diehard supporters they’ve spent years whipping into a frenzy, no doubt breathing a sigh of relief that they have a convenient scapegoat to absorb the heat of their misdeeds.

We all feel like we’re standing on the edge of a precipice, but in egging on the trampling of civil liberties, we’re in danger of joining the modern conservative movement in signaling that our convictions are negotiable, or a convenient smoke screen obscuring a primary objective of primacy and oppression, already a pervasive fantasy in their fevered imaginations. Not that we should hit the breaks in a display of good faith to people who will never in an eon give us the benefit of the doubt, but rather out of our own compass, because our tenets aren’t fungible.

If anything, it’s during moments of crisis that it’s particularly important to remember what anchors us, and it certainly isn’t a belief in expansive law enforcement powers and a harsh and retributive penal system. Besides the fact that we would bear the brunt of this arrangement, these convictions are the only thing we have in the end. We might relish in bringing down the hammer on these easy targets, leaving our values by the wayside, but to give in is to risk that when this storm blows past, we’ll find ourselves unmoored, adrift, and unprepared for the squalls to come.

More here.