“What’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.” — A pearl of wisdom
I don’t know who said the quote above and it really doesn’t matter. We all have heard it before and we all know what it means. I teach teenagers and they are able to root out a hypocrite quicker than just about anyone. However, hypocrisy also is often without nuance. Nuance is a chalk outline at this point and most people can’t even identify the victim.
In another clip off the air (but on Twitter), Steinberg of OANN asks her followers gleefully if they think Joe Biden will die. This is usually when someone will point out that hundreds of thousands of liberals were rooting for Donald Trump to die when he had COVID and were overly gleeful when prominent conservatives actually died.
As per usual, there are a couple of problems with this point. The first is that it has that all too familiar ring of “people are saying” and other non-specifics. So, we are forced to somehow react to and answer for the unsubstantiated barbs of a faceless people. I’m not going to sit here and deny that there were people out there making such statements, but it is certainly instructive to know exactly who they are.
Were they in media? Were any of them in public office? Did we see a bunch of MSNBC anchors gleefully say they hoped Trump would die? Did we even see anyone from the Young Turks (maybe the closest mirror image to OAN) say anything like this? I honestly don’t spend hours a day watching either one, so I couldn’t tell you with 100 percent certainty. However, I am 99 percent sure that neither has an online reporter currently working for them that did anything close to that.
Therein lies the difference. I admit that it’s a subtle difference and it requires that nasty nuance thing again. There is a difference between random citizens with no clout making jokes and being crass at Trump’s expense and people in government and in mass media doing the same with Biden. So, that is just one key difference.
The other key difference is that Trump and many conservatives spent so long denying COVID and blocking common sense protocols that there was bound to be some anger on the other side. It’s also what English teachers call irony. That’s kind of hard to ignore in these situations and so hard to calculate. How much are a million lives worth?
Maybe that’s just where we are at these days. People are so angry with Brandon and the reasons seem so trivial in comparison. Gas prices are too high. Things costs too much. Certain items are harder to find. Even if we were to assume that all of this was his fault and had nothing to do with anything the former guy did, is anyone really going to try to argue that an extra 1.50 a gallon for gas is worth a human life? Is it worth our dignity? Is it worth our freedom or our sacred honor? Should I be willing to give all that up just so I can find some rawhide bones for my dog?
All that being said, this is not to excuse those that wish death upon anyone. It is wrong no matter who does it. No one should ever be happy when someone dies. They certainly shouldn’t be out loud. However, I’m not answering for some random yahoo on Twitter that posts occasionally and does whatever during their day. They may be a liberal or progressive, but I can’t answer for 80 million random people. I wouldn’t expect conservatives to either. What you can do is explain why meanness and pettiness seems to be a feature for those in conservative media and within the halls of Congress, state legislatures, and local governments. That’s the difference. Random voices in the wilderness are one thing. When they are in government or established conservative media that is something else.