For most of my life, conservatives have advocated law and order and peace through strength. People who commit evil acts should be punished, we said, to deter that kind of behavior in the future. Allowing bad actors to go unpunished, the assumption went, creates a “moral hazard”—just as weakness invites additional provocation. So, why do today’s conservatives think a president who incited a mob to kill a cop and injured others should skate?
In a sane world, conservatives would be first in line to support holding Donald Trump—who obviously incited the insurrection (just ask the incitees)—accountable for his behavior. Unfortunately, we’ve seen quite the opposite, with a few notable exceptions. Why should today’s conservatives harken back to a saner time and hold Trump accountable for his actions (and lack thereof)?
For one thing, stakes are high. We have to take a stand to ensure that no future president attempts to replicate Trump’s playbook. You would think that patriotic conservatives (you know, the guys who can’t get enough of Lee Greenwood blessing the USA) would be 100 percent behind this.