“But he did it!”
It’s the defense every person is practically born knowing. Growing up, it’s the excuse every sibling uses to justify their bad behavior. It’s also the excuse used to justify some of mankind’s greatest sins.
In the Bible, Simeon and Levi used Shechem’s sin against their sister, Dinah, to justify pillaging Shechem’s city. In Game of Thrones, Robert Baratheon used Rhaegar Targaryen’s alleged sins against Robert’s betrothed to justify slaughtering every member of the Targaryen household he could get his hands on.
“But he did it!” is the cherished motto of those walking down a path of vengeance.
Since Election Day, it appears many conservatives are walking down that path. Ben Shapiro has often remarked on his podcast that, for conservatives, President Trump is a middle finger to the Democrats; payback for their slanders and malicious actions towards Republicans over the years. Many have resolved to use the election to cast another plethora of middle fingers at the Democrats, using their sin to justify our own all throughout.
Why was it okay to challenge the election results in court? Al Gore did it!
Why was it okay for President Trump to claim he won the election? Stacey Abrams did it!
Why was it okay to object to the electoral votes of certain states? Democrats did it!
Indeed, when Senator Ted Cruz proposed delaying the certification for ten days to allow an investigation, Michael Knowles sent a tweet embodying this sentiment which read, “All right, libs. We see your ‘15 days to slow the spread,’ and we raise you ‘10 days to slow the certification.’”
It was a taste of their own medicine. Justifying our actions not on the basis of our own righteousness, but of their sinfulness.
All of this culminated with the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, during which I listened to CSPAN with horror as caller after caller defended the violence because “the Democrats did it!” “They stole the election!” “ANTIFA burned Washington!” “They riot all the time!”
It’s true that the Democrats’ actions have, at times, been atrocious and even dangerous.
Gore did attempt to overturn Florida’s election results. Democrats spread election conspiracies after 2016. They objected to electoral votes from states that didn’t go their way. Speaker Pelosi’s tweet about the 2016 election being hijacked is still up, Stacey Abrams is seen as the rightful governor of Georgia, and Hillary Clinton was calling Trump an “illegitimate president.”
And all of that pales in comparison to them gaslighting us for months about “mostly peaceful protests” while city after city burned.
But what so many on the right seem to be forgetting is that that was bad. It was why I and so many others are not Democrats.
How many times did we laugh at Democrats crying over the election, enjoy some leftist tears, and condemn the Democrats for tolerating rioting? Indeed, we considered the Democrats’ actions so despicable and dangerous that they were, in and of themselves, a justification for voting for Trump. When many Evangelical conservatives were squeamish about voting for a man with so many moral failings, others simply pointed to what the alternative was.
There are many who want the GOP to take the path of vengeance. Whereas Christ said to turn the other cheek, they advocate responding to a slap on the cheek with a roundhouse kick. They have ignored the Apostle Paul’s command not to repay evil with evil and have instead begun down the path of Simeon and Levi.
It is crucial that the GOP turn away from this path. We must reject the idea of repaying evil with evil, and, instead, hold true to our principles no matter what. Oftentimes when I assert this with my friends, they will retort, “Do you think the Democrats would do the same?”
No, I don’t. That’s why I’m not a Democrat.
If we aren’t going to pursue the right thing as a party, then it’s no longer about good versus bad, it’s just us versus them. And if all that matters is if the person that sins does so atop an elephant or a donkey, then we’ve already lost.
One need only look at Prince Absalom to realize how quickly a nation that repays evil for evil can tear itself apart. If we are going to heal and unify as so many are talking about, if we are going to move America in the right direction, we must not be overcome by evil, but, rather, overcome evil with good as Paul wrote all those years ago.
The American people need the option of a party that doesn’t act like a bunch of vengeful children. Let’s give them one.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.