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Kyle Rittenhouse Is a Brave Survivor, Not a Superhero

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Kyle Rittenhouse has been saddled with night terrors and PTSD since the Aug. 25, 2020, Kenosha riot in which he shot three people who attacked him. Two of them died and the other was grievously wounded. The 18-year-old thinks about this horror every day and night and probably will for the rest of his life.

Rittenhouse withstood a hellacious year of worrying about his personal safety from crazed Leftists, Antifa, and BLM hitmen, fearing they would attempt to finish the job they started on Aug. 25 and fending off the political machine at the district attorney’s office.

He stood up for himself that night and then stood up to the Left-wing political system that sought to crush him to dust.

Rittenhouse is a brave survivor, not a superhero.

We should show the kid some compassion, not saddle him with our unrealistic expectations, assigning him a persona that fits our own fantastical and fabulist notions.

As my PJ Media colleague Chris Queen pointed out after Rittenhouse was rightly acquitted of the politically driven charges against him, “He’s just a kid. … [Now] let’s let Kyle go back to being Kyle.”

Agreed. Let’s have some compassion for the kid instead of holding him out as some sort of gun-wielding rock star.

Such was the case recently at the Turning Point USA “AmericaFest” in Arizona, when Rittenhouse was introduced before the screaming young audience, accompanied by a hip hop beat and an MC rapping his name. It was heady stuff.

Related: Why Is the Right Making Kyle Rittenhouse a Celebrity?

I understand why the audience of conservative warriors cheered for a teen who not only successfully fought for his own life but did it in the courtroom as well.

We know the Left was gunning for him and wanted him locked away. They were willing to lie, cheat, and conduct prosecutorial misconduct to do it.

It seems to me, however, that the right should be more attuned to the optics of making Rittenhouse into the right’s version of that insufferably conceited king of self-regard, David Hogg.

Rittenhouse did the right thing at the riot, but I can assure you, he’s not the least bit “happy” about shooting three people. Ask any cop or soldier who’s been forced to do the same. Kyle has done the deadly math and knows that if he hadn’t fought off those ghouls — child rapist Joseph Rosenbaum, violent skateboard-wielding felon Anthony Huber, and armed Antifa revolutionary Gaige Grosskreutz — he probably would have ended up dead that night. The jury saw it that way too.

While Lefties denounce Rittenhouse as a “symptom of gun culture,” “teenage murderer,” “sociopath,” and other invective, people who know the facts of the case know he’s a smart survivor who somehow made all the right moves to defend himself that night.

Conservatives should have a healthy respect for what Rittenhouse did to save himself and the subsequent intestinal fortitude to withstand the Leftist media, legal, and cultural whirlwind, but let’s remember that he’s no superhero. He’s a survivor and a victim.

Thank God.