Challenge of the Week: What Was Kyle Thinking?

You've just been hired as PR agent for Kyle Rittenhouse.  Evil-minded reporters on Left and Right seem to be asking the same question:  Rittenhouse went to Kenosha with an AR15 to take a stand for law and order in a riot orchestrated in part by Black Lives Matter, whose leaders have been threatening mayors and police departments across the country.  As one BLM spokesman just declared, when asked about the killing of five people at a Waukesha Christmas Parade, "It sounds like the revolution has started."  How do you squareKyle's support for lawfulness with his support for an organization inciting and defending illegal violence?

One stipulation:  The young man has to be seen as a conservative hero.

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

16 Responses

  1. Michael Strenk says:

    “How do you squareKyle’s support for lawfulness with his support for an organization inciting and defending illegal violence?”

    I’m not sure that I am understanding this properly. Does the above question imply support, on the part of Rittenhouse, for BLM by his presence at the riot, the damage resulting from which he apparently had the intention of mitigating?

  2. Cody Nicholson says:

    If I were hired to be a PR agent for Rittenhouse my advice would be: Quit while you’re ahead and stop talking to anyone in the media.

  3. Brent says:

    Michael, Dr. Fleming’s question is based on Kyle Rittenhouse’s recent statement in a television interview . His exact words were “I support the BLM movement.”

  4. theAlabamian says:

    If I were hired as a PR agent for Kyle Rittenhouse, I would do these things:
    1. Have him renounce the BLM organization, and say he misspoke and shoudn’t have given the violent, white-hating organization any credit.
    2. Have him say he is happy that people supported him in that he was truly acting in self-defense, however, he wants to be an example to all on why you do not unnecessarily put yourself in a position of being in a role that is not your duty, and that ultimately does not help anyone’s cause.
    3. Have Rittenhouse stop public statements (as Cody mentioned above) after doing 1 and 2 so that so hopefully conservatives can rally around helping him in more legal issues as leftists never will, and he can be seen as not advocating copycats of his behavior while grateful for public support of his self-defense at the same time.

  5. Robert Reavis says:

    He said he supported black live matter but not the burning and looting. This is the same view of all major networks and both political parties. It’s what Pat Buchanan often referred to as two separate wings of the same bird of prey. And birds of prey must be constantly on the lockout for something to devour, like the roaring lion, first creating division and then isolating the young and old as easier targets.
    I agree with Cody Nicholson as to what the kid should do or be told to do. If he keeps yapping, the United States Department of Justice will send him to Federal prison which is better than Wisconsin prison, but still prison.

  6. Vince Cornell says:

    Maybe he should just lean into it and explain that the reason he shot those 3 white guys was because he assumed they were White Supremacists trying to disrupt the mostly peaceful BLM protest?


    If he wants to stay a “conservative” hero, as his PR consultant, I would just recommend he do what all the Republicans have been doing for decades. Just start talking about how “Pro-Life” he is and he wins everyone over, no matter what he may have said or done in the past. He could go with, “I believe Black Lives do Matter, Tucker, and the greatest travesty of all are the millions of Black children aborted by Planned Parenthood every year. I believe we have to do everything we can to recognize the sanctity of life.” Instant Conservative Hero for the Fox News crowd to champion. He can throw in a “and gun rights for all” bit as a chaser, just for insurance. And the good thing is he won’t actually have to DO anything ever again other than maybe show up to read a brief speech or give a brief interview every now and then or do photo ops with Republican “Pro Life” politicians.

  7. Dot says:

    Rittenhouse lived in another town 20 miles away. He was only 17 at the time. At 17 he probably had a license to drive, but the rifle is problematic. He probably knew he was headed into mayhem in Kenosha. Was he going to do what police are trained to do? He should have stayed at home and minded his own business.

  8. Michael Strenk says:

    Thank you Brent. It seems that I am well out of the loop on the aftermath of the trial. This being true I would say that he is either equivocating to possibly save his life or he saw his role in the riots as being that of an angel above the fray dispensing help and hell-fire where he deemed it justified, a guiding or helping hand to all those present. This is exactly the sort of sappy, morally obtuse soft-headedness that infests a great many do-gooders and their organizations, but in the end it is usually just a ruse to protect them from possible consequences stemming from courageously adhering to a set of defined convictions (assuming that they have any). Doctors Without Borders is just one such organization that claims not to take sides, but clearly did take sides in the Balkan Wars of the 90’s and does in general.

    Mr. Rittenhouse could not possibly improve on Mr. Nicholson’s advice. A bag of Cheetos and the boob tube call. Unfortunately I think that we will be condemned to the spectacle of an endless series of guest appearances ultimately ending in Rittenhouse for office.

  9. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Kudos to Cody Nicholson. We’ve heard from two “North Texans,” now if only we could have a word from KR’s staunchest supporter in Tulsa. Friend Kellen, please help us out.

  10. Harry Colin says:

    I would add to Mr. Nicholson’s wise advice that Mr. Rittenhouse should embark on a spiritual retreat, spending more time with the scriptures, Church Fathers and spiritual writers and zero time watching or communicating with either his media cheerleaders or his media antagonists.

  11. Dot says:

    In other words, mind his own business.

  12. Eric Peterson says:

    1. Retain a trial lawyer
    2. Show the proof that he supported BLM, such as a required social studies essay from a year or two ago
    3. Sue all the news organizations that declared him a white supremacist and/or racially-motivated murderer
    4. Use the proceeds to start the Rittenhouse Foundation for the defense of the Second Amendment

  13. Dot says:

    Even though Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges, he will have on his soul that he killed two men and if he had stayed home, they would be alive today.

  14. Kellen Buckles says:

    From KR’s CRITIC in Tulsa whose first words to anyone last year were “a pudgy kid with a gun is not going to be taken seriously by anyone; he should never have gone to Kenosha.” That said, I’m glad he was not convicted. And of course he is still a foolish kid without the sense to shut up and fade away, PLEASE!

  15. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Good discussion but would anyone like to take a stab at answering the question? Vince C has made a good start. As a good conservative, perhaps KR has no problem maintaining a contradictory set of opinions.

    For next week, we can switch topics to something more congenial, such as, What would a real American do to meet the alleged challenge of a new variant coming from Africa? No, that’s too easy, and we should stay away from the realm of pure fantasy.

  16. Dot says:

    Are we playing a game of charades?