Last night, Greg Gianforte was elected to Congress from Montana’s At-Large Congressional District. In his victory speech, Gianforte apologized to Ben Jacobs, the reporter he assaulted the previous night. I am deeply disappointed in the reaction from many Republicans and conservatives about Gianforte’s actions. Certainly, everyone should be appalled that Gianforte assaulted a reporter, but Republicans and Conservatives should be most of all.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Conservatives were silent. While some rightly condemned his actions, too many said that the reporter had it coming, that he was a liberal hack, that he was rude. This may stun you, but there is actually no proper excuses for assaulting anyone.
Would you have defended Bill Clinton when the Lewinsky scandal broke? Every conservative will say “Of course not.” Defending or dismissing Gianforte’s assault is exactly the same behavior Democrats engaged in with Bill Clinton when the Monica Lewinsky scandal happened. Democrats defended Clinton’s behavior in a similar manner, blaming Lewinsky.
I know many Conservatives often believe that we hold the moral high ground compared to Liberals and the Democrat Party. I can’t say for sure if that is true. If we continue to engage in the behavior many displayed in response to reports of Gianforte’s assault, we most certainly do not hold any version of moral high ground.
Reagan Knopp is the Editor-in-Chief of Oregon Catalyst.