A gulf between reality and entertainment

  • Columnist Cameron Smith is a Memphis-born, Brentwood-raised recovering political attorney raising three boys in Nolensville, Tennessee.

As our nation watched two high profile trials reach verdicts leading up to Thanksgiving, our American sense of justice was on trial.

One jury freed Kyle Rittenhouse while the other condemned Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers.

Despite the constant distractions from our political theater of the absurd, the trials demonstrate that we have the capacity for reasoned judgment as well.

When the judge announced the Rittenhouse verdict, the sense of disappointment from the Democratic side of the political spectrum was palpable.

President Biden claimed he was “angry and concerned” while acknowledging that the “jury has spoken.”

Vice President Kamala Harris suggested that the Rittenhouse verdict was evidence that America has “a lot more work to do to make the criminal justice system more equitable.”

Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty of all counts of homicide, reckless endangerment

Conservative types celebrated. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga) introduced a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the teenager who killed two men in self-defense. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, tweeted, “I will arm wrestle [Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fl)] to get dibs for Kyle as an intern.”

Seemingly overnight, a teen who tragically killed two men in self-defense became a quasi-celebrity.

Hear more Tennessee Voices:Get the weekly opinion newsletter for insightful and thought provoking columns.