There's a debate raging among liberals. All sides of this argument are generally well-meaning; after all, this current political climate is being framed as a righteous holy war by BOTH SIDES. When you're righteous, how could you be wrong? Punching a Nazi seems so right.
I hate to say it, but it just ain't. First, let's just get into the stupid game of semantics. Nazi has a definition. Who gets to decide that definition and does the definition expand based on who the puncher feels morally outraged at?
Let's separate that cretin Spencer from the question. What if it was just some guy who said something off color? Is he a Nazi? Does he get a punch in the face? Does a racist comment put you in league with Nazis, who were a historical political party that advocated for racial extermination? I hate Nazis. I hate racists. But the idea that people can be lumped in with one of the most evil historical organizations is ludicrous.
That guy Spencer is a Neo-Nazi by any observer with a brain. He's a white supremacist that believes in "peaceful genocide" which is absolutely stupid because forcible removal from territory based on race is one of the definitions of genocide. There is no peaceful genocide. It's just genocide. In my heart, I would get immense satisfaction from punching that Neo-Nazi in the face. But let's get down to the heart of the matter.
I am a white male who bears little to no consequence for punching him the face and running away. Who gets the blame for this violence? The people Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and fascists hate. They get blamed for the violence. Violence affirms their irrational fear. All they need is one good lie. For the actual Nazis, it was the Reichstag fire. For the Nazis emboldened by our Idiot President, it could be a well-placed punch. It could be a death at a rally. It could be another burning building. It won't even matter who did it. If liberals cede the moral high ground and start saying violence is okay when fighting hateful rhetoric, they win. They can manipulate any act of violence at one of their gatherings and make minorities pay tenfold.
But, you say, we defeated Nazis in World War II with violence. War is war, y'all. People get killed. I'm no pacifist. I believe wars can be necessary even if the moral justification isn't the real justification for war. World War II was necessary. Stopping genocide, though, was not why FDR went in. We knew a genocide was going on and we waited to get bombed by Japan. Genocide was far from the top justification for war. It was one of the justifications but it was not the top.
But, you say, Captain America is always punching Nazis. Yes, that's true. Captain America is fiction and I love watching his knuckles break jaws. But because he is fiction, things usually go Captain America's way. Captain America can punch a Nazi and the enemy is vanquished. Unfortunately, it is my belief that when one Nazi is punched, you've created two more. That imbecile Spencer uses getting punched as propaganda. All he needs to do is say, "See! Look, they are uncivilized! They are to be feared!" and all of the sudden you get your regular run-of-the-mill racist idiot lacing up his combat boots.
There's a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on. Many people are saying Bernie would have won. That may be true and, as a Clinton supporter, I tend to agree that Bernie may have had a better chance of making inroads with the working class in the Rust Belt. But liberals are also saying that everyone who voted for Trump is a white supremacist, racist, fascist, Nazi sympathizing idiot. If that were true, a Jewish Democratic Socialist would have fared no better against a resurgent white supremacist movement. I do not believe everyone who voted for Trump is a racist. They cast their vote for the wrong person, yes. But to lump them all into the racist category means there are a whole lot of faces to be punched and I don't see any of my white male friends who are buying t-shirts and pins and posting memes about punching faces doing that.
I believe in freedom of speech. I am an ACLU supporter. I hate racism and I deplore Nazis, Neo-Nazis, Fascists, etc. But as an ACLU supporter I have to stomach some shit.
I also believe in the paradox of free speech. A moron speaking will betray his own intellect. Loons talking crazy will be ignored. If we didn't spend so much time labeling Milo as the most dangerous writer, he wouldn't be perceived as the most dangerous writer and therefore forbidden and desired. He's at the top of the charts. His base of followers is minuscule compared the mainstream but the mainstream gets lapped up in righteous fury bring attention him. That's what he wants. That's his whole brand. He annoys liberals. We can't waste any time playing into these profiteers' machinations anymore.
We are in troubling times. Liberals have a tendency to eat each alive. I am not writing this to cast any judgement on any of my friends who believe that these times call for violence. I just ask that we separate our moral outrage from our action. Don't give any ammunition to the other side to create their own Reichstag fire. Their worldview requires your violence. And think about what your violence and your advocacy of violence means for people who aren't white.
If you don't agree with me, that's fine. Let's talk. I promise I won't punch you in the face.