Why Punching "Nazis" Is a Bad Thing
No, It's not okay to punch people
Judging by the title you may think that I voted for Donald Trump or that I frequent neonazi punk rock shows. No, I didn't vote for the Don. The closest I've ever been to a neonazi punk rock show was watching the movie Green Room. I don't have a soft spot in my heart for white supremacists, racists, or neonazis. No, as a matter of fact I despise them to my very core. I deplore what they stand for and quite frankly I just like many of you would like to punch them. So, why would I write a post about it not being okay to punch a Nazi? Simple, I advocate free speech and the free flowing of ideas no matter how horrible they may be.
I don't advocate punching Nazis because I don't advocate punching anyone for their political beliefs. Once we start saying who it is okay and not okay to punch based on politics we devolve into chaos. What if hardcore right winged protesters start to say it's okay to punch "commies" and then claim anyone that doesn't agree with them is a "commie". They could even justify it by saying Mao and Stalin both hardcore communists killed way more people than Hitler. Therefore communists are more dangerous than Nazis so instead of punching "commies" it's okay to kill them. Violence has a dung beetle in shit quality to it, it just gets bigger and smellier. When thinking something is okay for you to do to someone else stop and think about how dangerous the blow back can be on you. There's memes going around today about punching Nazis and memes about throwing "commies" from helicopters. While some of them are funny and just jokes know that someone out there is taking it all very seriously. We don't want full scale rioting in the streets but the more you advocate violence against an ideology the more rioting you'll see.
Mob mentality mixed with painting a group of people with a broad brush will only lead to bad things. The irony of physically attacking someone to silence their beliefs while coming them the fascist shouldn't be lost on you. Trump isn't the next Hitler. Your uncle that voted for him is probably not a white supremacist. Advocating violence against either is only going to hurt you and your cause in the long run. Do you think burning the flag, pepper spraying a woman wearing a Trump hat, and breaking things is going to win anyone over? By advocating violence like punching you're only giving them more power and platform.
Milo Yiannopoulos' book went from modest presales to being the number one book on Amazon before it's even out thanks to those riots. Milo get's to go on cable news now and act like a good guy. He goes on Tucker Carlson and plays the victim and looks sane doing so. People see this and think, "He's a reasonable guy who on Earth would protest him?". I know why you want to protest him and I get it. He says inflammatory things that many disagree with. He says them in such a way as to get everyone's attention. He uses both sides to gain fame, notoriety. influence, and money. The more you protest and riot the bigger his platform gets. You're his mark and you're giving him everything he wants. He understands the old adage, "Even bad publicity is good publicity.". By punching people who go to his speeches you're emboldening him, his ideas, and his followers. Meanwhile you are hurting your cause because now you look like the violent oppressor you claim him to be.
I have no dog in this fight because I fancy myself as a libertarian. I advocate for everyone to have a platform from which to speak out about anything. Whether you're a hardcore progressive feminist or a right wing Milo disciple. We all have a right to our opinion and we have a right to freely express them without fear of being attacked. "Punch a Nazi" is a fun slogan to rally behind. Just stop and think a moment though because if you make it okay to punch them today they can use that to justify stabbing you tomorrow. Words and actions have consequences folks. Don't give in to your base instincts of wanting to punch those you disagree with. Instead find out who they are, why they think the way they do, and try to change their minds. Almost everyone can be reasoned with and you can find common ground with nearly everyone. I've read countless stories of reformed white supremacists that now realize how backwards their thinking was. A punch in the face didn't do that. A punch in the face will only iron someone's resolve and entrench them further into their ideology. Having a conversation with someone and having facts with you will help. I promise you that coming at them with compassion, facts, and an open mind will convert far more people than punching them.