The Immensely Slippery Slope of “Punching Nazis”

With the election of Donald Trump, the political Left in this nation has suddenly rediscovered a concern for civil rights and the Constitution. People who became accustomed to winning elections and shoving down our throats their abrogations of our rights — from gun bans to socialized medicine, from restrictions on soda size to mandated preferred pronouns — have had a collective temper tantrum that they lost the presidency in 2016 in an electoral landslide. Furious that their “rights” to other people’s labor and to murder their children in the womb might be threatened, they have called on their fellow travelers to “resist” the Trump presidency… as if a democratically elected president is somehow occupying the land and that a new partisan revolution is required to overthrow his nefarious schemes.

The problem with all this is that it has created a self-defense issue for the average citizen.

This directly affects YOU. Allow me to explain.

In the elaborate grand mal freak-out the Left has been conducting since November of 2016 — in which the very people who demanded Trump “accept the results of the election” refuse now to do that — everyone and everything progressives don’t like is a “Nazi.” The term “alt-right” is now being applied to anyone to the right of Karl Marx (despite the fact that nobody really knows for sure what “alt-right” means). To the Left, Donald Trump, every single person who voted for him, anyone who opposes any component or increment of left-wing politics, and anyone who disagrees with a liberal on social media is an alt-right bigoted homophobic transphobic Nazi racist KKK member. They have absolutely no problem with engaging in screeching, frothing, and even violent histrionics to underscore this assertion.

And this is a problem.

You may remember a creepy video in which a Nazi-looking dude named Richard Spencer stared goggle-eyed from a podium and proclaimed “Hail Trump!”while throwing the “Roman” salute the Nazis (the real Nazis) were known for using. Spencer is, insofar as anybody can be, a member of the alt-right. He’s a political activist probably best described as a “white nationalist.” In other words, he’s that rare breed in American politics — an actual racist who holds other races in sneering contempt. Recently, while giving an interview on the street, Spencer was talking about the “Pepe” meme when some black dude ran up and punched him full in the side of the head.

“It wasn’t a punch,” asserted one clever pundit. “It was an ‘alt-high-five.'”

Now, Richard Spencer’s haircut alone is probably enough to provoke some people to violence. In the aftermath of his punching, however, a lot of left-wingers seemed eager to excuse punching him because, after all, he’s a Nazi. We know this because lots of people say it over and over again, right? And Nazis are bad because they want to commit genocide, right? So obviously, if you think it’s wrong to punch Richard Spencer, you support genocide. And if you are against genocide then it’s totally okay to punch Nazis like Richard Spencer… and anyone else you think is a Nazi… because they have wrong ideas and therefore they should be afraid.

Politically, this presents a problem. Our society — our ostensibly free society — is based on the concept that individuals relinquish the right to initiate force. That means that you can’t physically attack someone; you can only use force in self-defense. The exception is preemptive force used in self-defense. The lefties arguing for Nazi-punching are saying that because the wrongthink of which Nazis are guilty represents an eventual, theorized physical threat, it is preemptive self-defense to assault Nazis and make them afraid to express their beliefs. The same people who are quick to point out that the “slippery slope” is a logical fallacy believe expressing any racist thought is a slippery slope to genocide (which, to be fair, it could be).

Morally and politically, however, white nationalists of today aren’t advocating violence. They’re advocating racial separatism. This is still a repugnant idea, but it’s not a call to violence. In the absence of an actual call to violence, it’s simply wrong politics. If it’s okay to punch Richard Spencer and his ilk for thinking wrong, then it’s okay to punch socialists and communists (of whom there are many among the left) because they’re own terrible ideas led to things like Stalin and Mao (and the many deaths collectivist politics have caused through the years).

Unless and until Spencer starts calling for violence and murder himself, assaulting him isn’t protecting yourself or anyone else. It is simply engaging in battery because you don’t like what someone else is saying. This was the hallmark of the recent anti-Trump protests on inauguration day. The protesters don’t like having lost, so they’ll throw bricks, break windows, burn cop cars, and brutalize anyone they think is part of the “problem” of disagreeing with their views.

We’re seeing a rise in this thug mentality among leftists, notably among the “antifa” movement. “Antifa” means “anti-fascist.” The problem, though, is as with the Nazi label, the antifas consider “fascist” any person who is farther to the right than they are. They are far-leftists, so that makes anyone who disagrees with them a “fascist.” They’ve created a scenario in which it’s okay to assault anyone they disagree with because, hey, all of those people want Very Bad Things… eventually, probably. This makes everyone who disagrees with the Left and the antifas an Alt-Right Nazi Fascist Genocidist by default and declares them guilty until proven innocent. The result is a climate of violence in which seemingly all progressives believe it’s okay to assault seemingly all non-progressives.

This brings us to the reason this whole argument is relevant to The Martialist. Clearly, this debate creates a very specific self-defense problem. It creates a climate in which you may be assaulted at any time by a leftist who believes, fervently and genuinely, that you are a Nazi. All that is required to make you a Nazi in his mind is that you disagree, or that you support any cause he considers “alt-right” or “fascist.”

No matter how deeply you believe you are not a Nazi, this does not matter to an antifa thug, an anarcho-communist, or a liberal political activist. He or she believes you are a Nazi, that you are “alt-right,” that your disagreement makes you a racist. In his or her mind, you have already been dehumanized, and thus you have no rights. Marginalizing conservatives and conservative political positions as wrongthink has long been a tool of the Left… but now it carries with it potential physical attack.

The real irony here is that people who believe it is okay to punch “Nazis” and “KKK members” don’t understand actual racists. Such ardent hatemongers in the United States are incredibly rare, but the few that do exist are “violence geeks” obsessed with the notion of race war. A group of Black Lives Matter thugs found this out when they attacked a Klan rally in Anaheim last year. The Klan members knifed the “counter-protesters” and were then released for acting in self-defense. The lesson should have been clear: Using violence to silence people whose opinions you don’t like, even if those opinions are vile, is a good way to get stabbed, especially if those people are hatemongers obsessed with using force.

You, as a self-defense-minded citizen, must bear this political climate in mind when you are out and about… and even on social media. Your opinions may make you a target for unprovoked violence. If you engage in political activism of any kind, if you so much as express support for a political candidate who is not a Democrat, if you speak these words in “meatspace” or on the Internet, you may be assaulted. The justifications and rationalizations for your assault do not matter. It can happen, it does happen, and it has happened. This is a significant problem, and it is one entirely manufactured by “progressive” activists who are entirely too comfortable with assault.

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