On Punching Nazis

I've been thinking and reading about this all weekend. Here's what I've got.

I don't think even the "g'head and punch nazis" crowd actually WANT to be in a scenario where the highlight of their day is seeing some guy getting punched. Maybe some do, sure, but the vast majority do not.

I do not.

But after a lot of thinking about this, I find myself in the "I am okay with punching nazis" crowd. I am even - with a heavy heart at the state of our world - in the "Punching nazis is the correct response" crowd.

I don’t, personally, want to punch nazis; I don't want to punch anyone. I want nazis to stop being nazis. Ideally, I could walk up to a nazi and say "people who aren't like you are still people" and he would slap his forehead in astonishment and stop being a nazi and we’d sit down and have a coffee.

But real nazis have this habit of continuing to be nazis.

When you hit them with intellectual debate, or reason, or tolerance, or "just give them a chance," or especially compromise, they continue to be nazis, which means they still want to kill my family, and many other swathes of humanity as well.

And that whole "wanting to kill my family" is well-documented. The guy who got punched advocates for "peaceful ethnic cleansing" and the utter eradication of both Jews and blacks. It's kind of what he's known for.

So... I want them to stop being nazis, but they want my family to die.

There is no common ground for discourse there. Just speaking historically, when you adhere to an ideology that advocates mass murder/genocide past the point of any nonviolent resistance, you have forfeited your right to a fair debate. You have, in fact, forcibly removed any viable response EXCEPT self-defense equivalent to whatever your attack makes necessary, and their default attack is "we want everyone who is not us, dead."

When we frame nazis as just people with different political views who deserve a seat at the table, we legitimize genocide as a political position.

I am a talker of the first water, but talking isn't an option in this case, in my opinion. Mass murder is not a talking point.

So... okay. That's me. If we don't agree on this, that's fine - I understand your principled position, and I can have a verbal disagreement with you and literally billions of people who don't agree with everything/anything I say, provided they don't want to put a bullet in the back of my nieces' heads.

So you and me? We're good, I hope.
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