Ugh. Earlier this month I talked about the SJWs, and now I have to talk to liberals. At this point, I’m worried I’m starting to sound like Fox News, but nothing makes me want to try to enjoy NASCAR and fuck a relative more than a self righteous liberal hypocrite. I’ve already written about free speech. I don’t think I’ve written about Nazis, though. Mainly because it’s 20fucking17, and I thought we were done with this.
Here’s what happened. A person named Richard Spencer (pictured above, with about as much soul as you’d expect) was doing an interview. He was heckled a little bit, and claimed to not be a Nazi while bragging about his dumb green frog white supremacy meme pin, then someone from the crowd punched Mr. Spencer in the face and ran off.
This led to a debate about whether or not it’s acceptable to punch a Nazi in the face. I assume they really mean punching a Nazi anywhere, but in this case, they limited it to the face. Look, liberals, I’m one of you. I am for equal rights, and don’t like Nazis or the “alt-right” or white supremacists or whatever marketing term they’re using for themselves this week.
On one hand, I understand the visceral joy of seeing a villain get their comeuppance. We love watching movies where the bad guy loses. However, we run into a problem. If you actually support free speech, you have to support it for everyone. If you exclude people, not only is it not free, it’s also a special pleading logical fallacy. The rules apply to them, but not you. Or vice versa. You’re allowed free speech, but only if it’s things I like or with which I agree.
Free speech doesn’t come with an asterisk. You don’t get to pick and choose who gets a right. You know how you get disgusted when people say a gay person doesn’t have the right to get married because it offends them? Well, now the shoe is on the other foot.
Oh. Side Rant: Can we please get rid of this idea that supporting someone’s free speech somehow equates to agreeing with the content of the speech itself? I don’t know where this notion started, but it needs to stop. I’m saying they are allowed to say nonsense, not that I think they’re nonsense is correct. Why is this so difficult for people to comprehend?
If you value liberal ideas, you must actually value them. You demean our position when you act high and mighty, but don’t deserve it. I mock religion on an almost constant basis. This website is like 50% religious ridicule. However, if anyone said that being religious should be illegal, I’d speak out against it. It’s their right to believe whatever backwards, insane, idiotic bullshit then want. It’s a right. Just like it’s their right to SAY whatever backwards, insane, idiotic, bullshit they want.
That doesn’t mean you can’t speak out against it. That’s the morally correct thing to do. With words. Like a grownup. You fight words with words, ideas with ideas, and actions with actions. For years I’ve said that “people resort to violence when they can’t think their way through a situation”, and I still stand by this. Just because someone says something you don’t like, doesn’t mean you get to physically attack them.
My fellow liberals seem divided on this one. Many argue that punching a Nazi is not only acceptable, it’s a good thing. That we have to step up against oppression. We have to fight against injustice. We can’t allow ourselves to be passive in the face of fascism. If we stand idly by, they will continue to push the envelope. These are fair points.
Conversely, I’m of the opinion, that if we have the moral high ground, as I think we do, we don’t help our cause by lowering ourselves to their level. We are better than the “alt-right”. We are progressives. We are the ones who are inclusive. We are the ones who want justice and equality for all. We are the ones who love to tell others what good people we are for protesting those bad people, as we sip our organic free trade non fat soy lattes. We care about people. We are the idealistic elite they hate so much.
Yet it seems our inclusion only applies to people we deem worthy. Well isn’t that the same exact fucking thing they are doing? How is it any different to say “I don’t think women should be allowed to have abortions, because it offends me” than “I don’t think Nazis should be allowed to speak, because they offend me”? Oh YOU get to chose what is acceptable? How convenient.
Luckily, laws don’t work like that. Rights don’t work like that. You know why? Because one day, someone with whom you disagree might interpret the law against you. Here’s a quote from A Man For All Seasons, a movie from 1966 about Sir. Thomas More, who refused to support King Henry VIII’s remarriage.
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!
This must apply to freedom of speech. Not as just a first amendment right, but as a human right. If we set the precedent now, that free speech only applies if we agree with it, it could be used against us. Let’s say one day, Darth Trump and Emperor Palputin decide they want to arrest anyone who speaks out against their not at all creepy bromance. Will you be able to use “free speech” as a defense? They’ll just say that it only applies to people with whom they agree. And you know where they will have gotten that justification? You.