Monday, August 6, 2018

Punching Nazis

I understand the desire to punch a nazi. These people call for violence against others. They have a historical precedent for fascism that resulted in the death of millions of innocents. Seeing them come out of the woodwork like cockroaches engenders a response. We naturally want to crush them, and like the fascination with zombies, many see them as less than human, an excuse to bring violence to bear. Captain America punched Hitler, right?

We are told a third of the German population was responsible for nazi atrocities, while a third were indifferent, and another third opposed the nazis but were unable to do anything by the time they gained power. It sounds a lot like our current political break down. The parallels are weak but they're easy to manipulate to prove a point or create a meme. Nobody wants to be powerless or indifferent in the face of such horror. We have movies about going back in time and killing Hitler. We are so obsessed with this historical mistake, it's its own fantasy genre. Now seems to be time to act in the very real threat of the rise of fascism and American nazis.

However, this is not Nazi Germany. We have a sickening administration in power, but it's not an administration that has turned its back (entirely) on the rule of law. We still live in a country where we can vote politicians out of office. Although our government treats immigrant children with disdain, ripping them from their parents, drugging and imprisoning them, we still don't have cattle cars full of the political opposition. They are cruel, but they aren't at the level of Nazi Germany cruel.

The Trump administration is vile, but there's a political remedy to stopping their agenda in just a few months. If you turn your back on the rule of law by resorting to violence, you turn your back entirely on the political system, and admit civil war is the solution to this countries problems. Civil war is what this countries enemies would like most, resulting in the death of millions. I think it says how bought, corrupt and ineffective the federal government has become that we feel the need to solve national problems through physical violence. I have to ask everyone to just have a little more faith in what's left. I spent the last couple months traveling through Mexico and Central America saying, "I could live here." I understand the loss of faith in the American system.

Beating children does not make them better adults, only more violent ones. Smacking your spouse is not an effective method for marital bliss. Punching a nazi won't make them less of an asshole. In all these cases we perpetuate violence. We make the world a more violent place when what we really want is harmony. Worst of all, you plant these seeds of hate and violence in your mind, damaging your own psyche on this quest to murder the future Hitler before millions are killed. This makes you a more violent person, a less rational individual. Don't be helpless. Don't be indifferent. Find a way to stop fascism through the least violent means. Right now those means are at the ballot box. Fuck nazis, do it for your own mental health.

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