I think it’s fair to say we all hate Illinois Nazis.
Indeed, we may find ourselves cheering Jake and Elwood as they drive the Nazis into the drink. But when we’re not watching a fantasy, even the Illinois Nazis have a certain value — specifically, that of the canary in the coal mine (he said, setting his Metaphor Mixer to “Puree.”) When the Illinois Nazis don’t get to do their thing, and particularly when they’re physically silenced, we can’t excuse that. Period. Full stop.
It doesn’t matter that they’re Illinois Nazis. It doesn’t matter that they’re NAMBLA. It doesn’t matter that they’re people who want to tear down the puppy orphanage and replace it with a baby-punching factory. If all they’re doing is expressing a viewpoint, there is no justification for stopping them that couldn’t eventually be used against anyone.
That’s why I find the arguments I’ve seen recently regarding Charlie Hebdo and the Garland, TX shooting utterly repulsive. Claims that the targeted victims (successfully targeted in France, less so in Texas) were essentially “asking for it” by being deliberately provocative are not acceptable, because one day, someone may decide that what you’re saying is provocative.
“But they were punching d–”
“But Pamela Geller is a horr–”
“But this isn’t the gov–”
“But people abuse the right to–”
Doesn’t matter, and that one is particularly insignificant, as it’s damn near petitio principii.
“But what if someone slandered what you hol–”
Doesn’t matter. And that brings us to the QotD, from attorney Marc J. Randazza in an opinion piece at CNN:
[T]he day that we say that there is one idea that we cannot mock, that is the day that we lose much more than a life, and much more than a debate.
That is when we lose freedom itself.
So draw. Mock. Point and laugh. If you do it to me, I will not draw a gun. Because my beliefs are strong enough that they can withstand the power of a cartoon. Are yours?
If you try to silence someone, then you’re admitting that you can’t withstand the mouth noises (or drawings, or songs, or whatever) that someone else is making.
And really, who wants to admit that they’ve been shown up by Illinois Nazis?