The Nazi Mass Hysteria of 2017
This week, over 5,000 Leftists, liberal writers and other verified accounts, and apparently Chelsea Clinton, became absolutely convinced that I, a gay Jew, am a Nazi.
It all began with CUNY professor Angus Johnston going on a rant about why it is not only ok, but morally just, to physically assault various groups of people engaging in what he considers ‘hate.’ Start here and scroll down. His argument is that if someone wears a swastika in public they are essentially engaging in street harassment or violence and it is morally justified to physically assault them. Naturally, as a Constitutional conservative, I disagreed.
I objected to the notion that being a minority made me helpless and weak in his eyes to the point that others would need to rescue me from bigoted people saying mean things through physical force. I also highly objected to the notion that assault is considered a solution to speech you do not like.
On my own timeline I stated shortly after:
Writer and teacher, Clint Smith saw this tweet and commented below:
To which Chelsea Clinton retweeted. Thanks Chelsea.
In a few hours my twitter was inundated with extremely outraged liberals declaring me a Nazi, a Nazi sympathizer and spewing their general incomprehensibly vile hatred at me, including several hundred verified accounts. Twitchy’s Sam J. summarized the event beautifully in The TRIGGERING! Horde of frothy-mouthed SJWs attack gay Conservative over free speech tweet.
“Allow us to explain what Chad was saying — he wants to live in a world where people who may absolutely despise one another can live together without having to silence or harm one another.
He didn’t advocate for Nazis, or shill for Swastikas … or compare minorities or LGBTQ to anything.”
But a fascinating phenomena happened. The hysteria around Nazis in America, Trump and Charlottesville surrounded my twitter like a hurricane, and just as Nancy Pelosi discovered when she was shouted down by the very people she believed she was championing for, I realized the mob cannot be reasoned with.
Generally, whenever liberals encounter one of my tweets they don’t like and announce in my mentions that I am just another ignorant/privileged white man, I respond by informing them I am actually Jewish. A concept I discussed in depth in My Race, Ethnicity and Culture. More than ‘White.’ The assumption being that my skin color determines my value and opinion in their eyes and they are free to dismiss me without countering my argument.
Usually this either shuts them down completely or they launch into some ‘self-loathing’ nonsense to validate their original prejudice. But in this case no one even batted an eye. The assumption was that I was a white Trump supporter either comparing gays and black people to Nazis or I was arguing I wanted to live in a world with swastikas. Naturally, it would seem, this second notion should have been easily dismissed upon learning that I am Jewish, making such a statement irrational.
Instead, the Left, abandoning its traditional view that minorities are immune from criticism in all cases, collectively shrugged and said ‘You’re still a Nazi!’
The criticism also came from the ‘rainbow’ part of my tweet in which people decided I must also hate gay people or wish them harm. Confirming that I am gay resulted in the same response. People have accused me of being racist before because I am a conservative, despite my ethnicity and sexuality (and complete lack of racism), but I am generally not accused of being or supporting Nazis. In truth, accusing a Jewish person of such a thing would normally be considered hate speech by the Left.
And yet, liberal after liberal crashed into my timeline spewing remarkably hostile and violent (to the point of requiring twitter to intervene) rhetoric, antisemitic and homophobic stereotypes and slander and declarations of my new status as the worst human being on the planet.
The more reasonable ones, who did more than simply shout profanities at me, repeated Mr. Smith’s assertion that I was indeed, if not openly celebrating Nazism, at least compared gays and black people to Nazis. I originally responded by saying ‘No, I simply argued for freedom of expression without violence.’ but after the 100th or so time of repeating that same sentence and seeing absolutely no impact on perception I realized reason was impossible.
Scott Adams describes this experience perfectly in his brilliant article titled, How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble.
“If you’re in the mass hysteria, recognizing you have all the symptoms of hysteria won’t help you be aware you are in it. That’s not how hallucinations work. Instead, your hallucination will automatically rewrite itself to expel any new data that conflicts with its illusions.”
“2. The Ridiculousness of it
One sign of a good mass hysteria is that it sounds bonkers to anyone who is not experiencing it. Imagine your neighbor telling you he thinks the other neighbor is a witch. Or imagine someone saying the local daycare provider is a satanic temple in disguise. Or imagine someone telling you tulip bulbs are more valuable than gold. Crazy stuff.”
“5. The Insult without supporting argument
When people have actual reasons for disagreeing with you, they offer those reasons without hesitation. Strangers on social media will cheerfully check your facts, your logic, and your assumptions. But when you start seeing ad hominem attacks that offer no reasons at all, that might be a sign that people in the mass hysteria bubble don’t understand what is wrong with your point of view except that it sounds more sensible than their own.
For the past two days I have been disavowing Nazis on Twitter. The most common response from the people who agree with me is that my comic strip sucks and I am ugly.”
Since Trump announced, the Left has become increasingly preoccupied with white supremacy and now, Nazism. For several months absolutely everyone the President considered a close confidant or put into a position of power in the administration was a white supremacist. His Attorney General, a highly celebrated Civil Rights hero, was labeled a white supremacist. His supporters were labeled white supremacists.
The confirmation bias that fueled this belief came from actual white supremacists who praised or supported Trump. Sometimes absurdly declaring all of their ambitions would be fulfilled by him (mostly talking about the wall.) The Left frantically tweeted out these confessions as proof Trump himself was a white supremacist.
Just as many on the Right became fixated on Islam and a Muslim take-over of America after 9/11 and the election of Barack Obama, those on the Left have become absolutely convinced Nazis are literally in control of the White House.
After Charlottesville, the language shifted from ‘white supremacist’ to ‘Nazi.’ Leftist activists began celebrating ‘punch a Nazi’ as an act of ‘resistance.’ And before we knew it, anyone supporting the 2nd Amendment, national security, building a wall, deporting illegal immigrants or immigration reform was declared a Nazi — implying physical violence against them would be justified. This quickly evolved into Republicans and conservatives being slapped with the same damning title.
The sheer force of hysteria increased exponentially after liberals saw the now iconic picture of a group of angry, shouting, white supremacists in polo shirts carrying tiki torches. The imagery invoked all of the fears liberals have been chanting since president Bush and validated their sense of urgency and warning.
So when liberals saw a post by what they assumed was a white male Trump supporter advocating for open display of swastikas, they were instantly triggered into what they believed to be self-defense. By the time they got to my timeline they had already lost all ability to reason and absolutely believed they were confronting an actual Nazi, just like in the picture.
As Adam’s post describes, since I am not part of the hysteria, it never occurred to me that support for Nazis was even a viable option for anyone. I have a dry sense of humor and in the moment I tweeted that I was picturing a cartoon version of a Nazi, a Black Lives Matter protester and a nonbinary LGBTer all shopping at Wal-Mart, whistling away without a hint of violent intention.
I was not implying Black Lives Matter supporters hate gay people or visa versa, I grabbed three distinct movements which invoked a sense of absurdity and demonstrated the diversity of strong and vocal opinions. I was commenting on the new push to challenge controversial speech with violence.
This is real life, by the way. Most people coexist without violence. There are about 4 Nazis in my area with various Nazi tattoos and I have run into them once or twice at Wal-Mart. On one occasion I was going into the store alongside a Muslim woman and her child wearing a hijab, me in my yarmulke and two Swastika-covered people walked right past us. We all looked at each other and continued on our way. It did not occur to me at the time to punch them. It didn’t even occur to me to feel threatened. The Muslim woman barely skipped a beat on her way to the shopping carts.
As Twitchy pointed out, I wasn’t comparing the three groups. I was demonstrating what liberals have always argued is tolerance. The primary feature of my argument was that everyone is required to be non-violent. Otherwise it truly does not matter what you believe, think or how you express yourself. We certainly would not permit an extremely devout Christian to physically assault a goth kid they believe to be a Satan worshiper. We expect everyone to mind their own business.
But the emotion behind the outrage was that I accepted Nazis should exist in the first place. Several people, including one of my favorite actors (Pam on True Blood), fervently declared their wish for a Nazi and/or swastika-free world. Naturally we all agree with them. I find racial identity-obsessed movements to be unimaginably destructive to society and to the individuals involved in them. Nothing good comes from them.
But the question was not one of morality or social justice, but one of rights. Like it or not, Nazis have just as much right to freedom of speech, expression, religion and assembly as the rest of us do. The only condition is they must be peaceful.
The second layer of cognitive dissonance is the absolute and omnipresent terror liberals experience at the very thought of a Nazi. I found, surprisingly, that not a single liberal responding to me could tell the difference between Nazi Germany and Neo-Nazis in America. Early on in the battle I argued what I typically argue in discussions of the Nazi threat which is that there just isn’t one. Although the Left has now condensed all white racial movements into the term ‘Nazi’, they are tiny in number.
The Daily Beast, a liberal website, even minimized their overall impact stating:
“Only hundreds showed up to the biggest “alt-right” meeting in the country. A single New York City subway car can hold around 200 people
… they estimate that the KKK counts between 5,000 and 8,000 members nationwide.
… That would make them less than 0.003 percent of the population, even on the higher end of the SPLC’s estimate. “It’s a small group of real bad people,”
Nazis have no influence, everyone hates them, they are disjointed and scattered across the country, meet twice a year at most and imagine they are making social progress by sharing a cartoon frog online in a continuous loop between themselves. White supremacist marches or rallies tend to be fairly uneventful as well. They do not riot, break windows, burn cars or go shooting up places as a group. They wear their silly costumes, march down the street to a rally point and chant nonsense for a few hours and then go home.
If it weren’t for the intense media coverage and the arrival of angry and often violent protesters, these events wouldn’t even be noticed by the majority of America.
Charlottesville, for example as described by the Washington Post, only became violent when counter-protesters directly confronted the white supremacist marchers. They began attacking each other in various melees. The rally had ended and the marchers had left by the time the lone and mentally disturbed James Fields ran his car into other cars, hitting protesters and killing Heather Heyer.
The current liberal argument is that the white supremacists instigated the violence by their very presence. But for most of march/demonstration history, it has been understood that regardless of the message, violence escalates into uncontrollable violence and most try to avoid it.
As is true for any controversial rally in today’s climate, the safest option is to simply not go. Unfortunately the ‘violence is resistance’ Left has decided the only acceptable method of combating hateful ideology is through physical force. They have been doing this with Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests across the country.
In my tweet, the marchers — free to assemble and express themselves, would have carried their silly tiki torches around the park, rallied around the statue and after a few hours of hateful nonsense, gone home. Counter-protesters would have been along the sidelines either with signs or, more effectively, gathered nearby and holding their own rally denouncing the ideology and/or celebrating peaceful coexistence and tolerance.
To the Left, this translates into their hallucination that I want there to be Nazis. And if I am ok with this kind of hate and, by definition, violence existing and having a platform, it must be because I support it or am actually one of them myself.
One of the Charlottesville chants was ‘The Jews will not replace us.’ There are about 16 million Jews in the world. These are not rational people. They quoted Confederate slogans like ‘Blood and Soil’ and ‘You will not replace us!’ which spoke to their views on immigration. Idiots in this movement have been obsessed with ‘white genocide’ for a while now and they were actually marching to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.
Oddly, hundreds of liberals in my feed demanded some version of ‘You want me to tolerate people who want to commit genocide/kill people who are different??!’ The ‘want to commit genocide’ is a reference to the actual Nazis of Germany. There really is no organized or even popular sloganeering that implies current white supremacists want to or are planning to commit genocide that I am aware of. They tend to fixate on 9/11 conspiracies, the Jews and online trolling.
When I argued it was absurd to imagine this small group could possibly commit genocide even if they wanted to, they demanded ‘people in Germany in 1930 didn’t think that either!’ The most dramatic argument was ‘What about Heather Heyer?’
I originally countered logically to the assertion that ‘Nazis killed her!’ with ‘No, a crazy person did.’ Because the notion of organized Nazism similar to 1939 Germany, rounding up Jews and so on, is absurd in this context. It is true that Nazis are not killing people in America, but Nazi ideology inspires crazy people to kill for its cause. I meant that in reference to the collective group similar to saying ‘Muslims are not killing people in America.’ However upon reviewing, the argument is fairly unimportant, easily misunderstood and simply escalates the fury around the idea I was minimizing the actual violence committed by white supremacists, even as individuals.
Heather Heyer was killed in a terrorist attack by James Fields. This in no way absolves the Nazi movement itself of the hateful rhetoric that this mentally ill man embraced. The rally was over, the marchers had left and Fields was in a line of cars when he spontaneously slammed his car into the other cars and into the crowd of people nearby. He will spend the rest of his life in prison or a mental institution. Others who participated in the rally should recognize that their actions, collective energy and escalation of rhetoric heightened the chance of someone acting out violently.
In truth, every example of an individual committing a hate crime or mass murder who has been discovered to be a white supremacist has also been mentally disturbed. See: Dylann Roof.
As a general rule, the Left is highly opposed to group blame. Individual Muslims have committed incredible acts of terrorism in America and around the world for over a decade but we are sternly warned never to associate them with other Muslims. Black Lives Matter supporters have killed police officers, and three kidnapped and tortured an autistic boy because he was white and filmed it for facebook. Black Lives Matter also riots violently on a routine basis. The Left consistently argues these individuals cannot represent Black Lives Matter as a whole.
The difference, of course, is that no one wants to defend the other Nazis or imply they are otherwise good people because they are not being violent. It is perfectly reasonable to shame all Nazis and assorted white supremacists and point out their mindless hatred inspires violent retribution.
If you repeatedly tell a group of people that other people want them dead, the government is targeting them, and powerful enemies are controlling the media and on and on, one or two crazy people among them will believe they alone can save the group and act violently. This has been seen in Islamic terrorism and Black Lives Matter terrorism as well.
Even transgender activists have begun physically attacking feminists who oppose transgender ideology. (TERF being a feminist who rejects transwomen as women).
There is a difference between direct calls for violence and hateful rhetoric that inspires violence. The latter is the responsibility of the person who committed the violence but the group should be held socially accountable for the hate they put out.
This is why I am not particularly afraid of Nazis as a group, but wary of individuals. I view them more as cos-players LARPing Call of Duty than anything else but am aware that crazy people exist and I have to be cautious.
Is Nazi propaganda dangerous?
I do not believe information or speech is dangerous. Speech does not cause violence. People choose to be violent. I do think that all extremist worldviews in which people are marinated in post-apocalyptic imagery and deeply fixated on an enemy population can dramatically influence someone who is already mentally ill. But to argue that a mentally ill person who reads posts on the internet about ‘The Jews’ and then takes it upon himself to shoot up a synagogue should hold the website itself responsible is ridiculous.
Just because we find a worldview abhorrent does not mean we are free to ban it. In truth, the most powerful argument against white supremacist ideology is to listen to them talk for five minutes.
I do believe that the media’s current obsession with white supremacy feeds into the paranoia and grandiose delusions of those who would act on their hatred violently. We always walk a very thin line between reporting relevant information and news events and glamorizing the evil making it far more appealing to that extremely tiny, but dangerous population.
In any event, this does not justify a removal of rights. They are still free to publish, read, think, say, believe and express whatever they wish. No one is obligated to host them, but they cannot be legally prevented from speaking either.
Strangely the Left views this as ‘defending’, ‘sympathizing’ or ‘collaborating’ with Nazis.
In truth, those of us on the Right recognize that if we allowed progressives to restrict the rights of this small population, they would quickly escalate their demands for more censorship until all of us were named and silenced. Associating a criminal status with speech opens up the door to absolute authoritarian tyranny and we lose our liberty.
Sadly, to the Left, all they want is for Nazis to cease to exist. They believe that the threat is in the existence itself. They also believe that if people hold Nazi ideology they will become violent and harm minorities.
The Right believes the best way to eradicate Nazi ideology is to shame it, mock it, allow its ugly idiocy to simply speak for itself and shun anyone who chooses to indulge it. We are already there. Again, no one embraces this ideology.
We have found ourselves on a strange ocean with uncontrollable waves trying to maintain some level of decency and reason. Ben Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, was targeted as a white supremacist by protesters are Berkeley when he spoke there. There is no sanity left.
The Left always has a way of making the old battles new again, and even though the country has denounced and ostracized white supremacy for decades, they seem dedicated to convincing America there is real danger. This exists in the reporting of isolated lone wolf killers to the absurdity of imagining the President of the United States is a secret Nazi.
I honestly underestimated the fear response when I casually dismissed concerns over Nazi violence on my Twitter. I so rarely see actual white supremacists I forget they exist until some news story floats by. This is true of most people. But it seems the argument of ‘Nazis in groups are generally peaceful in America’ is very easily interpreted as ‘Nazis are good people’ or ‘The deaths of individuals killed by white supremacists don’t matter.’
Ironically the overwhelmingly hateful, hostile and violent tweets from the Left I received made absolutely no impact on those attempting to convince me to be afraid of Nazis. I would reason, ‘Individual Muslims have killed many times in America. 49 gay people were murdered by an Islamic terrorist in Florida. Should I be afraid of Muslims or demand to restrict their speech?’ The answer would instantly return to the go-to for this discussion of ‘not all Muslims’ and ‘Islam isn’t inherently hateful!’ The keyword was Nazi. That word alone sent them down a spiraling path of outrage, anxiety and fear they simply could not pull themselves up from.
It simply baffled me.
We are living in a world where half of the political spectrum is so incapable of rational observation and determination they do not blink to accuse a gay Jew of Nazi sympathy simply for advocating freedom of speech. The term ‘Nazi’ is becoming as meaningless as the word ‘racist’ before it due to the natural inclination of progressives to expand definitions to win arguments. The Left wants there to be a Nazi threat in America because they can control people through fear.
This season of American Horror Story is disturbingly accurate and seems to be moving in lock-step with unforeseen real-world events. Episode 3 featured a progressive lesbian finding herself the target of an angry mob collectively convinced she is a murderous racist, paralleling the helpless pleading of Nancy Pelosi to the surging crowd ‘Why won’t you listen?!’
It is truly frightening to see how deeply marinated the Left has become in hate that it sees itself as righteous for committing violence against all it views as evil. In truth, I as a gay Jewish conservative am more at risk for being physically assaulted by a crazed Leftist than I ever would be the victim of an Islamic attack or Nazi murder.
The more disturbing reality is that even when presented with this fact, the most reasonable of the Leftist mob simply mocked me, dismissed the notion and went on shouting their hallucination of what I said and meant. Nothing is more frightening than an irrational, righteous mob.