This, times 1000.
These — assholes (my vocabulary fails me) — play these false equivalency games because many of them know that they are considered harsh, hard, and cruel (and not in good ways), while others ARE the thin-skinned whiners they accuse liberals of being, and still others have no idea that wishing rape on someone or calling them a vile name is NOT civilized discourse.
So, let’s go high when we can, and be clever when we can, and refuse to be silenced. Their inability to discuss issues because they’d rather hurl insults and threats will show plainly. Even if our response to their initial dipshittery is, ‘Listen, you little asshole (substantive argument follows)’, their ‘I hope you get raped and murdered! (More of the same)’ will be all the demonstration required to — with luck — make other people back off from seeing them as allies or their views as worthy. ‘Gee, all s/he could do was threaten violence. Couldn’t even make a decent defense. That’s not an ideology I want to be connected with.’ At the least, they’ll look bad to outside observers.