edwardmurphy wrote:I think Jac has a point.
When you accuse someone of using Brownshirt tactics you're saying that they're acting like Nazis. Not authoritarians, not dictators, not even fascists, but Nazis - the purist incarnation of evil that the world has ever seen. That's cranking the dial straight up to 11 and making a hyperbolic appeal to emotion. You're eliminating any possibility of having a rational discussion. It's a ****ty tactic, and as I've already stated, it doesn't play well outside of the echo chamber.
Honestly, I'm accustomed to B.W. being B.W., but Rick, Paul, and Phil, I expected better.
The irony, as I see it, Ed, of conservatives complaining about liberal "brown shirt" tactics is that the Nazi comparison itself is designed to do the exact thing they are complaining about themselves. Conservatives want to argue, with as I've said elsewhere what I think is some validity, that liberals want to shut down free speech, that there is a serious intolerance of contrary ideas. But to take that argument and run it through the Hitler comparison has the same effect--you aren't now just arguing that it is wrong or self-contradictory for "tolerant" folks to be intolerant. Rather, now you are trying to shut down those same liberals, to paint them as genocidal (note ACB's comment in the other thread about liberals wanting to use Islamic extremists to carry out their genocide), to lump them in with Hitler. The net effect is to poison the well, to destroy liberals credibility as people. And thus, it's nothing but an emotional ad hominem. The intention of such a comparison is to prevent liberals from being able to state their ideas. That is, it is to censor them. That's "brown shirt" tactics, and it's the hypocrisy intrinsic to to the complaint. I really hope that Rick and Phil will be able to see that. To get biblical about it, I can't exactly imagine Jesus pointing a finger at the New York Times and saying, "They're using Nazi tactics!!!" That kind of rhetoric is rightly beneath Him, aside from being dishonest, and it ought to be beneath us.