By ZACH NOBLE
Maybe World War II spoiled us.
Nazism was so clearly evil that after we kicked its buns, we kept reviving the trope of the blond-haired, Übermensch-wannabe bad guy in cinema for decades to come. It's morally invigorating to fight an enemy who's 100 percent privileged and 100 percent evil!
But nowadays we've wound up giving our ideological rivals the Nazi treatment, whether those folks deserve it or even exist.
The Left does it particularly often; take this BuzzFeed piece.
“Nobody wants to buy cookies from a boy in a dress,” a man who may be real, or may be made of straw (but these sorts of thing are never hoaxes, right?), tells a child selling Girl Scout cookies. The alleged comment sparks a piece all about how the awesome child totally got that evil man back by selling a boatload of cookies.
The comment was certainly mean, but the piece presents it as representative of any and all reservations about embracing transgender identity in young children. The "good guys" in this story all firmly support the choice of a young biological male to live as female. There is no room for disagreement. (But then that's BuzzFeed's editorial standards for you.)
Or take the so-called Bernie Bros.
High-profile feminists and Hillary Clinton supporters (often one and the same) have been complaining of a GamerGate-level social media assault coming from white, male supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders' bid for the White House. The abusive bros might not be that big of a thing (see Glenn Greenwald's extensive takedown of the "cheap campaign tactic"), but segments of the Twitterati are writing breathless takes about the rampant misogyny.
What if you stopped, realized not everybody's Hitler and gave your ideological foes the same benefit of the doubt you give Islam whenever a terrorist attack strikes?
In the wake of last year's Paris attacks, President Obama was quick to stress that "radical" Islam doesn't represent Islam as a whole.
The same could be said of any number of groups.
A guy who says a mean thing to a kid doesn't represent all who have concerns about transgender issues.
An abusive Twitter account doesn't represent all Bernie Sanders supporters.
Heck, an abusive Twitter account doesn't represent all GamerGaters either.
Zach Noble is a journalist who has covered everything from the OPM hack to a rescue dog's retirement party. He's been wrestling to reconcile his bleeding heart Catholicism with his pragmatic libertarianism since that freshman year love affair with Ayn Rand. He tweets erratically as @thezachnoble.