If you’ve ever been in a fight with your spouse you know that there are certain lines you just don’t cross. Certain things you must not say, because if you say them, even in the heat of anger, you can’t take them back. Once you’ve calmed down and apologized for the fight you’ll have to sleep next to this person, after all. You love each other, don’t you? Even when you’re mad. Resentments fester once the argument goes from, “I hate it when you do X” to, “You’re such an asshole.” It represents a terribly ugly turn in conflict, one that never quite goes away.

When the New York Times’s Thomas Friedman says that Trump’s election was like 9/11, you have to believe him. It’s exactly how it feels for him and many other progressives across the U.S. Remember the loathing you felt for the Muslim extremists who carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks? How you wanted to bomb them into the Stone Age (a short trip, admittedly)? How you wanted revenge? That’s how the institutional left feels about you. To the progressive pundits, politicians, and loudmouth social media denizens, there’s no difference between you and Mohamed Atta. This is true even if you didn’t vote for Trump but won’t get on the Trump Is Hitler Bandwagon. You’re with them or you’re a terrorist.

After the contested presidential election of George W Bush in 2000, the progressive left completed its transition from “I hate it when Republicans do X” to “Republicans are such assholes.” It snowballed through the war in Iraq, bolstered by Bush’s refusal to defend himself; gained steady momentum during the Obama “I won” years; and reached its pinnacle with Trump’s election. The left has decided that they’ve got nothing left to lose. The love is gone, the marriage is over, the divorce is looming. Not only are they seeking to overturn the results of a free and fair election through leaks from Obama holdovers in the deep state, an avalanche of fake news masquerading as honest reporting, and endless legislative slow-walking of Trump’s appointees, but they’re also using physical violence to quash opinions they don’t like. Using the courage of ski mask-clad anonymity, they’ve declared that it’s moral to punch Nazis. The problem is that everyone not wearing a ski mask is a Nazi to these cretins, so they’re free to punch anyone they like.

One thing you have to understand is that this isn’t going to end. Just because you don’t hate them, they still hate you. Your indifference won’t keep them from hating you, and it definitely won’t stop them from attacking you. Like it or not, you’re in a fight. After 9/11, Bush understood that we were in a war against militant Islam, and acted accordingly. His tactics were flawed, but he had the proper mindset. Obama decided to ignore that fight, and the Middle East is enduring the consequences. Now you’re in a fight against the professional left. They see it that way. It’s time you did, too.

This is not a literal call to arms. I do not condone violence except in defense of one’s person or others. Nevertheless, you have to put yourself on that war footing. You have to get as dirty and nasty and ugly as your opponent if you have any hope of winning. Your restraint is a weakness. Your forbearance is a tactical error. Nobody has a right to put his hands on you, whether it’s a Soros-paid Antifa douchenozzle or a wannabe revolutionary midget like Yvette Felarca. Understand that you’re on the field of battle, and you have a God-given right to self-defense. Physically, rhetorically, or otherwise.

You don’t have to hate them back, but you do have to fight. Once they understand that there are real, terrible consequences to cocking a fist, they’ll think twice about getting on the field. That’s where victory starts. I don’t like it either, but the alternative is being bullied by snowflakes. Don’t let yourself get beaten up.