A lot of polite political conversation is, on close inspection, hate speech but expressed with the manners your mother taught you. Well-brought up children can get their ideas across with just as much bite as the uncouth without going potty mouthed.
Now let’s think of religion: leaving to one side the hateful things religions say about each other, according to them religious types, we non-believers are supposed to burn in the Devil’s own private furnace. As I recall, Baptists believe that the Pope is the Antichrist and the mass is idolatry.
In an age of information overload, it is easy to fall back on our own prejudices and insulate ourselves with comforting opinions that reaffirm our core beliefs. the blogosphere forms into information cocoons and echo chambers. People can avoid the news and opinions they don’t want to hear.
The politically correct are often among the most uncouth. Some of the worst things said about Sarah Palin in 2008 cannot be repeated on a blog hoping to be safe to view at work.
Marxist ideologies even worse: it should have a trigger warning over the entire field because of a hurtful things it says about capitalists and their motivation.
Scorn, ridicule and satire is as welcome as a bee sting and is always controversial to some and continuously goes beyond the bounds of good taste and conventional manners. Scorn, ridicule and satire often shock people into reconsidering their world view.
In a court case about a particularly vile cartoon in Hustler about Jerry Falwell, the United States Supreme Court said:
Debate on public issues will not be uninhibited if the speaker must run the risk that it will be proved in court that he spoke out of hatred; even if he did speak out of hatred, utterances honestly believed contribute to the free interchange of ideas and the ascertainment of truth…
The appeal of the political cartoon or caricature is often based on exploitation of unfortunate physical traits or politically embarrassing events – an exploitation often calculated to injure the feelings of the subject of the portrayal.
A good example of using shock value to make a point is the Ohio strip club that held a topless counter-protest outside a church they were attempting to shut down.
The target of their counter-protest was a church that spent the last nine years protesting outside their club seeking to shut it down. You must admire both side’s determination.