Shame on you, shame on us
All political leaders and all aspiring politicians should denounce acts of intimidation by opponents of other parties. This would be the best way to establish a protective cordon against bullies – or try to do so.
In otherwords, some politicians think they are indirectly benefiting from personal threats that opponents are paying for. It’s shabby. Others, more pusillanimous, fear to suffer themselves a word of solidarity that they would address publicly to adversaries who are or would be victims. They fear to insult themselves in the wake …
These are small calculations. If only because everyone should at least have in mind that they might one day be the target of intimidation in their personal lives or be the subject of despicable personal attacks.
The day when people of good faith will not want to plunge into the political arena for fear of being constantly insulted, not only on social networks, but in the street – even when they are with their children – we will obviously not be more advanced. We will have lost collectively.
The latest example is Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who has received a shower of insults and threats on social networks, but not only. She was insulted by an individual while she was in front of a movie theater with her children. It must now benefit from close police protection.
The situation is no more acceptable to her than to all those who have suffered and who will be subjected to such personal insults, whether here or elsewhere. And it is not because such regressions are prevalent here and elsewhere that they must be tolerated. Do not get used to it!
Another example: a few months ago, the Secretary of State for Equality between Women and Men in France, Marlène Schiappa, unveiled a series of misogynistic insults and death threats that she had received the previous days. It was to vomit.
If Catherine McKenna would be a “climate Barbie” and a “junk”, Marlene Schiappa, she was then a “whore to Jews”, “the whore of the Elysee”, “the bitch to Macron”.
Shame on these bullies.
Shame on us who are silent too often.
We have the right
Citizens feel jostled in their lives by political decisions that go beyond them. Feelings of anger and dispossession can overwhelm many of us at all kinds of times. There is no more true.
And it is certainly easy to tell people who feel that they are the victims of political decisions that they should go about it other than by personal attack in order to be heard. Easy, yes. But that’s what to say.
Because, nobody asks anyone to keep quiet. There are simply red lines not to cross.
All of these people and all of us have the right to express ourselves in our societies. We all have the right to say what we think, what we live, what we fear. We all have the right to protest against any measure that we do not like or that we consider unfair. We all have the right to criticize any idea with which we disagree. We all have the right to try to convince others of the correctness of our point of view. We all have the right to vote against one political party and another.
Politicians can not, moreover, demand tranquility in the course of their duties. It’s impossible. They must not expect to be criticized, of course. They must expect robust play. It’s okay with the function.
But bursting into the personal life of a politician and engaging in personal attacks rather than attacking projects and political decisions that are otherwise perfectly acceptable in a democratic and de jure society will always remain inadmissible. On the eve of an election call, we must be able to remember it.
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