Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Winter Situation Underscores That We Need Free Speech So We Can Tell Who the Haters Are

One of the best arguments for free speech: without it, there's no way of knowing what's really in a person's mind and heart. Take, for instance, Susanne Winter. She's an Austrian MP, who was elected as a member of the "far right" Freedom Party ("freedom" being seen as a very right wing concept these days). Winter's troubles began when someone left this revealing comment on her Facebook page:
Zionist money Jews are the global problem. Europe, and in particular Germany, are now getting what they deserve from Zionist Jews, particularly rich Zionist Jews in the USA, for the century-long persecution of Jews in Europe. According to the Zionists, Europe, particularly Germany, should be cut off as economic competitors to the US.
To which Ms. Winter, obviously in synch with that line of thinking, responded:
It is great. You are taking the words right out of my mouth. There are a lot of things I am not allowed to write. Therefore I’m even more pleased about courageous, independent people.
I think it is great, too--great that we now know how Winter really sees the world. And even though she tried to defend herself with that some-of-my-best-friends-are-Jewish trope (a statement which 9 times out of 10 reveals one to be a true Jew-hater), she was unceremoniously cashiered by her party.

A party spokesperson called her comments "absolutely unacceptable." True enough. But how would we have ever known that she harbored such ideas if she didn't have, yes, the freedom to express them?

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