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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by aaronvan, Apr 29, 2015.
I'm game with this.
He isn't a US Citizen, and as such isn't entitled to have his freedom of speech protected here in the US...
However, I think the bigger story here is Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). His character speaks volumes, let alone the character of those constituents who would attend this reception with him.
And we wonder how and why spitfires like this create the environment conducive of a holy war.
Why not invite him and debate with him?
(Actually, I had already posted a response - which vanished into the ether when the internet crashed for the umpteenth time this evening to my indescribable frustration
Over a decade ago, I was teaching in the Modern European History Dept at one of those venerable universities that is several centuries older than the US, when the student History Society - itself quite antique - invited the controversial Austrian politician, Jorg Haider, to address them.
The student body were quite divided, and the History Dept - where I taught - pretty convulsed. They thought that acknowledging this might be seen as offering support; I thought that forensic analysis was necessary. Thus, most of my colleagues chose to boycott this meeting, and I understood why they chose to do so. However, I did not.
My background and training is in history. I have long thought that it is easy to condemn, to denigrate, to sneer, - and the viewpoints, perspectives and worldview of such people are often repellant and repugnant - but it is far harder to accept that some people find them, and their message attractive, and that some people find that what they have to say is worth heeding.
To me, it is more important to bear witness, to see what is happening, and to try to find out reasons why things happen that way, rather than otherwise. I wanted to see this for myself.
Jorg Haider, tanned, slim, elegant, wearing a dapper dinner jacket, appeared at the meeting. He could only be described as courteous, urbane and articulate. Such people - and I have met a few of them - are invariably civilised, articulate, subtle. Their thugs - and they do attract a veritable phalanx of thugs - are the operational arm, to be condoned ('the true voice of the frustrated people') or condemned, or dismissed and discarded, as needed.
But, remember, the leaders of such organisations are invariably almost exquisitely civilised and cultivated - or take great care to be seen to be so.
Seriously, just because someone holds repellant views, do they have horns? The leaders of such movements rarely do; their followers are a different matter. It is too easy to sit at home, fulminating, and sneering, because we know that these people and what they stand for, are absolutely awful, ghastly beyond belief; it is harder to admit that these individuals can be attractive, and to try to track why people allow themselves to be seduced by this rhetoric and mindset.
And this is why I think that someone such as Geert Wilders needs to be seen, and called out, and questioned, with courtesy, but with absolute integrity and unimpeachable intellectual vigour.
We let Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in enough times, so I don't see why we should disallow this guy.
I would like to make it clear from the start that I do not agree with Geert Wilders, but I do think that he should be allowed in to speak.
Except for his anti-immigration policies, Geert is far more of a left wing politician when it comes to economics, minimum wage, housing subsidies for the poor.
I hope you didn't just call Jörg "absolutely awful, ghastly beyond belief".
I also don't know what would be so outrageous about Geert Wilders.
Non-citizens are in fact Constitutionally covered.
No she was talking about Joachim Löw.
Let him in. What are they afraid that he'll say?
To be honest, I think that too many on the left sometimes take the easy way out, and resort to an intellectual boycott a little too readily.
It can sometimes be easier to condemn, and sit in judgement, than to argue and debate with them and challenge what they have to say.
Personally, I am of the opinion that they should be allowed enter, and challenged on what they have to say. Moreover, I also think that the reasons for their popularity should be thought about, rather than shuddering in distaste. And that means acknowledging that they can be attractive candidates and seeking to answer why this is so.
Put quite frankly, **** Geert Wilders.
Look, seriously, we ought to be able to do better than that.
Curses and oaths are not a substitute for debate, and analysis.
I am much more concerned with the fact that significantly large elements of European societies feel sufficiently alienated from any sort of egalitarian post war consensus to repose their trust and their votes in such dramatically drastic expressions of xenophobia as are articulated by these radical right wing parties.
And - ever since the 1980s - I don't feel that the left has been sufficiently intellectually robust in its defence of the sort of values worth cherishing; it prefers to sneer instead. That is not going to win the intellectual high ground, or challenge those on the right for the right to define the contours and parameters of political, social and economic debate, rather than being engaged in an endless intellectual retreat.
What exactly is "the left"?
I am also quite curious what your criticism of Jörg would look like. He was one of the rare politicians who spoke out against the global banking cartels and the concerning, international trend to centralisation. That's why Clinton (aka 'not my spunk on that dress' ) called him the worlds most dangerous man. Jörg also contributed a page to a paper I published in 2001 and I was a big fan of his.
Well, so long as he's left-wing then let him him. We respect all speech so long as it's nothing controversial, offensive, scary, through-provoking, conservative, libertarian, and contains no trigger-words nor micro-aggressions. We have principles, after all.
I have no interest in listening to arguments of a racist and a xenophobe.....
Not that it matters, as I'm not American..... But once again **** Geert Wilders.
Well, I suppose your position is quite clear and is expressed with a certain lack of subtlety.
I'm not American either.
And, while I don't much care for xenophobes or racists, I think it foolish to pretend that they don't exist, or ignore why they attract considerable support from certain social groups, or dismiss them with sneers and curses.
However, I have long thought that elements of the left have sought refuge in a mixture of intellectual arrogance and sneering condescension - rather than robust intellectual engagement - with those who have been busily foraging (and mobilising and gathering votes) among the many disgruntled who have felt themselves alienated and left behind as a result of the political, economic, and social changes that have occurred in the past half century or so.
I agree..... But not when it comes to racists or homophobes
He's more than likely to be in the US for more money
Geert Wilders Funding: Controversial Dutch Politician Received Money From Pro-Israel And Conservative Groups In US
Wilders' party is self-funded, unlike other Dutch parties that are subsidized by the government. It does not, therefore, have to meet the same disclosure requirements.
Ah. I see. Now, that is a perspective I hadn't considered. (Bolding mine).
I don't see the point in discussing with these type of people. They are what we call "Rattenfänger" in German. Populists. My believe is they are ignored at best. How they look is totally irrelevant. WIlders was in Germany some weeks ago, fortunately far less people went to this xenophobic movement, eh forum, parade whatever they wanna call it, than expected.
That said, not letting them into a country is a different matter and I don't condone that.
If he steps foot on US soil, he would be protected by diplomatic immunity. They won't even give him a traffic ticket, let alone trample his free speech.
The guy is a criminal. That's reason enough to keep him out of 'Murica, as far as I'm concerned. Our prisons are full enough, we don't need to invite other country's criminal elements as well.
Let him go to Morocco and let him reap what he sows.
He is? All the sources I can find said he was acquitted in 2011.
The article says he is CURRENTLY facing charges for hate speech.
Pretty unremarkable speech he is being prosecuted for. Insulting a group? Really? Dutch prosecutors must be bored or something.
Definitely we should prohibit, ban and criminalize any opinion that dissents from OP's. Freedom of speech should apply only to those in agreement with the prevailing orthodoxy. Right.