Con­fus­ing vul­gar­iza­tion with rad­i­cal­ism

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ALEXIS PAPACHELAS

“com­mon crim­i­nals.” It was ba­si­cally one of those dis­cus­sions only morn­ing talk­show ad­dicts can ap­pre­ci­ate. The is­sue is that it leads nowhere. The del­e­gates were in de­spair be­cause they needed to hear prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions to the myr­iad prob­lems they face. They are re­pulsed by the sight of politi­cians snip­ing at each other and tak­ing turns to blame one another for the mem­o­ran­dums. To­day’s gov­ern­ment has a big re­spon­si­bil­ity for the vul­gar­ity that’s per­vaded pub­lic dis­course. It has con­fused vul­gar­iza­tion with rad­i­cal­ism. It has nor­mal­ized the rhetoric used by Golden Dawn to at­tack the me­dia and nur­tured ex­treme views that now tar­get Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras him­self. The gov­ern­ment is mak­ing a huge mis­take. It be­lieves it can be re­deemed for the huge com­pro­mises it has made by un­leash­ing its Dober­mans. It’s not like that, how­ever. Vot­ers who are used to the vul­gar­i­ties have learned how to dis­tin­guish imi­ta­tion anti-es­tab­lish­ment sen­ti­ment from the real thing. The danger for Tsipras now is that vot­ers will look for this sen­ti­ment else­where. As we’ve said be­fore, when you feed the in­sa­tiable beast of pop­ulism, you will find your­self star­ing at its teeth. As far as New Democ­racy is con­cerned, it must free it­self of out­dated rhetoric, of the tired cadres who re­sem­ble ac­tors repris­ing a role they first played 20 years ago. The leader and five or six se­ri­ous

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