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Leftist icon cautions against hatred in electoral campaign

September 11th, 2021

An iconic leftist philosopher warns opposition politicians that hateful campaign messages do not make those who use them any better than their opponents – and only produce havoc and injustice.

In Népszava, Marxist philosopher Gáspár Miklós Tamás, an anti-communist dissident in the 1980s, lambasts prominent opposition leaders who use inflammatory language to galvanise their electorate. He condemns Hódmezővásárhely Mayor Péter Márki-Zay in particular, who thought it fit to take up the presumed sexual orientation of a member of the Prime Minister’s family (see BudaPost, August 16). Tamás mentions as even more worrying statements by more authoritative opposition leaders, including DK chairman Ferenc Gyurcsány, Momentum leader András Fekete-Győr, and Jobbik chairman Péter Jakab, who have repeatedly promised to send the leaders of the incumbent government to jail for corruption.  People who are supposed to send the government packing in the name of democracy, Tamás argues, should respect the rule of law and the separation of powers. He addresses the same criticism to opposition spin doctors who consistently try to explain why the opposition, once in power would be entitled to pass a new constitution and rewrite pivotal laws without the required qualified majority in Parliament (see BudaPost, March 1).  By hurling abuse and threats at one’s opponents, one can only create an atmosphere of violence, he warns.

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