Enemy of the People Volksverräter Brutalization of Language is an Alarming Sign

I notice again and again that language in political disputes is becoming ever more aggressive. Sure, social media play a major role in this, but conventional media join this game too, and politicians, who are in parliaments and even in governments help to temper the mood. The examples in the above gallery show right wing hate speech. But I do not want to conceal, that from the left as well disdainful language gains ground. „Tory scum“ is not the only example for such speech.

We know from experience that the language precedes the events in real life. If the political opponent is an enemy of the people or a traitor, we are not far from the point that some individuals will either overthrow or even execute the enemy. A development that could initiate even worse.

Of course freedom of speech is a high value. But freedom of speech doesn`t include the right to insult and smear. I admit, that I do not know an advice that solves all these problems. Libel laws exist, but the courts are of course overwhelmed to handle the myriad of cases. And it can`t be a really good solution to transfer all these problems to private companies as Facebook, Twitter and others.

The only thing I can do and I call everyone to do, is setting an example. I love controversial political discussions, of course with people too, who have a quite different opinion, and I´m willing to endure even outlandish opinions. I often strongly disagree, but I will never insult the other. If I notice insults and slander from the other side, I will not fight back with the same weapons, but I will block. I feel that`s the best way.

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