It is widely understood that the Left wants to impose censorship on the rest of us, and where it can, it will. The experience of conservative speakers on university campuses is the most obvious proof. But the truth, I think, is worse: it isn’t just censorship. The Left wants to bully disagreement out of existence.
Hence the astonishingly long list of acts of political violence and low-level terrorism that have been carried out by members of the Democratic Party against Donald Trump supporters and Republicans in the current election cycle.
In Europe, the Left’s eliminationist impulse is most often vented against those who disagree with the policy of mass immigration from non-European countries. A striking example has just occurred in Sweden, where the Sweden Democrats hosted, on Friday, an event at which they awarded a prize–the European Freedom Award–to former Czech President Vaclav Klaus. The event took place at Stockholm’s renowned Grand Hotel. It prompted a chorus of outrage against the “far right.”
Stockholm’s Grand Hotel has issued an unprecedented public apology for hosting an awards ceremony for European right-wing politicians, following a storm of angry protest.
The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party hired the upmarket hotel, which boasts views over the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan, for its “European Freedom Awards” on Friday evening.
As soon as the news became public, the hotel faced a storm of angry protests on Twitter, with thousands protesting by giving it one-star reviews on its Facebook page. Meanwhile, hotel staff gave anonymous interviews criticising the event, and several customers cancelled event contracts.
So who are the outrageous “far right” figures that brought about this storm of protest?
On Friday, the hotel was still defending its decision to host the awards, which included speeches by Nigel Farage, the unofficial leader of the campaign to bring Britain out of the European Union…
Brexit won. If Brexit is the knock on Farage, it is a majority view, not a “far right” fringe position.
…and Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the Sweden Democrats.
In the 2014 election, the Sweden Democrats won 49 of the 349 seats in the Swedish Riksdag. As of June, the Democrats polled as the most popular party in Sweden.
The award, styled as an “alternative Nobel”, was won by the Czech politician Václav Klaus.
Klaus, an economist, is by far the most popular Czech politician since that country became independent. He served as President of the Czech Republic from 2003 to 2013, having been Prime Minister from 1993 to 1998. Klaus’s supposed sins include skepticism toward catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (he is right about that, based on the science) and toward the European Union–a view that he shares with a large and growing number of Europeans.
Nevertheless, the Left’s bullying tactics were too much for the Grand Hotel:
In the press release, the hotel’s chief executive Pia Djupmark claimed that managers had tried to wriggle out of hosting the event as far back as seven weeks ago, but had been unable to do so due to the contract they had signed.
“One of the most difficult things about all of this is that so many people thought that we didn’t understand, that we had no moral compass whatsoever,” she said. “Breaking a contract is a big step, and we decided to stick with our tradition of fair-dealing, that a contract should not be broken. In this case, we should have broken it.”
The hotel claimed that this was the first time in its near 150-year history that it had made a public comment on any of its guests.
“We have always wanted to be a neutral meeting place that does not judge our guests or their opinions and use that to decide whether they are welcome or not,” it said. “At the same time, there is a limit.”
Heh. The limit is reached, apparently, when you disagree with Europe’s left-wing elites, regardless of how widely your views may be shared by the population at large.
Here in the U.S., we are witnessing a populist revolt against bullying liberalism, but what we are seeing here is mild, I suspect, compared with what is in store in Europe. And, of course, when all dissent on what millions see as the most vital issues of the day is barred as “far right,” it is inevitable that unsavory elements will be part of the populist uprising. Having sown the wind, Europe’s Left will, in all likelihood, reap the whirlwind. If the consequences are not to its liking, it has no one to blame but itself.