The Wild Punch
Who hasn’t wanted to punch a politician?
But a fracas in Athens, Greece, yesterday, demonstrates that punching people, not to mention threatening them with firearms, is a bad idea, and too often apt to harm the wrong people.
In this case, the pugilist, Giorgos Germenis, was himself something of a “wrong person.” He’s one of 18 lawmakers in the Greek parliament representing the Golden Dawn Party, which is often described as “neo-Nazi” for its ugly nationalist, anti-foreigner sentiment — and for an awfully suspicious party logo.
Germenis had been part of a charitable effort held in Syntagma Square to hand out free food . . . but only to Greek natives! The government shut down the giveaway, and the scuffle, hours later, was part of the fallout. Reportedly blocked from reaching for his gun by security, Germenis threw a punch at Athens’s mayor, Giorgos Kaminis.
He missed the mayor, but hit a young girl.
Bruised, but not seriously hurt, the 12-year old did manage to escape becoming the centerpiece of the showdown between the anti-foreigner activists and the Athens City government.
Greece’s troubles don’t really have much to do with foreigners. Greek troubles, instead, have everything to do with Greek politicians, and the sad, once politically attractive but now quite bankrupt (fiscally and morally) habit of trying to live at the expense of everyone else.
Blaming foreigners is the wrong way out. (Here in America, too.)
Germenis’s group should have been allowed to give only to natives, but a hallmark of civilization is the respect for strangers, traders, wanderers. The Golden Dawners don’t have their hearts in the right place.
Which is shown by the wild punch and who it hit. An innocent. As usual.
This Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.