One man's stupidity can can cost Estonia its peace and international reputation, says journalist (3)
Commenting on the scandal that emerged around Jaak Madison, a newly elected MP from the Conservative People's Party, journalist Heiki Suurkask said that even one man's stupidity can take a toll on Estonia, but it's unfair to label the entire party fascist.
Suurkask made his comments on ETV's weekly political program "Vabariigi kodanikud" ("Citizens" in English), which this week focused on determining what makes a party radical or populist.
Suurkask said that any attempt to justify mass murder is politically perverse. "Even more so considering that according to Hitler's ideology, Estonians were an inferior race," he said.
"However, if we look at the media's reaction to the whole affair, then one man's stupidity was blown up into a nation-wide scandal, which the Russian propaganda machine immediately made an international one."
"Nevertheless, sometimes such stupidity calls for a reaction," he added, explaining that whoever runs for the Parliament, must be prepared for having all his present and past opinions scrutinized.
"On the other hand, the media failed to stay neutral in this case, and the problem with one man led to putting a label on the entire party, whose program and views are clearly not fascist."
Suurkask also said that the leaders of the party lack experience in this kind of political games.
"It's obvious that they didn't know how to react at first, how to answer. Considering that Mart and Martin Helme have been media's punching bags for years, the first reactions tended to be defensive by default," he said.
He added that the term "radicalism" has been regularly applied since World War II, but these days there is really nothing radical in the party programs anywhere in the world.