01/02/2024 at 8:33 p.m.

ABC makes no doubt in its unreserved condemnation of what happened on New Year’s Eve in front of the socialist headquarters on Calle Ferraz in Madrid. Hanging a piñata doll that represented Pedro Sánchez on a rope and hitting it until it breaks is an absurdity that portrays its promoters and goes far beyond legitimate criticism of its management or its concessions to the movement independence. Exaltations of violence cannot be part of the democratic game, ABC said yesterday. And today we reaffirm ourselves. It is not edifying, it is not empowering and it is not permissible because it involves the expression of virulent, aggressive and harmful desires against a person. Political radicalization leads to unhealthy excesses that should be eradicated from our public life. The fact is that any sentence, to be coherent, must be bidirectional. A conviction must always be defensible in all cases, not just in certain cases and at the convenience of one party. And this is precisely what the PSOE is doing with very unequal treatment in its criteria and in its demands so that those guilty of Ferraz answer before the judge. Once again, the PSOE and its ministers apply double standards when demanding criminal accountability for a hate crime.

What happened in Ferraz is not justifiable, but it does not constitute one of those hate crimes that the left interprets as it pleases and applies according to ideological and not legal criteria. If it were now necessary to attribute a hate crime to those guilty of hitting a piñata puppet, the logic would be to maintain that the dozens of scratches suffered by the leaders of the PP, or the images of magistrates of the Supreme Court hanged or burned, were also hateful behaviors or the guillotine which some PSOE activists imitated against Mariano Rajoy. The same is true in the case of the king, whose independence movement insulted, denigrated or burned photos during public events in broad daylight and protected by the police. The PSOE did not rush to qualify these episodes as hatred or to propose the opening of criminal proceedings. In Spain and many democratic countries, hatred is not illegal. What is illegal is to promote violent behavior against minority or vulnerable groups who are persecuted because of their sexual condition, their religion or beliefs, their political positions… What happened in Ferraz – crude, violent and undemocratic – does not exactly correspond to this law. definition. Hate is used as a second-hand argument, and it is a mistake when the PSOE uses the narrow part of the funnel for others and leaves the permissiveness of the wide part for itself.

The PSOE should give itself a veneer of consistency and realism before presenting Sánchez as a target of hatred. If this is the case, I would not support the reform process to decriminalize insults and slander against the Crown; crimes and outrages against Spain, its symbols and emblems; slander or serious threats against the government; offenses to religious feelings; or the glorification of terrorism. ABC questions what, the crime, who committed it. It is not about who commits them or their ideology, because ideology does not justify whether something is legal or illegal. It is not possible to be so thin-skinned to politically declare that Sánchez’s noose is hatred, and that Rajoy’s guillotine is not. Or that corruption on the right is worse than that on the left. Or believe that those who participate in the tribute to a child murderer of ETA do so not with obvious hatred towards his victims, but rather with freedom of expression. “Democratic syrup” should not exist. But if it exists, it must be ambivalent so that the person reporting it is credible, without selective victimization.

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