Letters to the Editor: Rep. Mike Garcia should be sorry for a lot more than his ‘Third Reich’ comment
April 12th, 2013, 8:24 pm
Name withheld by request
AUSTIN — Rep. Mike Garcia (D-Austin) was asked to comment on the idea that former Nazis were just as morally evil as those they created and led. He said he was not allowed to say because of the pending charges.
In this case, Garcia is wrong. If the person he is referring to is a member of the Bund, SS or any of the other Nazi organizations, the person was a member. Garcia was never a member of any Nazi movement. His comment was not about those organizations, but about the organizations he represents.
In this case, then, Garcia’s comments are not simply an assault on the memory of the people he represents but a blatant attempt to silence them. And the right to free speech is meaningless when it is used inappropriately.
The truth is, no one had the right to criticize a person in the past who happened to have been a Nazi.
It is a form of censorship that we are all subject to — even if you feel as though you have been silenced as a result.
And while the free press is one of the most important and effective means of preserving our First Amendment rights, in this case, the public should not have been led astray by any confusion about the issue or misinformation about the person Garcia was referring to.
In the end, Mike Garcia should apologize because he made a serious mistake.
But rather than making public his private opinion about what happened or didn’t happen more than 65 years ago, he should have let his campaign go forward without further distractions to the real issues of the day.
Garcia’s opinion wasn’t Nazi talk but a history of an organization he opposes
Garcia apparently misheard or misunderstood what former members of the Nazi movement said in the early 1930s, in the service of the Nazi Party.
It is an unfortunate reality, but truth is, when politicians mis-interpret historical facts, they have a responsibility to correct their misinterpretations of the facts. In this case, Rep. Garcia had the opportunity to correct his