Here’s a perceptive article from the Washington Post. It argues that the big winner in the German election is a far right party which is reviving some of the language of Nazi Germany.
Source: Behind the ‘boring’ German election are four deeply disturbing trends – The Washington Post
The four key tends identified include:
- The CDU won but it still did really poorly
- But at least the CDU did better than the SDP
- The extreme right did very well
- The rise of the extreme right has far-reaching consequences
In terms of the neo-Nazi AfD’s historical win of 13% of the vote, propelling it to the status of Germany‘s third largest political party, the Post warns:
The AfD is a Far Right party, whose leaders regularly make openly racist and Islamophobic statements and minimize Nazi crimes and who continually claim they will “take their country back” from its purported enemies.
As for the consequences, Angela Merkel has won a fourth term but she’s likely to see the AfD as the real opposition party, with widespread public support for greater immigration controls and concerns over security. The other issue cited by the Post is that Merkel has no obvious successor, triggering an eventual fight between supporters of the Right vs. the Center.
Angela Merkel has shrewdly offered to listen to the concerns of those who voted for the AfD.
For many German and international observers, the relative success of the AfD will bring back memories of Hitler‘s Nazi Party. Sadly, Brexit supporters will argue, ‘See, we’re better off out of an EU, where the Far Right has increasing political leverage’. For now, the AfD is a small minority part but tied to an engine of populism that could change quickly, especially as German industry is slow to adjust to technology trends like electric cars.