On March 13th the elections in three German regions brought once again on the table a fundamental question about Europe: will we be able to overcome our fears and open our political-economic project also to those that so far have been excluded? Or will we rather entrench ourselves in our fortress?
It is time to define our collective identity. And it is time to consider that the way we are doing it now will be marked in history books as one of the biggest European shames.
In other words: let’s imagine that we have to elect a supreme leader for Europe in 2017. Let’s assume Donald Trump would participate. Would he win the elections?
Let’s first go back to the German local elections.
The grand coalition of mainstream political parties failed. The Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats have been punished by the electorate. Who, on the other hand, gained consensus? The Green Party and Alternative for Germany (AfD). In Baden-Württemberg the Greens obtained a historical result, and this seems to show the success of Mrs. Merkel “welcome culture” (or – at least – its opportunistic version). In Rhineland-Palatinate, the Social-Democratic party, also backing the “welcome culture” of Frau Merkel, obtained a clear victory. However, the two mainstream parties lost support in each of the three Bundesländer. In Saxony-Anhalt, the Social Democrats came fourth.
Alternative für Deutschland, on the other hand, obtained 15.1 per cent in Baden-Württemberg, 12.6 per cent in Rhineland-Palatinate and 24.2 per cent in Saxony-Anhalt (second party). As already explained, the institutional success of AfD, combined with the impact of Pegida on the international media, is pushing the German debate to the right. The problem is that while they offer clear and popular (often populist) solutions, the other parties are more and more indistinguishable. This reminds of Trump’s strategy: bad publicity does not exist. Every tweet, every debate, every political and media actor commenting in favor or against, is giving visibility – and ultimately credibility – to the positions expressed by the many Trumps and their quest for power.
If the xenophobic message is successful in a country like Germany, traditionally immune to this siren song – at least after the lesson they learned the hard way about the potential totalitarian evolution of populism – should we conclude that Europe is following the USA in their paranoid entrenchment?
When will we see a European politician cooking bacon on his rifle?
“(…) One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them (…)”
 We already discussed in previous articles about AfD with Doctor Haller (see his article) as well as about PEGIDA (see the article). For another perspective on PEGIDA, see Tanja Wolf’s article (here).