A Review of the public political Discourse in Context to the recent State Elections in Hesse

8개월 전

On Sunday the 28th of October the state election in Hesse concluded with a major loss for the established two "Volksparteien" CDU and SPD, and a big percentual gain for the Green Party and the AFD, Germanys rightwing party that emerged in 2013.

Instead of discussing the results of the election, nor the viewpoints of the parties, I want to focus on the course of the public debate that led up to this, specifically how the odds are very unfavorable for the right in general.

Right wing politics, nationalism, EU skepticism are synonimous with nationalsocialism in Germany. The public perception of "right" is probably skewed beyond repair. Even tho nationalsocialism is arguably a left wing ideology, the broad brush is applied to anything right of the center. Everyone affiliated with the AFD is labeled a Nazi, that is only driven by irrational fear of foreigners.

How did we get there?

In the US and most countries the right is accepted as a mainstream political force. In Germany the rhetoric equates it most of the time with Nazism. The indoctrination of this starts at young age in school, often federally funded.
Of course there is no reason to be opposed to campaigns against any form of political extremism, even though their effectiveness is somewhat dubious. But the rhetoric is always very unfavorable of any right wing ideologies, let´s have a look at some campaign names that target supposed right wing extremism.

Amongst campaigns against racism, anti-semitism, nazism, there are campaigns "against the right". Sadly this is the association that pops up in the heads of most people in Germany and the right is deligitimized as a whole.

The Green and Left party of Germany run their election campaigns with the explicit goal to fight Nazism. Again, there is no differentiation between extremism and conventional right wing viewpoints.

"Edge against the right - Right wing extremism in Munich and Bavaria"

"Your Vote against the Right - Fight racism and incitement"

The nuance is totally lost and the defamation of anything right of the center is at all time highs. It boggles the mind to which lenghts the defamation goes. No debate of substance is taking place anymore, the political discourse is centered on accusations and labeling. Political Correctness stiffles the discourse to the point where only the mere accusation of Nazism is enough to scare many people not to reveal their political beliefs or back down, to the point it might threaten their employment. Labeling someone a Nazi strips him off all human rights, makes the person subhuman, which in return does legitimize destroying their property doxxing, threatening and attacking them in the eyes of most. It offers an easy way to defame the opposing political party without having to discuss anything substancial, the mere labeling of Nazism is enough to shy people away from associating themselves with e.g the AFD.

No matter how far fetched this accusation is, it is the most powerful tool to discredit people in todays Germany.
It goes so far that a black representative of the AFD, Archille Demagbo, is uninvited from a school debate, well, because racism. The man was uninvited to prevent him from promoting racism and xenophobia. It takes some serious mental gymnastics not to see the irony in this.
Source: https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article141406127/Ein-Schwarzafrikaner-haelt-die-Stellung-bei-der-AfD.html

Something drastically needs to change. We need to go back to discussing politics instead of labeling each other with derogaroty terms. We need to start speaking out what we believe, even if it comes at a cost. The cowardness needs to stop and people have to stand up for what they believe. Equating right wing politics to Nazism is the first step to get back to a healthy discourse. I encourage everyone to go to the rallies of the opposing parties with an open mind, engage in discussion and assume the people are doing it with good intent. We have to stop organising mobs that shout and defame people with different beliefs.

We have to. We are facing a societal divide that is unprecedented in Germany if we continue down this road. It should be in everyones interest to preserve the democratic princilpes and it starts with you.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  trending

I agree that many AfD supporters aren't nazis. In fact, I'm a progressive but grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household in Germany and some of my best friends sympathize with the AfD because of their "Christian values".

However, you got to admit that the elected AfD politicians are often fringe-right-wing, talking of shooting refugees at the border, how they wouldn't want to have a black neighbor, an AfD local charter (Rottweil/Tuttlingen) even said they want refugees fleeing across the Mediterranian to "drown" to disincentivize other refugees to make the journey.

If you support the AfD for whatever reasons, then either you don't really know or think about those truly extremist things, or you support them, or you don't care either way. That has to be adressed, we can't pretend like THAT aspect of the AfD is "just another normal democratic party"

But other than that, sure we should talk normally to the SUPPORTERS of the AfD, we shouldn't demonize them, or rather only that fraction of them that sociopathically supports killing people. You can't convince people of your position or party by demonizing them, we learned that now and we learned it when Trump won while Hillary only put his supporters into a "basket of deplorables"


I'll answer in full when I'm free again. Thanks for contributing!

Great piece of content, meat!

What do you expect in a world where people use hashtags in order to communicate? #wirsindmehr is probably the best example of how dumbing down a society through labeling works.

The historically conditioned angst of falling back into old pattern in combination with a constant loss of language and healthy public debate is leading to a simple-minded, distorted view on the world.

A conservative standpoint is automatically condemned to be hate speech of nazis. WTF. You perfectly summed it up: all parties do align their own campaigns with the AfD now. As long as you're against right, it somewhat doesn't even matter what you stand for.

Here's how opinion making in our instasociety works (picture that came across my Facebook feed on Sunday):

Good lucky, Germany!


Great addition! 100% right!

You got a 75.99% upvote from @booster courtesy of @supermeatboy!


You can earn a passive income from our service by delegating your stake in SteemPower to @booster. We'll be sharing 100% Liquid tokens automatically between all our delegators every time a wallet has accumulated 1K STEEM or SBD.
Quick Delegation: 1000| 2500 | 5000 | 10000 | 20000 | 50000

Congratulations @supermeatboy! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You made more than 400 comments. Your next target is to reach 500 comments.

Click here to view your Board of Honor
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

To support your work, I also upvoted your post!

Do not miss the last post from @steemitboard:

Trick or Treat - Publish your scariest halloween story and win a new badge
SteemitBoard notifications improved

Support SteemitBoard's project! Vote for its witness and get one more award!

Congratulations @supermeatboy! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You got more than 400 replies. Your next target is to reach 500 replies.

Click here to view your Board of Honor
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Do not miss the last post from @steemitboard:

The new Steemfest³ Award is ready!

Support SteemitBoard's project! Vote for its witness and get one more award!


Sure thing. HMU on discord