Member of the Bundestag Sahra Wagenknecht from the Left party (Die Linke) has defended Alternative for German (AfD) voters against accusations of racism.
“Voters who switched from us to the AfD are not racists. These are people who feel abandoned by politics and also by my party and assume that they can only express their protest by voting for the AfD,” she said in an interview with the web.de online portal.
At the same time, she renewed her criticism of her party for having lost sight of ordinary voters, non-academics, and workers.
“We have to become the voice of the dissatisfied again, who for good reasons want a different policy and more social equilibrium,” she said.
Even if the last election campaign was not about migration, she notes that people in the eastern federal states, in particular, were “entitled to worry that their living environment would change fundamentally.”
Wagenknecht has been outspoken about immigration in the past and has become something of a political sensation due to her contrarian views on a range of issues. While those who support radical identity politics within her own party have tried to force her out, her popularity with rank-and-file voters of the Left Party have enabled her to secure her place in the party.
“They talk about immigration as a great asset, but at the same time pay close attention to their own children going to schools where they only get to know other cultures through literature or art classes,” said Wagenknecht of the elite who tend to support modern left-wing identity politics in her new book, which was released earlier this year.
Wagenknecht said she is concerned about the future of her party. Another reason for the poor result of her party, which scored only 4.9 percent in the federal election, is, according to her, the transformation of the Left Party into a party of “the well-off academic ‘Fridays-for-Future’ milieu.”
Her party lost nearly half its support since the last federal elections.
The former chairman of the Bundestag faction is also convinced that the party was hurt by its offer to participate in government.
“We should have acted more self-confidently and emphasized the differences with these parties instead of chasing them. We have signaled to some that they can just as easily vote for the SPD if they want a social government. And we also alienated the protest voters because the impression arose that we would throw many positions overboard after the election to be able to participate in the government,” Wagenknecht said.
In retrospect, the party’s election manifesto was “dishonest,” complained the politician. The Greens’ demands on climate and energy policy have been accepted, but were met with incomprehension on the part of “voters who live in the country and cannot afford a ‘smart’ Tesla.”
“We shouldn’t go on like this because that endangers our existence,” warned Wagenknecht.