Is this the end of the myth of a stable Germany?

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

German politicians have become accustomed to the convenient role of judges deciding which political parties and their programs in various countries are sufficiently European and deserving of acceptance in accordance with the prevailing canons of liberal Western democracy, and which should be condemned and separated by a “firewall.”

This severity and principality always clearly increase among German political and media commentators, especially when it comes to forming opinions about politics in Central and Eastern European countries.

There are exceptions, such as Wolfgang Schauble, a veteran of German politics, who tirelessly reminds us that Germany should not teach anyone in Europe how democracy should work. However, his voice has been relegated to the sidelines.

There are many indications that in the near future, German media and politicians will have to pay more attention to the situation on their own political scene.

This is all due to the increasingly popular right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD). This party, founded in 2013, was initially quite an exotic undertaking of a group of economists and university professors opposed to Angela Merkel’s then policy towards the crisis in the eurozone.

After a decade of isolation on the political scene, due to the effects of the migration crisis, Berlin’s restrictive policy in combating the pandemic, inflation, and the social and economic costs of stringent climate policy, currently one in five voters declares readiness to support AfD. In the eastern lands of Germany, it can even count on 30 percent of the votes.

During the party congress in Magdeburg, alongside slogans calling for freedom and sovereignty, the demand for peace was equally strong. The AfD particularly attracts those who traditionally harbor resentment towards America, still see Russia as Germany’s strategic partner, and blame the West’s policies for the war in Ukraine.

The attractiveness of this party and its growing support can generally be explained by the fact that it openly and loudly expresses what many ordinary Germans believe today, something that traditional political parties, imprisoned in the circle of political correctness, do not want to admit.

The current climate in Germany has triggered a self-propelling mechanism in which the simple rejection of alternative citizens’ views pushes politics toward greater polarization and a growing loss of stability.

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