By Jared Peterson
These thoughts reflect the writer’s concern about the worsening political and social conditions in Germany, a nation whose importance — for America, Europe, and the world — should require no laboring to a readership of politically sophisticated Americans.
What’s happening today in Germany is deeply disturbing.
And it’s not for the reason casual American observers, including many conservatives, might think based on information derived from the mainstream English-language media. Contrary to these purveyors of globalist, multi-cultural propaganda, the reason for growing unease about Germany is not the presence in the German parliament (Bundestag), and persistent electoral strength, of “Die Alternative für Deutschland” (“The alternative for Germany,” or AFD) — invariably, counterfactually, and ludicrously styled by the Western corporate media as the far-right AFD — as they style all western European political parties committed to preserving national cultures.
Deep concern about Germany arises because of two different but related phenomena.
First, Angela Merkel’s destruction of the center-right Christian Democrats/Christian Social Union (the Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands, or CDU, and the Christlich Soziale Union in Bayern, or CSU, respectively), and her radical transformation of those allied parties, which together formed most of the post war governments that led Germany out of the physical and moral ruins of World War II. Through Merkel’s policies, the CDU/CSU have been shorn of their conservative principles and become nearly indistinguishable from Germany’s extremist Die Grünen (“the Greens”) and its dying Sozial Demokratische Partei Deutschlands (the old socialists, or “SPD”).
And second, and much more worrying, Merkel’s baseless demonization and, increasingly, outright persecution, of all those Germans, principally former CDU/CSU voters, who’ve been compelled by the Merkelization of the CDU/CSU to transfer their allegiance to the only German political party that today can accurately be characterized as conservative, the AFD.
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A few words about my qualifications, such as they are:
Germany has interested me since I was 14 years old, when I first encountered the German language. After three years of high school German, all the while devouring books on German history, I followed up with a further full year of German at U.C. Berkeley and, after that, off and on as law practice permitted, further study of German language and history.
By my mid-30s, when frequent travels in Europe and Germany became possible, I had acquired what German friends described as a fluent command of the language, though I still dispute their opinion. I can’t discuss serious subjects in German nearly as well as in English, and the frequent complexities of written German still occasionally force me to reread a sentence or entire paragraph, sometimes more than once. But for a long time, ordinary, daily conversation in German has been a piece of cake.
Language fluency allow a level of understanding of a foreign culture that’s otherwise simply not possible. Over the course of my travels and stays in the German-speaking world beginning in 1981, I’ve probably spoken at length with hundreds of Germans at all levels of society, from members of the Bundestag and business executives to waiters, cab drivers, students, and store clerks.
More recently, I’ve also been able to access two other sources of information unavailable to non-German-speakers — first, the few existing alternative, generally conservative, German language news and political commentary websites. These include jungefreiheit.de, journalistenwatch.com, and epochtimes.de. Second, I’ve listened on YouTube to scores — probably hundreds — of speeches in the Bundestag, including those by most AFD leaders and representatives, as they cite facts and present rational arguments ignored by government and media, to be greeted with catcalls and epithets instead of answers.
These alternative sources of information and commentary are especially critical for understanding today’s Germany, because the one-sidedness of the German mainstream media, both television and newspapers — the latter still more important in Germany than in post-newsprint America — makes mainstream American news outlets seem a model of evenhandedness. In ubiquitous unity of viewpoint unfailingly parroting the Merkel government line, especially on mass Muslim immigration, and in avoiding coverage of events or facts uncongenial to the government’s propaganda, today’s major German media more closely resemble the Soviet Union’s or the DDR (Communist East Germany, Die Deutsche Demokratische Republik)’s than that of a modern Western democracy.
After all this, I think I’ve acquired at least a bit more information and insight into current conditions in Germany, including who and what the AFD is, than the average American political commentators who regularly pontificate about all things European.
So much for my qualifications, and back to the point.
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The AFD today — overwhelmingly drawing its office-holders, activists, and voters from previous German conservatives who have been made politically homeless by Merkel’s leftist transformation of the CDU/CSU — is the only German political party that would be recognizable today to such postwar German CDU/CSU icons as Konrad Adenauer, Ludwig Erhard, and Helmut Kohl. The AFD is conservative; patriotic; pro–free markets; pro-Israel and highly supportive of the Jewish presence in Germany; opposed to mass third-world, especially Muslim, immigration to Germany and Europe; and completely committed to parliamentary democracy, freedom of expression, and the rule of law — but these absolutely indisputable stances have not made a dent in the increasingly desperate governmental and mainstream media slanders directed at the party.
When you read “far-right AFD” or “extremist AFD,” don’t believe it.
It’s the great lie of today’s German politics.
The real cause for deep concern about present-day Germany has nothing to do with the mainstream media’s slander of the AFD and everything to do with the following two facts.
- Angela Merkel has turned the CDU/CSU, for fifty years a center-right party, into a party of the left through two major decisions: first, her full embrace of the truly extremist German Greens’ Greta Thunberg–like climate hysteria, with its consequent war on the German economy, especially atomic energy, coal, diesel fuel, and the German auto industry, leading, among other baleful effects, to the highest energy costs in Europe for average Germans; and, second — and without a doubt the most catastrophic of all postwar decisions by a German chancellor — her 2015 decision to admit into Germany, and, hence, given the E.U.’s open borders, into all of Europe, at least 1 million totally unvetted Muslim “refugees,” a number that today has swelled to in excess of 2 million through continuing immigration and “family reunification” and that continues to grow.
- Angela Merkel, supported by the state-sponsored German media and fearful, short-sighted, self-interested elites, has responded tyrannically — no other word fits the facts — to all who dare criticize the foregoing policies, especially the “refugee” invasion. The principal target of Merkel’s galloping repression has been the AFD.
As will become apparent from the last political vignette below, this campaign of repression has reached a level of such anti-democratic intensity that it is now questionable whether Germany still deserves to be regarded as a free country governed by the rule of law.
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Overwhelmingly because of the 2015 Merkel-sponsored “refugee” invasion, the AFD surged into the Bundestag in the 2017 national election with nearly 13% of the vote, giving it 94 representatives and making it the third largest party in Germany after the CDU/CSU (32.9%, 246 representatives, down sharply from 41.5% in the prior election) and the SPD (20.5%, 153 representatives, also down sharply from 25.7% in the prior election).
Also present in the Bundestag after the 2017 elections were three other smaller parties crucial to forming a parliamentary governing coalition: the FDP (“Freie Demokratische Partei,” an old and respected pro–free markets party [think the Koch brothers], 10.7%, 80 representatives, up sharply from 5.9% in the prior election); the odious Left, or “Die Linke,” in effect the undead East German Communists (9.2%, 69 representatives, minimally up from 8.6% in the prior election); and the reality-averse German Greens (8.9%, 67 representatives, also marginally up from their 8.5% showing in the prior election).
Since the 2017 elections, the Merkel government (a “grand coalition” of CDU/CSU and SPD) has done all it can to crush the AFD and make the party and its office-holders and supporters untouchable — short only of actually outlawing the party and jailing its leaders. That may yet come.
The government and its media and institutional allies have employed four principal weapons to crush the AFD.
First, the great lie, regularly calling all AFD voters and elected officials “fascists and Nazis.”These are enormously effective, indeed terrorizing, epithets in a nation whose people have been bombarded and traumatized from earliest childhood with the evils of the 1933–45 period — and they no more fit the AFD than similar labels fit the American Republican Party.
Second, ostracizing and ignoring — as but one example, AFD Bundestag representatives and leaders are rarely if ever given a voice on either of the nation’s state-sponsored television stations — to which every German is compelled by law to provide tax support.
Third, threats of, and actual, violence by Antifa, formally allied with the German extreme Left, but — proving how far left Angela Merkel has moved in substance and methods — almost never even criticized, let alone effectively combatted, by her “center-right” government. In fact, in her battle to destroy the AFD, Antifa has become Merkel’s storm troopers.
And fourth, a blanket refusal by the Merkel CDU/CSU to work with, let alone form a coalition government with, the AFD — this last tactic compelled the CDU/CSU after the 2017 election to attempt such a strange coalition as one composed of the radical Greens and the pro-capitalism FDP, an ill starred bit of foolishness that was squelched by the FDP leadership’s inability to remain in the same room for very long with the unhinged Greens. In recent times, the CDU/CSU’s Merkel-dictated refusal to work with the AFD has even led to the unthinkable — but still thought — idea of forming a government with the “The Left” (“Die Linke”), the successor party — it cannot be too often stated — to the vile East German communists.
Much of what one needs to know about Angela Merkel can be inferred from her preference to govern with “Die Linke” or the Greens (as her party already does in the German state of Baden Wrttemberg), both of which explicitly loathe their country, than with the AFD, a party overwhelmingly led and supported by her own party’s prior members and voters.
This is Germany today — a deeply divided, confused, and frightened country, governed by a small group of career politicians who are prepared, for a variety of motives, to employ any methods necessary, including anti-democratic, extra-constitutional, and illegal means, to utterly suppress the only organized political resistance to its immigration policies, which a large percentage of Germans believe will to destroy German civilization.
I leave the readers with a critical, and current, example of how far Merkel’s budding tyranny has gone in employing means contrary to the German constitution, the rule of law, and parliamentary democracy in its efforts to destroy dissent and the AFD.
Recent Events in Thuringia
The state of Thuringia, one of 16 German states (Bundesländer) and the westernmost state of the old East Germany, held an election in October of 2019. Before that election, Thuringia’s Ministerpresident (equivalent to a U.S. governor) was Bodo Ramelow, a member of “Die Linke,” the Left. Ramelow had been elected by the prior Thuringia parliament (Landtag) with the votes of his own party, Die Linke, plus those of the SPD and the Greens, as destructive a political coalition as could be cobbled together in today’s Germany. In fact, Ramelow’s Ministerpresidency was the first German state government since reunification to include the old East German communists.
In October of 2019, a new state election was held in Thuringia, and Ramelow’s foul-smelling political troika, and the chancellor’s now leftist CDU, both took heavy losses that mainly benefited the AFD. After that election the makeup of the Thuringia Landtag was as follows:
Linke: 29 representatives
AFD: 22 representatives
CDU: 21 representatives
SPD: 8 representatives
FDP: 5 representatives
Greens: 5 representatives
The AFD’s second-place finish in Thuringia, ahead of the chancellor’s leftist CDU, sent shockwaves through German politics.
After that 2019 election, in accordance with standard parliamentary practice, the Thuringia Landtag elected a new Ministerpresident. The result was another political earthquake. On February 5, 2020, with the votes of most CDU representatives, plus those of the FDP and AFD, Thomas Kemmerich of the pro-business FDP was elected Ministerpresident. What facilitated this result was the refusal by most Thuringia CDU representatives to follow Merkel’s diktat never to support or vote with the AFD. In fact, what that election showed is that most local CDU Thuringia representatives preferred to govern with a patriotic party than to submit to further rule by Germany’s destructive Left.
But then Angela Merkel jumped in with different preferences. While traveling in South Africa last week, Merkel announced that the Thuringia parliamentary election result was “unacceptable” and had to be “canceled.” Just like that.
British Remainers and American Trump-hating Deep-Staters can only gaze on Merkel with envy.
Merkel’s words from Africa will live in infamy in European political history, because they signal the beginning of the end of parliamentary democracy in Germany. I will not inflict all of Merkel’s German on AT readers, but her most important words were that the Thuringia parliamentary election was “unforgiveable” (“unverzeihlich”) and that it “must be reversed” (muss ruckgängich gemacht werden).
And so, by the diktat of a chancellor ludicrously claiming to protect democracy, a democratic election was declared unacceptable. Reversed. Canceled. And very fast.
Thomas Kemmerich, not made of Trump’s stuff, resigned his office 25 hours after being elected, making him the shortest serving Ministerpresident in the history of the Bundesrepublik.
The situation in Thuringia is now confused, but it’s likely that the chancellor’s diktat will lead to the re-emergence of a state government of the Left.
In Germany, to its shame, dictatorship prevailed.
What Germany’s new would-be dictator, Angela Merkel, said last week is that the German people can vote for the AFD, but under no circumstances, regardless how many votes that party receives, will it be permitted to govern, to participate in a government, or even to participate in electing a government.
Freedom, the rule of law, and democracy are in real peril in Germany. As Americans, this should concern us all.
In the struggle to preserve Western civilization against internal enemies who would demonize its history, discard or outlaw its cultural patrimony, and overwhelm it with millions of hostile and unassimilable aliens — a struggle President Trump now leads — America needs allies. Germany, the most important country on the continent where the West arose, needs to be among them. Merkel’s lawless actions over the last week, part of her slander of her bravest critics and her growing suppression of German freedom and democracy, deserve the condemnation of every American conservative.