In Proud to be a Kraut Tobias links to an article on the loneliness of being German. I can only add my “Read it!” to his. Just as a proof of concept: the article has an overall positive tone and my first thought was “Hey it’s not sensible to write like that, Germans might end up proud of ourselves after reading that!”
For a couple days I have also been thinking about something that doesn’t make a lot of people proud, rather many are ashamed and embarrassed this could happen here: the state elections that took place this past week-end and in which extreme right-wing parties gained seats (or even kept theirs!) in the newly elected state parliaments. Both states are in former Eastern Germany.
I don’t really know what to say. How can anybody vote for a party that was under investigation by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and which was close to being forbidden? I’d like to say those 9% of voters are stupid. But that would over-simplify matters. Because simple stupidity cannot account for 9% – of those who bothered to vote – voting for a political party that wants to roll back history and doesn’t even bother to hide that.
Somewhere I read that too many people mistook “Democracy” as some kind of protest platform.
Somebody else wrote “You just cannot imagine the difference between 3% and 25% unemployment quota if you are not living there!”
Many even feel embarrassed by the results of that vote. Understandable, yes. I wish I knew what those 9% think now, that the results are out.
But people must learn to deal with them better than the journalists and party leaders in the interviews on election night. As it seems the other politicians simply left the traditional “talk” when the NPD candidate started talking slogans and the interviewer simply took the microfone away and ended the interview. Neither very smart moves but again: understandable. Only: I should think that professional TV journalists and politicians should a) know better and b) be prepared, which is their job. I hope everyone learns from the experience. Now that we didn’t manage to pass a law forbidding the NPD (there was no real proof of them working “against the constitution”) and they have been elected in democratic elections they must be dealt with like a democracy has to.
I think the only possible solution to the dilemma of the next years is to let the NPD discredit themselves and show those who voted for them more out of protest than of shared opinion what kind of schmucks these so-called politicians are. In my opinion no sane person can vote for a party endorsing racism, return to “historically grown borders” (say hi to parts of Poland) and what the rest of their program (you can find it on their page, guess the url I won’t link). Their use of demagogic slogans certainly convinced some people. If you read it without being alerted to the content beforehand, you might just think that some of it makes sense. They certainly spend some time to make it sound like it was sensible stuff.
I hope that the next state elections this coming week-end in NRW will turn out different.