The Establishment Wants to Ban Germany’s Second Largest Party – for the Sake of Democracy
The rising popularity of AfD has raised strong concerns within the establishment. Despite lies and demonization in the media and isolation from the overall political establishment, the party continues to grow. Certain representatives of the party are accused of becoming increasingly "extreme," and in an unusual move, the influential weekly newspaper Der Spiegel demanded that AfD be "banned."
Published: August 27, 2023, 2:32 pm
In mid-June, Alternative for Germany (AfD) surpassed the Social Democratic Party (SPD) to become Germany’s second-largest party in terms of public opinion. By August, they had garnered a substantial 21 percent of voter support, three percentage points ahead of the SPD and five percentage points behind the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Some individual opinion polls even showed AfD with as much as 23 percent support.
The growing public support for AfD, which has already been the dominant party in the eastern parts of the country for a while, but is now also growing in the western regions, has shaken the establishment. Both the coalition government composed of the SPD, the Free Democratic Party, and the Greens, as well as the Christian Democratic opposition outside the government, have continued to argue that the so-called “firewall” against AfD must be maintained: absolutely no cooperation of any kind whatsoever.
Recently, CDU’s chairman Friedrich Merz found himself in hot water after stating that practical cooperation on municipal matters was unavoidable and even required by law. After facing internal criticism, he had to backtrack and confirm that he naturally did not advocate cooperation at the “legislative” levels, meaning in state parliaments or the Bundestag.
AfD’s female spokesperson, Alice Weidel, stated during the AfD conference in Magdeburg that it’s hypocritical to speak in favor of democracy while isolating a party with significant popular support from influence.
“The firewall must be torn down. We are the largest in eastern Germany, and what we are witnessing now is just the beginning. No one will surpass us as the strongest force. The firewall is antidemocratic; millions of voters are excluded from influence. We speak with all parties; it’s our duty to the voters; otherwise, we’ll have excessive political polarization. We need to create a bulwark against the Green party, which advocates for banning us.”
The established parties have also invoked constitutional protection several times. In some federal states, AfD has been placed under “observation” for “suspected anti-constitutional efforts.” The focus has primarily been on ethnonationalist statements from certain representatives, where it’s considered unconstitutional to talk about “true Germans” in an ethnic sense as opposed to “Germans” who are immigrants and citizens.
AfD has taken “legal counteractions” by appealing such decisions, which have been successful in several cases. In one federal state, the term “extremism” was withdrawn by Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution after a decision by an administrative court.
Not surprisingly, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution faced significant criticism during AfD’s party conference at the end of July. The Office has “delegitimized itself,” among other things, according to statements made.
In an unusually bold move, the magazine Der Spiegel entered the debate on August 11 with an editorial titled “Ban Enemies of the Constitution!” Der Spiegel has a globalist profile and is the largest political weekly magazine in Europe. They argue that AfD has “become increasingly radicalized. It’s time to defend democracy with sharper weapons.”
SPD party leader Olaf Scholz has also expressed that a ban should be considered if it can be proven that AfD can be categorized as a “right-wing extremist group” by constitutional protection.
Many have reacted to the fact that the political establishment and its mainstream media believe that the best way to defend democracy is to undermine it.
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