The times where right wing parties and according views and discussions could only be met and heard behind closed doors or at the regulars’ table in the good ol’ pub are long over. Parties like the AFD in Germany or the Front National in France are winning significant approval quickly while the well established parties lose it faster than Hillary Clinton deletes her Emails. It is happening all over Europe and the common enemy seems to have been identified: “The Refugees” or just non-European foreigners in general. When talking to supporters of said views, watching them debate on TV, vlogs, blogs or articles the core statement is similar: “We are afraid that our values will be replaced and our culture will be destroyed.”
To some this sounds like bogus from the start, to others it doesn´t. But where does this come from and why? Here´s my opinion: One reason is, that parts of Europe have developed a certain level of ‘socialist’-ish views since the end of WW2. This also includes that opinions, statements or actions which are deemed to be critical towards foreigners, foreign policies or according agendas are quickly labeled as ‘racist’. I have seen people getting figuratively destroyed by the public, media and press even for voicing an opinion that was based on verified facts. Just because someone decided it was ‘racist’. Over many years this lead up to a lot of bottled up anger, issues and rage, also due to the fact that Politicians treat citizens like little children and patronize them on a daily basis. Decisions are being made over our heads all the time and referendums about important issues are rare in most European countries. The refugee crisis was the last drop that caused the barrel to overflow. And now it all bursts out and opinions and views which could have been easily dealt with one by one are forming a gigantic problem now because it´s all happening at once. And the majority of politicians, too far removed from their citizens to even know the price for a pack of milk in the supermarket, watch helplessly how it all unfolds.
I know that especially in Germany the things I´ve described have been and are problematic. Since we found our national pride in some dusty basement room during the 2006 football world championship we apparently try to compensate 70 years of not having it into just a few. I have seen more nationalistic, anti-European demonstrations and violent protests since 2014 than ever before. The protesters use the chant: “We are the people!” which they stole from the citizens who eventually overthrew the dictatorship in the GDR, the German Democratic Republic in 1989/90. I want to mention that the latter risked their freedom, health and lives as well as those of their families to end a murderous, violent communist regime which had split my Fatherland in half for 40 years. The people using the chant these days call refugees from Syria terrorists and want them to be kicked out of Germany, sent back into a war torn country, maybe into captivity or worse. The same goes for the majority of other immigrants and refugees from the middle east. These scenes may sound familiar if you look at the UK or France these days.
I personally believe that this has two major causes: First – The people feel forgotten, ignored, lied to or patronized. Politicians make decisions because they were voted into office to do just that. However, people want to vote on big issues themselves now. They want a direct democracy and have a direct say on topics like “The refugee crisis”, the “Euro crisis”, “Nuclear phase out” or sanctions on other countries. That is the case because many of them do not trust the politicians to make sound decisions for the good of the people anymore.
Second and I believe even more important is communication, or more the lack of it. When was the last time you can remember a pressing issue came up and an elected high ranking Politician or head of state went to the broad public and explained in clear words the cause, action plan and expected concrete outcome? Has that happened during the Euro crisis? I´ve not seen anything worth mentioning. During the refugee crisis? Not that I know off. Imagine a company for example: If you make changes without informing the employees and they just learn about it from someone who has heard rumors from someone else and you don´t clarify and explain the situation – Do you believe changes will be welcomed, understood and supported? It´s the same in Europe just on a bigger scale.
People in France, Germany or the UK are not racist. They are fed up. They´ve had enough of the game that is being played at their expenses. Many don´t vote Front National or AFD because they think it´s awesome to send people back into a war zone. They vote to show the established parties that the people still have the power and can remove them from office. It´s a wake-up call. However, if this will succeed and politicians get the message is questionable. My guess is that the right wing parties will have significant successes in the next government elections and we´ll see Europe change.
And I personally find this terrible because many of the things they promote go against everything I believe in, my morals and my ethics. I hate to see this happening in Europe. The Union must act if it wants to remain a Union. I want the EU. I want peace, freedom and equality for everyone living here. I am German by nationality – But I am European by choice.
And my vote in the next elections will reflect that.
Catch ya later,