At the moment, you can read everywhere that there is one thing you should be when it comes to the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and its supporters, and that is calm. Bernd Ulrich, our chief political editor , and other observers are even writing that, given a million refugees in our country and the resulting upheaval, the Germans have actually remained pretty cool.
I strongly disagree. I took a look at these people at a demonstration by PEGIDA in Dresden. Being in the middle of a mass of people shouting for minutes on end "Lying press!" or "We are the people" took every bit of calmness out of me. These people were intoxicated, aggressive and a bit sluggish. A curious mixture. It seemed to me the crowd was waiting for something.
Now the AfD has seats in eight regional parliaments. I’m not calm or cool at that, I’m mad. People who see others as inferior because they are different, who stir up fear of them and want to have them shot at if needs be don’t belong in German parliaments. Such people are benefiting from democracy but are acting undemocratically toward others. Such people profess to be the only ones taking the concerns of the German people seriously. But they are using these "concerns" only as political currency. The AfD and PEGIDA create anger they can then siphon off, like skimming thick cream off milk. They incite the weak against the even weaker. That is their party platform.
Why is hardly anyone taking any notice of angry citizens like me? Why is everybody paying attention only to those who are assumed to be voting for the right-wing parties?
The word "concerns" has become unbearable. What concerns are they talking about again? And what is it they’re doing to us? They’re making us alien. Is being German so fleeting? The AfD and their ilk are deliberately being vague about that.
The asylum-seekers coming to us in their time of need are mostly Muslims. They aren’t all Syrian engineers, obviously. But so far the overwhelming majority of them are behaving peacefully and haven’t taken anything away from anybody. We have the police and internal state security for the others. I can’t understand why they are even begrudged a cot in a gymnasium. Or why those who want to have them treated reasonably are reviled as "do-gooders." Just because they can’t stand the sight of a child crying with fear because he has to climb off a bus surrounded by a screaming, threatening mob, like in Clausnitz.
A right-wing publicist recently spoke in all seriousness of a "Totalitarianism of the Good." I call these words a brutalization.
Because of its moral cowardice, the political establishment is not in a position to organize the democratic anger of their voters. To show who is and must remain in charge – namely the democrats, the open and the sensible. Instead, there is confused and uncertain plodding about and minor concessions to the haters, such as when a casually-dressed chairman of the Social Democrats, Sigmar Gabriel, sits down with PEGIDA supporters and simply wants to "listen." Or our interior minister who starts using the German familiar "du" with adults as if they were ill-mannered teenagers, telling them not to come here. Or Julia Klöckner, who every couple of months conjures up a burka problem, as if all women here are being forced to wear one.