Tackling the AfD

Let the Xenophobes Self-Destruct

Teilnehmer der AfD Demonstration halten am 07.11.2015 in Berlin ein Transparent mit der Aufschrift "Asyl braucht Grenzen!". Die Alternative für Deutschland AfD hat unter dem Motto «Asylchaos stoppen» eine Demonstration gegen die Flüchtlingspolitik der Bundesregierung mit 5000 Teilnehmern angemeldet. Gleichzeitig waren Gegendemonstrationen vom bürgerlichen Lager bis hin zu Linksautonomen angemeldet.Foto: Paul Zinken/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
An AfD demo in Berlin.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The right-wing populist Alternative for Germany could enter numerous state parliaments and even the federal parliament in elections over the next two years.

  • Facts


    • The AfD has reached 9 percent in the opinion polls and could enter three state parliaments in forthcoming regional elections.
    • The party plays on the fears of German citizens, particularly regarding immigration, but it has no programs to offer voters.
    • The best course of action is to leave the AfD alone and let it self-destruct.
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There’s always an alternative. Perhaps that’s the explanation for the fears that have been spread by the recently arrived right-wing party shaking up Germany’s more traditional political scene. It was just three years ago when Alternative for Germany began spouting the “heaven-help-us” rhetoric every talk show desires but the political establishment doesn’t usually offer.

Since then, the new kid on the block has garnered 9 percent in opinion polls, setting set off the alarm bells among the competition. Above all, representatives of the ruling coalition in  Berlin – the center-right Christian Democratic Union, its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, and their coalition partner, the center-left Social Democrats – are squabbling over how to react to Germany’s doomsayers. Ignore them? Treat them politely? Or fight them aggressively?

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