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… and then a step to the right…

The elections here are over, and the outcome is worse than I had expected or hoped for – the AfD is third strongest party in the Bundestag. That is a definite step to the right, and the right is not something I want to have in German politics. Hell, I don’t want a right in any politics.

We’re all human. We live in one world. There are problems enough already that we should occupy ourselves with, and that we should try to tackle – our overboarding use of energy and natural resources, the resultant changes in climate, flora and fauna, our not very sensible allocation of goods and resources and, yes, riches. I’m not saying that we should go to full-fledged communism (oh, no thank you, I don’t believe in Utopia any more than in Santa Claus), or giving everybody a heap of money no matter what, but I also believe that if you are working full-time, you should be earning enough money to have a decent home and decent food, and that there’s a limit in the amount of money that one person can really need. Also – we’re destroying our planet with our lifestyle, and we’re not even doing it slowly anymore. Yes, it’s not easy to change things up and maybe have to compromise, or have a little less convenience here or there, or not take the car for a change, or re-use things. But we only have one planet, as far as I know interstellar travel has not been invented nor has a second Earth been found for us to waste.

So yes, I firmly believe that there are more important things than who is white, or black, or red, or yellow, and whether it’s better to be from this country or the other. All countries have their own character, and their own pros and cons and differences, and that is what makes things so interesting – but you can find very, very different types of people and social interaction when you go from one part of Germany to another, and more similar types of social interaction when you go from a certain part of Germany to a place in a totally different country.

And you know what? That is fine. That makes travel interesting. It makes our world a nicer, more interesting place. And like having a large enough genetic variability in a population, it means that humans, globally and overall, might have a chance to face and conquer all kinds of problems at some point. Which, as I mentioned, we have more than enough of – poverty, stupid and unneccesary wars and squabbles, hurricanes and other natural catastrophes, and our wasteful ways of life, to name just a few of the biggies.

We are diverse. As individuals, as regions, as countries, as cultures. Finding and building an union with and inside our diversity is what makes us strong. The right-wing people falsely think that an union means you need to narrow down what may be inside, and then you need to protect the union by letting nobody else in and fencing yourself off from the outside. Yes, it takes more work to find and build a union from diversity, but it will also make it a bigger, better, smarter thing with more resources and a wider spectrum of thoughts and ideas.

One big thing in German food culture is the Döner, which was invented or at least popularised in Germany by Turkish immigrants for Turkish workers who needed something that could be eaten in a short lunch break. German Döner is a distinctive thing, and it’s immensely popular. It also wouldn’t be there if we had no Turkish immigrants. There’s so many things that people coming from other places can bring, and it makes life interesting, and gets you to think, and talk, and find different perspectives. It makes you realise that there might be different ways to do things, different tastes, different combinations of things that will also work, and possibly even better than what you are used to. Yes, it can also cause problems – but so can home-grown, home-brewed stupidity.

We don’t need that step to the right. Not in Germany, not in any other place. The Brexit shenanigans should have been a clear signal that union is better than separatism, but oh, well, the capacity for stupidity in human beings just remains immense.

I’m just hoping that the AfD will be faced by enough people with a spine from the middle and left-wing fractions. 340 seats, according to the current preliminary numbers, will be filled with politicians from the middle right to far right. May the other 369 have mercy on us and do a good job in keeping that step to the right as small as possible.

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2 Responses to … and then a step to the right…

  1. Heather says:

    There was a survey of paid up members of the UK Independence Party, which was founded to campaign for leaving the EU, that showed that not everyone wanted to leave (about 25%). When asked they couldn’t answer why they’d joined or stayed members.

    The Eddie Izzard sketch about restricting a gene pool to increase cultural or racial purity should be compulsory viewing: after all the banner waving and self-satisfaction of the founding generation, the first generation may be holding it together, but the second generation are struggling with basic arithmetic…

    A friend who is naturally pessimistic was happy when Trump got in. He felt that it was a safety valve, allowing ideas to be brought to light and dealt with instead of continuing to fester and grow unchecked until one day they erupt into something much larger. He lives in a country that’s staunchly conservative so views it from a different angle.

  2. Katrin says:

    Well, we will find out how it goes. Unless someone invents time travel and goes back to mess up things, there’s no way we won’t!

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