Opinion: AfD starts the election year 2021 weak | Germany | DW


The AfD is unique. In what other democratic party would a leader encourage part of his party to quit? And to those who are just about to appeal to new groups of voters? It’s about the not small group of opponents of the German government’s corona policy who gather under the label of “lateral thinkers”. The AfD could use this electorate well, because it has so far not been able to benefit from the pandemic – the polls are stagnating or falling.

Party leader Jörg Meuthen railed against parts of the party

Others try to convince workers of the AfD. But Jörg Meuthen, one of two party leaders, does not want to have anything to do with “Proleten” and the “Kunterbunt” circus of “lateral thinking”. Those who want revolution should “do it elsewhere, but please not in the AfD”. Once before, in the spring, Meuthen had distanced himself from part of the party, whereupon he was accused of deliberate split.

Typical for the AfD

Two chairmen before Meuthen tried to push the party into their line of thinking. This has to do with the two camps of the party fighting for supremacy. On the one hand, there are those who allegedly attach great importance to civil etiquette – like Meuthen. On the other hand, those who prefer to enjoy a beer in the pub around the corner and talk to those who have no university degree. The “commoners” dream of a better CDU or FDP. The others want to serve the right-wing extremists.

Such a power struggle from the top always ended with the political end of the respective person and led to the fact that the two camps at all party levels attacked each other. It throws a dubious light on the party that it has not found a way of team-oriented interaction with one another since it was founded in 2013. If the goal of the political debate is to destroy the other in one’s own ranks, then this shows how pronounced an unhealthy friend-foe thinking is, and how strong the tendency towards authoritarianism is ultimately.

Discipline instead of discussion

Instead of discussing the relationship with the “lateral thinkers”, party chairman Meuthen called for “discipline”. Even if Meuthen’s fear of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution may be behind the action – they will soon decide how the party thinks about the constitution – the question arises: Why did Meuthen choose the stage of a party congress instead of leading the discussion in advance and to moderate?

Germany Federal party conference of the AfD in Kalkar |  Tino Chrupalla

The party conference took place despite Corona – but with a lot of distance

The AfD is weakened in the coming election year in Germany with six state elections and the federal election in autumn. Not only that the polls are stagnating. Not only does the internal party dispute continue to rage, the highlights are also missing in terms of content. At the party congress that has now taken place, a separate pension program should make headlines. But that was now lost because they quarreled again – in short: It’s not a big hit either. And the delegates at the party congress did not even allow the discussion about a kind of basic income, a really modern approach.

And Meuthen? He narrowly escaped disapproval from the party congress, which would probably have resulted in his withdrawal. But the other camp will certainly not rest.

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