The most powerful land is always despised
Most party conference speeches say more about the speaker than about the ones he insults when speaking as an opponent. They bring out his worldview. Alexander Gauland's speech at the AfD party conference was a revelation. It has long been known that the AfD's most powerful man, who was once in the CDU for forty years, has come a long way to the far right. In this speech, however, he openly showed the great contempt with which the AfD views democratic institutions and their elected representatives.
Gauland's words revealed excessiveness and, at the same time, an almost incomprehensible lack of history: the chairman repeatedly equated the Chancellor with Erich Honecker, the ruler of the SED dictatorship in the GDR, which fell in 1989. With a view to the Bundestag he spoke of a "democracy simulation" and let his audience, who applauded gratefully, also know where this AfD was going in Germany: a whole apparatus, a whole system had to go, said Gauland.
For this, the AfD wants to conquer the parliaments, for this it sits in the Bundestag, and for this it wants to use the means and advantages of this democracy, which it so despises - especially when it brings many millions of euros for the development of its own cadre schools. That is the central substantive decision of this party congress. After a highly emotional debate, the AfD decided to recognize the "Desiderius Erasmus Foundation" as its party-affiliated foundation.
The proponents expressed the motive for this bluntly. You want to get tax money quickly, such as those found in other parties' foundations for their work. The deceitful thing is that the AfD constantly accuses the other parties of making use of the state, but wants to profit particularly quickly itself.
The critics rightly complained about the betrayal of principles and criticized the lack of transparency of the foundation project. The foundation chairwoman Erika Steinbach won the AfD's approval with a populist speech and barely said a word about her work. A typical pattern of the AfD: Anyone who wants to achieve something has to serve resentment at party congresses; the coarser the escalation, the greater the approval.
There are enormous differences in content, especially in social policy
In Augsburg it happened with the feeling that the AfD is almost invulnerable in the current mood. In fact, the party can just afford not to speak about its many gaps in content and internal fault lines. Xenophobia and resentment against migrants, including hatred of those in power, work like a unifying bond, even among their voters. So you set yourself up in the apparatus of the establishment and can still remain a protest party for the time being.
But there are enormous contradictions in terms of content, especially in social policy; they briefly came to light in Augsburg. The AfD postponed this conflict until next year. It could be felt that he can quickly bring them to the edge of the split again. But that will only happen when resentment alone is no longer enough for success.
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