Monday, March 14, 2016

The Crazies March on and We are Asleep at the Wheel

Germany does what it does best: soul searching, navel gazing and wringing of hands. What happened this time? The right-winged populist AfD (Alternative for Germany) increased its share of votes into the double digits in three state elections this weekend.
Just a week ago, the German media were full of indignation at Trump’s apparent unstoppable march towards the presidential candidacy. It was a nice distraction from our own political problem. Just as in the United States we have no one else to blame than ourselves for leaving it up to others to sort out political extremism. To have a great coalition run a country is always a bad idea unless they view themselves as an anomaly during exceptional times, such as war. However, establishing a great coalition as the norm and then having a public shouting match over how to deal with a refugee crisis can only result in extremists filling in a political vacuum.
The United States didn’t have a great coalition but it had two parties too busy blocking each other making that unique and defining element of a democratic politics impossible: cooperation and compromise. The result? Trump.

In both cases the fault lies with people like me. People who don’t get off their behinds to march against the crazies. I am heartened to see the fans of Bayern Munich make an unmistakable statement in the ranks behind the goal posts. Now, if only people like me could get a move on, too.


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