This German election is the first time since World War II that a racist and history revisionist party is elected into the German Bundestag - our Congress.
Looking at the predications from Süddeutsche Zeitung just 2 pm on election day (UTC+1) the predictions show a 10+ % yield for the AfD, easily reaching the 5 % threshold for entry.
(Source: www.sueddeutsche.de “Wahlzentrale” from 2017-09-24 14:00 UTC+1)
5.316.095 people made the AfD their first choice and 5.877.094 their second, meaning even more people voted for the party as for individual candidates. From a staggering 61.500.000 people entitled to vote and a total of 46.506.857 who actually casted their second vote - the one for a party - the huge amount of 5.877.094 people selected the AfD. This means every 8-person allowed to vote selected it.
The result for the AfD reached 12,6 %, close to the forecast maximum of 13 %.
(Source: de.wikipedia.org “Bundestagswahl 2017” from 2017-09-28 16:00 UTC+1)
This 24. may be an historic day, but not the first time right winged ideology reaches a German parliament. Saxony in 2004 was one of the first states having this “pleasure”. The NPD there is now gone and replaced by the AfD, still the right is there to stay. Sarcastically enough Chemnitz, a town in Saxony my home state, is also the birth place of Alexander Gauland leader and front-runner of the AfD 2017 election.
What could we learn from all this?
There are people having a racist ideology or are willing to use it for their own selfish good. This people were hiding in big parties. Maybe because of pear pressure or this big party’s conservative views containing “enough ideology” needed for them at the time.
There is also always the other side, the ruling government sticking to power. For the case of Germany, this is Angela Merkel’s problem. It will be her 4th term, may she be selected Kanzler. Being a good Kanzler of a country of 82.67 million, there may be another person out there taking her role. Considering others also must learn to work in political roles, there is not much room left for newcomers inside her party.
Protest voters using a populist party outside of Germany I would say: They don’t know better. Being educated in Germany learning about German history this is not the case for German voters. Even there is a strong point about the actual government not addressing social and economic inequality strong enough, for example the economic situation in East Germany. Just for protest? There are other parties and ways as well!
Finally, it may be also normal to have people of this ideology in your population and therefore represented in congress. For Germany, this maybe a valid point the AfD is making. So far, they were the historical outlaws which nobody wanted to associate with.
As a democratic society, we should accept that their opinion is out there as well. Still this does not mean that we should accept it spreading! Within the rule of law, we should work on altering views and if necessary even use the constitution given power to defend these lands political achievements - may this be a wakeup call to not let history repeat itself even slightly.