Germany Wakes Up to Politics Trump-Style as AfD Takes on Merkel


Corn Field
May 30, 2008
If you think Donald Trump has some outrageous ideas, wait until you meet Germany’s AfD party.
The Alternative for Germany, to give the party its full name, has shaken up the country’s consensus-driven politics with headline-grabbing policies that include telling Germans to have more children to avoid the need for immigration. Frauke Petry, the AfD’s co-leader, has said that police must “prevent illegal border crossings, using firearms if necessary.”
Like Trump, her rhetoric hasn’t damaged AfD support but rather struck a chord with those disgruntled with the establishment parties, in particular nabbing voters unhappy with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy for refugees. The party surged to record support in Sunday’s regional elections, taking seats in all three states that voted and boosting its representation to half of Germany’s 16 state assemblies. The AfD had its strongest showing in Saxony-Anhalt with 24.3 percent, making it the second-biggest party in the former communist eastern state, according to TV projections.
The rise of the AfD in Germany mirrors growing support for populist politicians such as National Front leader Marine Le Pen in France and Trump, who has called for banning Muslims from emigrating to the U.S. Like Trump, Petry spars regularly with the media that follows her every word. One German newspaper even ran a quiz asking readers to attribute statements to Trump or Petry.