TWIG 625: You Can't Handle the Waffle!

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What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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I think identifying with a political party is a very American thing, at least compared to Europe.

Whilst there is a hard core for each party here, in Germany, I would guess a majority don’t identify with one of the major parties (CDU, CSU, FDP, SDP, Green, Left, AfD, Pirate Party or one of the lesser parties). You often get protest votes, which is how the Green party managed to originally get a foothold, I believe, and why the last time around, the AfD did so well.

Whilst there is a core of AfD support, they managed to swing votes in the poorer states, where people were fed up with hollow promises from the big parties (CDU, CSU, SDP). They promised no more immigrants taking away jobs and more jobs over all. That was a very tempting rhetoric for a people, many of whom had lost their jobs when Germany unified or who still think that they are 2nd class citizens, because they live in the East.

The AfD was well funded and had some savvy advisers who ran similar campaigns to the Republicans in 2016 on Facebook and other social media. They suddenly sprung up from nowhere to claim over 10% of the vote.

Where I am, most of the people I talk to have no party affiliation, they don’t feel strongly about one party or another. They are keeping their options open, but “don’t like Laschett”, the replacement for Merkel in the CDU/CSU alliance, or don’t like a specific policy of a specific party. Thankfully not many, around here, vote for the AfD (extreme radical right). The extreme left (Die Linke) also gets relatively few votes, people want some change, but nothing that radical.

But it only takes a really good social media campaign, at a lot of people could be swayed.

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Being overly reductive, I think Americans use politics as their religion instead of soccer.