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Is This Germany’s Le Pen?

Alice Weidel’s involvement with Germny’s right wing Alternative for Germany  is hard to explain.  

How can a lesbian woman, Fpmer economist at  Goldman Sachs. raising two children together with her partner even bear the existence of a party that disparages gays and lesbians as an “outspoken minority”? And how can an economist who has a residence in Switzerland, who has lived in China for years and has worked for globally networked companies beat the drum for a party that wants to preserve Germany’s national “identity” and seal its borders?

In public appearances, Weidel’s tone is stilted and her message sounds rehearsed – as though she were playing the role of zealot just to please her right-wing audience. But her success as a rabble-rouser in conservative pantsuits is the product of cool calculation. Weidel has so far simply avoided revealing any convictions that might be detrimental to her political career. Anything that could bother people or be damaging is suppressed. Partners who are no longer useful, like Lucke or Petry, are simply shoved aside if necessary.

Support for ‘Dexit’

Politically, Weidel has always been an agitator. Since becoming a member of AfD, the economist has maintained a fundamentally critical position toward the euro – one likely inspired by her late doctoral thesis adviser, Peter Oberender, who had likewise been critical of the common currency. She has championed “Dexit,” Germany’s withdrawal from the European currency union. Not even euroskeptical former party head Lucke had wanted to go that far.

In her four years as a member of AfD, Weidel has also maintained her position opposing a “centralistic EU.” The same applies to her revulsion of Islam and her contempt for poorly educated refugees. Although Weidel may respect top bankers from Pakistan, she has far less sympathy for refugees from Afghanistan who lack high school degrees.

In May 2016 Ms. Weidel cancelled a meeting Aiman Mazyek, the head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany. The AfD leader announced at the time that she wanted to have nothing to do with “confessed supporters of Sharia” law who had never distanced themselves from the “Stone Age practices” of their religion. AfD party head Petry at least dared to contact Mazyek, Weidel still maintains today that there is no point in conducting dialog with Muslim organizations. “As a woman, I also want to be able to take the last train home at night without fear,” she announced at the party’s recent convention in Cologne. It was obvious from her statement that she was referring to foreigners and not white-skinned and Christian passengers.

Despite her own sexual identity, Weidel has never rejected her party’s homophobia. She knows that would only serve to make her unpopular.

 


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