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Interview with AfD candidate Alice Weidel: "The citizens are interested in the here and now!"

Alice Weidel leads the AfD into the federal election campaign together with Tino Chrupalla: But the party stagnates in the polls. It does not succeed in being publicly perceived as it would like it to be. Why not?

Miss Dr. Weidel, what do you and Tino Chrupalla offer the voters - compared to Joachim Wundrak and Joana Cotar, against whom you prevailed in the fight for the top AfD candidate duo?

Alice Weidel: We naturally offer the AfD as an urgently needed reform force for Germany.

So is there no difference between the two duos?

Weidel: Tino Chrupalla and I stand for the program of our party, we complement each other very well and thus cover the entire spectrum of the AfD.

What does the AfD have to offer the voters for the next legislative period?

Weidel: We are very much looking forward to continuing our constructive opposition work. As has been shown in the past four years, we are using roll-call voting to force the other parties to position themselves. In this way, citizens can find out at any time how their constituency representatives voted on individual political issues.
"In the long term you will not get past the AfD"
After all, isn't that poor, don't you think your voters want an option of power?

Weidel: You know yourself that it doesn't just depend on the AfD.

Yes, but do you have a strategy to solve the problem?

Weidel: I am convinced that in the medium to long term there will be no getting past the AfD. In the next two legislative periods there will be government participation in an eastern German state.


Weidel: The desolate state of the CDU is also the result of the fact that it permanently refuses to accept a conservative majority and thus makes itself superfluous. If they continue, they will continue to disintegrate.

In the last election in a central German state, in Saxony-Anhalt, the CDU overtook the AfD by a large margin, although it was initially behind it.

Weidel: The CDU has not only lost over a third of its members in recent years, it has also lost a massive amount of votes. In some states it has fallen from over forty percent to just over twenty, which is dramatic! I do not consider the pulverization of the CDU to be a momentary phenomenon, but rather a historical process that Ms. Merkel led it into.

So the AfD has no strategy, but just waits?

Weidel: No, we have various strategies.

For example?

Weidel: The problem is that the ball is not with us, but with the Union, which with its refusal to block any coalition. But they won't be able to hold out forever.

However, the AfD regularly stabbed everyone who campaigned internally for cooperation with the CDU / CSU.

Weidel: I can't see that.
Some of the party's problems are homemade.

Aren't there a number of bad statements with which the AfD has been extremely productive in countering those who hate and want to exclude them?

Weidel: I don't know of any such “bad expressions”. That's a style like the taz!

Why is the AfD not benefiting from the decline of the Union?

Weidel: I think that as contradictory as it sounds, voters want change while maintaining continuity. This also explains why, absurdly, Olaf Scholz, of all people, embodies a mood of change, although he is a member of the current government and jointly responsible for so many undesirable developments. Although I hardly think that will really be confirmed on election day. In any case, Germany is not France, where people resolutely take to the streets in yellow vests.

And for many, an alternative perceived as a protest party is still too daring - conservative voters often see this as a risk that they do not take per se. The opinion poll clearly shows that the party's external view unfortunately does not correspond to what we would like. On the one hand, this is due to the media, many of which are pursuing a delimitation strategy. On the other hand, some problems are homemade.


Weidel: For example, addressing the darker chapters of German history. Citizens are interested in the here and now! The analysis of the elections in Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg has shown - and the opinion polls say that too - that the AfD is not perceived as the first problem solver. Loss of purchasing power, skyrocketing electricity prices, families who cannot cover their costs despite two incomes, insecure pensions, uncontrolled immigration, excessive crime - these are the issues that move people, not so much dealing with the past.

"It depends on the style: tough on the matter, but conciliatory in tone!"
The historical-political statements by Höcke or Gauland certainly had this effect, but their content was not wrong. But don't you also have to address the large number of bad statements as a problem, which are actually wrong in terms of content, such as "Gassiing migrants" by the then press spokesman Christian Lüth, or the self-description as the "friendly face of National Socialism" by Matthias Helferich, Vice President of North Rhine-Westphalia?

Weidel: Of course you can also address the past, it depends on the style: Gladly tough on the matter, but conciliatory in tone! Our members are based on the Basic Law, and if that is not the case, then we pull out all the stops! What is forgotten is that other parties have a larger problem of extremism, for example because of their links with the terrorist Antifa.

One wonders where the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is? Or the CDU, which set up a non-party NPD municipal council in the Ore Mountains for local elections, or in the Anhalt-Bitterfeld district had a former right-wing radical with a swastika tattoo on the board until 2019. That would be impossible with us, if only because such people do not come into the party because of the incompatibility resolution.

But that doesn't change the fact that the AfD can't get its problem under control, because new incidents keep coming back.

Weidel: We'll get the matter under control!

The party has promised that many times. How can the voter trust that it will not break its word again this time?

Weidel: I also want to make it clear that the Helferich case you just mentioned is often misrepresented in the media. When I first read about it, I couldn't breathe myself. But then I learned that it was not Mr. Helferich who coined the phrase that he was the “friendly face of National Socialism”, but that political opponents had denigrated him again and again. Until he annoyed the term once in a private chat with a single other person and in an ironic sense.

But how can someone who speaks of “gassing migrants” , even if only as a press spokesman, belong to the party leadership for years?

Weidel: Wait a minute, the parliamentary group reacted immediately. Since then, Mr. Lüth is no longer a press spokesman. Besides, you have to ask those who have worked with him more intensively.

That's right, but you are the top candidate.

Weidel: I've had my own press officer since 2017.

"Don't stab the back of volunteers"
It's not about you either, but about the problem that the AfD is not doing what is necessary to prevent its many innocent mandate holders, election campaigners and citizens who work for the party among friends and colleagues from repeatedly throwing a dagger being kicked in the back.

Weidel: That is in fact what I repeatedly warn internally not to stab our many volunteers in the back. But we are doing our utmost to enforce it.

Is that believable? The task force called “Verfassungsschutz”, which was set up to ensure that the party appears more disciplined and no longer offers unnecessary points of attack, has silted up.

Weidel: I founded this working group myself, which also did a very good job! But the federal executive has now decided that they will no longer be needed after October.

So everyone who campaigns for the AfD has to be prepared for the next stab in the back?

Weidel: No, we are fighting the problem, which the tough measures prove in such cases.

"Gigantic increase in knife attacks"
Don't you think that your constituents and supporters don't want punishment, but want further cases to be prevented?

Weidel: It is true that the federal executive board stopped proactive control at the end of October.

You said at the beginning with regard to the external perception of the party, which prevents some of the voters from being reached. Isn't it also a problem that such admonitions come from all leaders of the AfD, but they themselves always set a bad example? Including yourself, keyword "headscarf girls, knife men and other good-for-nothing".

Weidel: The statement was perhaps polarizing, but it was absolutely important to initiate a debate. Because we have a gigantic increase in knife attacks, which, as the media likes to disguise, are only carried out by a "man".

“Knife men” wasn't the problem - but why are “headscarf girls” per se “good-for-nothing”?

Weidel: The term headscarf girl is based on Thilo Sarrazin and focuses on the problem of parallel societies and gender apartheid in the Muslim context. But I didn't call them “good-for-nothing”.

"... and other good-for-nothing" - ergo this qualification also applies to the aforementioned.

Weidel: No, that was a list. Do you now want to continue discussing all possible utterances?

No, but all the problems that block the AfD from doing what it is there for: enforcing its content.

Weidel: I can assure you that we will take action. Unfortunately, we're not talking about content in this interview. The general election is coming up and we haven't even talked about the program.

"There is an absolute dissolution of boundaries"
Gladly, but it doesn't really play a role as long as a party is unable to implement it.

Weidel: I ask myself, is that really what Junge Freiheit is interested in, how bad we are?

After four years, many citizens are simply fed up with the fact that the only conservative reformist is moving further and further away from political influence.

Weidel: It was like that from the start, even under Bernd Lucke. Don't you know that he was thrown off the train while he was traveling? That was the mood back then! And it is also absolutely clear that every party on the right of the CDU / CSU is made a pariah.

Which is why it is even more important for them to be smart.

Weidel: I think our hypotheses differ: You say that the ability to form coalitions comes first as access to power. That is a position that I also took in the past. In the meantime, however, based on my experience, I say that it almost doesn't matter what we do: we are always forced into the pariah role! I also notice that very clearly in interviews and political debates. There is an absolute dissolution of boundaries that lacks any decency!

No doubt about it, but that can't be helped. It is all the more important to concentrate on what you can change: your own line-up.

Weidel: Exactly, we do that too!

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