He has nothing in common with the dirty fringe of society. The media are adopting Bernd Lucke’s views as their own. Bild, on the other hand, deserves respect.
Bernd Lucke in the camera’s sights. Picture: reuters
Germans like things to be factual. They find heated racism distasteful, but cool agitation suits them. Which is why one of Germany’s best daily newspapers, the Suddeutsche, has the following headline: "Lucke camp warns of German Front National.
There is no better way to adopt the attitude that characterizes Mr. Lucke’s "wake-up call," which is now quoted everywhere. He claims in well-edited words that he and his followers stand for clean, system-stabilizing thinking. They have nothing in common with the dirty fringe of society.
Oh yes, they do. Because neither is her hatred of women with careers or the reinterpretation of the euro crisis as the fault of southern Europeans rational, nor did anyone foreign make Frauke Petry her co-leader. That was Bernd Lucke handsomely himself.
Petry and Lucke are not the same thing, but they belong together. They are two sides of the same coin and it sells hate as a way of life. Bourgeois anti-Semitism was not identical with volkisch either, but it paved the way for it. The one does not want to get its hands dirty and therefore ventilates and enshrines criteria for the fundamental devaluation of people, the other wants annihilation.
And only together are they successful. Lucke has also understood this. With petty-bourgeois euro-criticism, no masses can be mobilized; what is needed is the ethnic agitation against "the refugee" as a parasite of today. That Lucke, of all people, is now allowed to present himself as a guarantor against a German Front National, and that this spin is adopted almost without exception, is of course also somewhat comical.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, however, finds a laughing stock of a different nature. Full of sadness, Jorg Altenbockum, editorialist and head of the domestic department, writes: "If Lucke’s party purrs together into a ‘wake-up call,’ not only will its claim to build a new people’s party end up as a laughing stock, but the scientific euro opponents’ foray into politics in general will have failed." To call Olaf Henkel’s babble scientific would probably not even have occurred to his biggest lobbying association, state television. But thanks to Altenbockum, a flagship of the educated middle class is now stepping into this gap.
But a small light shines on the abyss of the bourgeois longing for a proper right-wing party in Germany: Bild-Zeitung. It buries Lucke unadorned in black and white on page 2 and writes him an obituary that is completely devoid of regret for the end of the hate-filled philistine party: "How sweet it sounded when the crawling group that wet itself before the euro set out: ‘Ha, he, ho, the euro is knocked out – their first bitter-sweet breaking and shaking rhyme." The gloating is not formulated in a fully elegant way, but still: respect.