The United States is not the only country that is turning to rightwing politics (Cruz, Rubio) and anti-government populists (Trump). Several European countries are also veering to the right. Germany held regional elections yesterday in three provinces, and the three-year-old Alternative for Germany (AfD or Alternative für Deutschland) took seats in all three regions, the first time that the rightwing party has done so well. In the province of Saxony-Anhalt, the party won 24 percent of the vote.
The party was founded in 2013 as a nationalist party against Germany’s membership in the European Union. It has become much stronger in recent months as a reaction against the massive influx of refugees fleeing wars in Afghanistan and Syria. The party advocates that Germans have more children to preserve racial purity and prevent illegal border crossings using firearms. The French newspaper La Tribune, in an online posting, referred to the elections as the twilight of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming immigration policy
In France, the anti-immigrant party the National Front (le Front National) or FN has also been gaining in provincial and municipal elections, especially in the north of the country, and could play the part of a spoiler in France’s upcoming presidential elections. The party, led by Marie le Pen, is also anti-Europe and anti-immigrant.
Poland has swung so far to the right that basic freedoms such as freedom of expression and of the press are in danger of disappearing.
I find the increasingly vocal anti-government and anti-immigrant minorities in western countries troubling. Because of anti-government policies in the United States, our infrastructure is decaying, money is being transferred from the middle class to the rich, and the the present generation of young people is the first in the history of our country that is more poorly educated that their elders. One of the strengths of the US economy is the constant renewal caused by immigration. The progress made since the Second World War has been reversed in the United States and in much of Europe.
Changing the subject, today is national pi day. Pi is the relationship of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. In my youth, I wouldn’t have to explain what pi means, but today with declining math skills, many people have no idea what pi is.
On the literary front, I’m having my new book Running for President printed. The print version will be available in a few weeks. In the meantime, the Kindle version is available on Amazon, and as you can see in the left sidebar, it sports a new cover. If you would like to read a sample of either of the books, click on the corresponding book cover image in the left sidebar.