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The Intolerance of the "Tolerant" Left: The End of Liberal Democracy?

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

“Germany is witnessing the gradual erosion of democracy and the rule of law, a process that began in 2015 [during the migrant crisis] and which has become even more visible since and has ended in putsch against democracy.” — Vera Lengsfeld, political

When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, she showed a disappointing lack of argumentative abilities. If tolerance is to mean anything, Pelosi and her fellow Democrats should have exhibited just that. Instead, she, as a role model, did the opposite by engaging in petty and irresponsible behavior. (Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

We recently witnessed two events that indicated the possible demise of liberal democracy. The implications should frighten supporters of democratic forms of government in which individual rights and freedoms are officially recognized and protected, and the exercise of political power is limited by the rule of law.

The growing intolerance of many “left-wing” groups is apparent in the uproar of the democratic election of the state premier of the German state of Thuringia as well as in the performance of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, publicly ripping up US President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union address. It was an official document that belongs not to her but to the public, and of which she was merely its custodian.

That does not even start to mention the entire sham “impeachment” of President Trump, in which centuries of accepted due process were thrown in the gutter. The Senate “trial,” which probably should have been dismissed from the get-go as the “fruit of the poisonous tree” — a legal metaphor meaning that if any evidence is found to be tainted or violates a defendant’s constitutional rights, whatever “fruit” follows from it must be thrown out. The House, however, like the Inquisition, is allowed make up its own rules, and make them up it did. Another central problem seemed to be that a US president is obligated by law — under Ukraine (12978) – Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed in 1998 — not to hand taxpayer money over to the Ukraine without first checking to see that there is no corruption. Trump did, there was not, case closed. Trump was not only totally acquitted in a show trial that should not have existed in the first place, but his accusers seemed more guilty of what he was accused of — the non-crimes of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” — than he was.

Currently, there is growing concern on both sides of the Atlantic that the ability of many on the political “left” to accept the democratic process and the rights of those with whom one disagrees is becoming increasingly rare. According to Andreas Unterberger, Austria’s most widely read political blogger:

“The left exhibits mocking scorn or even aggressive violence. If a relevant part of the population is unwilling to respect democracy and those with dissenting opinions, then the constitutional state will necessarily implode.”

Sometimes it seems as if the underlying intention is actually to dismantle democratic norms and replace them with authoritarian ones. The thinking seems to be: If you vote any way other than for what we want, the result is automatically illegitimate and need not be accepted. In the US, this view had been evident in the three-year refusal to accept the election of President Trump by the “wrong” people”, as well as a refusal by many last year to accept the vindication of US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in yet another show trial devoid of evidence , and most recently warnings about a refusal to accept President Trump’s acquittal. The title of the latest book by the noted defense Attorney Alan M. Dershowitz, Guilt by Accusation, seems to be fast becoming the norm.

In Germany, the media establishment as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel were shocked to the point of demanding the reversal of the vote for the “wrong” premier of the state of Thuringia because the election came as a result of the “wrong” votes, namely those from the Alternative for Germany party (AfD). Baron Bodissey of the blog Gates of Vienna provided background information:

“The FDP (Freie Demokratische Partei, Free Democratic Party) is a relatively minor conservative business-oriented party in Germany. Nowadays it would be described as “classical liberal” if it were in an American context. In last fall’s state elections in Thuringia, the FDP just barely surpassed the threshold to seat representatives in the state parliament. The Left (Die Linke) gained the greatest share of the vote, but the constellation of leftist parties did not have enough seats to automatically form a government.

“Since then there has been wheeling and dealing by all parties in an effort to establish a viable coalition. Yesterday came a big surprise: with the support of the CDU (Christlich Demokratische Union, Christian Democratic Union) and the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany), Thomas Kemmerich of the FDP was elected minister president (the equivalent of premier or governor) of the state of Thuringia…

[I]t seemed the cordon sanitaire against the AfD had been breached. Up until now, all across Western Europe the major immigration-critical populist parties had been kept out of government: the Sweden Democrats, the PVV in the Netherlands, Vlaams Belang in Belgium, and the AfD in Germany. Even though those “xenophobic” parties are quite popular, they have yet to obtain a majority of the vote in their respective countries, and the other parties simply agree never to join a coalition with them. Did yesterday’s events in Thuringia signal a change?”

Not quite. The cordon shuddered a little bit, but remained intact. It seems the FDP never asked for the support of the AfD, and received it unexpectedly. Mr. Kemmerich and his party were just as appalled by the AfD as [the] leftist parties were. And Mr. Kemmerich announced he would resign his position to force new elections.

Mr. Kemmerich’s announcement of resignation came as a result of massive intimidation against his family, his children requiring police protection, and “Antifa” protests outside Thuringia’s parliament building. In this context, it is important to note the irony of the political left. The Left Party (“Die Linke”), the successor party of the SED, the Socialist Unity party of the communist German Democratic Republic (DDR), accused the Free Democrats of believing that it was “better to rule with fascists than not to rule at all.” Indeed, there are grounds to argue that it is the Left Party, exhibiting the intolerance of fascists as the predecessors of the Left Party, that was responsible for the cold-blooded murder of Germans trying to escape East Berlin by breaching the Berlin Wall. Even more ironic, it was on the 31st anniversary of the execution of 17-year-old Chris Gueffroy, guilty in the eyes of the ruling elite of wanting to leave the DDR, that the German mainstream media began its campaign of hatred against a democratically elected official.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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