For two years, the AfD Party has been touted as the place to put a frustration vote against Merkel, the coalition government, the CDU Party, the SPD Party, the Linke Party, the FDP Party and the Green Party.
It was public frustration with the immigration, migration and asylum policy. It was hostility over failed integration. It was resentment against Islam, the veiled ladies, and potential threats (real or imagined). It was a disgruntled society who felt that Berlin was out of touch and unable to comprehend the costs of an open door program. The list goes on and on.
So here it was.....AfD.
As much as the opposition to them painted the AfD as potential Nazis, incompetent fools, or extremists....it didn't matter. It was the only place to place a vote by a German citizen and say something bold with that one single vote.
Currently, polling by state-run/public-TV will say that AfD can get 13-percent of the vote, and they suggest (particularly over the last month) that they've peaked out. Some people still think that for the national election in September of 2017....they might be able to carve out 15 to 18 percent of the national vote. With the right "events" occurring and a loss of confidence in Merkel and both major parties....I could even envision AfD taking 20-to-22 percent of the vote.
But as you sit back and really look over things with the AfD....what exactly do you get with your vote?
A weak new party, with a limited cast of characters with any background or experience? Yeah.
A party with very few platforms other than immigration, crime, and integration? Yeah.
If they did clear 28-percent and won....could they even form a government? No, it's very unlikely that any of the other parties would agree to partner up with them.
Even if someone did....what kind of legislation could AfD bring? Could they order mosques to be closed? It's very unlikely that the court system would allow them to go that far. Could they toss out 300,000 migrants or immigrants? State courts would likely hinder that objective. Could they arrest and detain 100,000 young men with questionable behavior issues? Courts would likely hinder that.
Oh, there's no doubt that the "A" team in Berlin (CDU and SPD) really screwed up badly and mismanaged the past three years to a great degree. But would the "B" team coming on repeat or do even worse?
So we are in some great open field with no trees for any distance and can see things very clearly. The problem is.....you can hope Merkel and company learned some lessons, thus giving them your vote.....or saddle up with some AfD folks who are more of a frustration vote than anything else.
I hate to suggest all of this is just hype.....but Germans are in search of something that doesn't exist. The mythical unicorn who would chase out wolves, keep the economy steady, fix VW's diesel issue, fix the BER airport, ensure Stuttgart-21 finishes on schedule, be lovable, and keep beer flowing.....is not to be found.