War II, and they are making a comeback today. In the United States, Trump has been (temporarily) removed from the ballot in Colorado and. Maine under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. In Germany, the Basic Law not only prohibits political parties, but also stipulates that individuals. Lose their political rights if they try to subvert democracy.

Although four lawsuits have been filed against individuals under

Article 18 of Germany’s Basic Law, all have failed, there are now serious discussions about applying the same provision to. Björn Höcke, leader of the Alternative for Germany party in Thuringia, where the Buy Telemarketing Leads party is officially classified as “right-wing extremist” but is leading in the polls for this autumn’s election.

In Germany and the United States, a blanket ban on parties doesn’t seem feasible. In the United States’ de facto two-party system, banning the. Republican Party would be tantamount to abolishing democracy (even if most. Republicans have accepted Trump’s anti-democratic behavior). In Germany, the AfD has gained so much support—currently around 20% in national polls—that a ban looks like a weapon of mass disenfranchisement. The problem highlights a paradox: When anti-democratic parties are small, bans don’t seem. Worthwhile; but when they grow, bans seem impossible.

Other critics have framed the dilemma more bluntly

Where there is a consensus in favor of democracy, radical democracy is possible but unnecessary (West Germany would have been fine even without banning neo-Nazis and communists). But once harmful polarization takes hold, radical democracy will not gain widespread support, because politicians will fear that its tools will be used against them.

These points make sense. But those who oppose radical democracy tend to idealize this alternative. They believe that there will be DLBDFY a clean political contest with a decisive outcome, and that another Trump defeat will remove him from the national stage. Trump has made it very clear that he will taint the campaign with calls for racism and possible violence. He will probably declare victory regardless of the outcome of the election. If the results are close, he will cry fraud; if the vote in his favor is overwhelming, he will claim that the entire election was rigged. It is dangerously naive to think otherwise.

The same logic applies to Germany

Höcke has been accused of using Nazi rhetoric, he has frequently warned of cultural mixing, and he has promoted conspiracy theories such as foreigners “replacing” Germans, leading to the Volkstod (ethnic genocide). Allowing him to run would not change the course of politics; it would also send a message that democracy is finally willing to tolerate figures who systematically incite fear and hatred.

Some counter that banned individuals become martyrs. But right-wing populists portray themselves as victims no matter what, including when they lose elections. Of course, no democracy should arbitrarily fight fire with fire. But if a candidate has a clear pattern of anti-democratic behavior over a long period of time and doubles down after clear warnings, then disqualification is justified, as it has been with Trump and Höcke.

In the United States, as in Germany, a personal ban would preserve the ability of voters to choose a nationalist party that wants to reduce immigration, defend traditional family values, and advocate tax cuts for the rich. If that’s what voters want, they can still get it. – Engineering Syndicate


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