repost from iflizwerequeen

Strache – photograph Wikimedia Commons, Sept 2008, Christian Jansky Author

Der Spiegel reports that Heinz-Christian Strache, the leader of the right-wing populist Freedom Party (Die Freiheit) has become a force to be reckoned with in Austrian politics. It is currently neck and neck with the country’s two largest mainstream parties in the polls. Strache (born in 1969) who by training is a dental technician,  has been active in the politics of Vienna since 1991.

“As chancellor,” he promised in June, he plans “not to do everything differently” but to “improve many things.” [Perfect approach so as to not frighten people who may shy away from a candidate who appears to be too radical.]

Strache was tied to the neo-Nazi community in the past and was forced to admit that he took part in militia training. Today he paints himself as a statesman in waiting and only rarely sends out signals to like-minded individuals — such as when, during a visit to Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in December, he wore a cap that identified him as a lifelong member of the right-wing student fraternity “Vandalia” instead of a Jewish skullcap.”  READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT DER SPIEGEL.

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iflizwerequeen comments

Strache, like many Tea Party Candidates is an expert in Dog Whistle Politics. Strache wore a Biertönnchen—the red, blue, and black cap that identifies him as a lifelong member of Vandalia, a right-wing student fraternity long associated with Pan-German nationalism and anti-Semitism.  But the “Freedom Party” (“Die Freiheit” ) of Germany takes Dog Whistle politics to a new height.  Strache has stooges who interpret his actions for the base.  Rene Stadtkewitz, the German Freedom Party founder who was part of that tour told reporters that it was a way for Strache to tell his followers “Hey look, this isn’t what it looks like.

Strache has been quoted as saying “If the Jews accept us then we won’t have a problem.” Essentially their message today is that they were wrong about the Jews and it’s the Muslims who are causing all the trouble. I hope the Germans and particularly the German-Jews are smart enough to remember that prejudice is prejudice.  It is simply hatred against “the Other.” Down through history, “the other”  been identified as Muslims, Jews, gays, dark-skin people, Catholics, Protestants, Irish, gypsies, Italians, Asians, etc.

Addendum on the Freedom Party of Germany

Rene Stadtkewitz, founder of the Freedom Party was former member of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrats.  The Freedom Party has formed a party to attract voters enthralled by Thilo Sarrazin and disappointed by Germany’s existing parties

A quote from its founder:  “If we don’t get things right demographically, we’ll have Algeria in Berlin before long. Islam has always been a religion of conquest,” Stadtkewitz says in his throaty bass, the voice of a smoker who fills his lungs with cigarette smoke every two hours.

For more on Rene Stadtkewitz:  ”New German anti-Muslim party calls Islam ‘totalitarian,’” by David Crossland in The National, February 7, 2011.

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IRONY ALERT

While Germany’s “Freedom Party” is basically a thinly disguised neo-nazi party, people of color  in the USA formed a “Freedom Party”.  The birth of a new political party in the United States is built on unity and struggle. The new Black and Latino led Freedom Party founded on June 27, 2010, held its first Convention on February 12-13, 2011 to lay out its program of action and the need for a united front.  MORE ON THAT FREEDOM PARTY

Liz Berry

Liz Berry

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