Certain far-right political parties that hoped to capitalize on their anti-vaccine and anti-public health messages to gain power in elections during the last month have come away sorely disappointed. Voters in California, Canada, Germany, and Iceland firmly rejected so-called “populist” parties and their candidates that argued against vaccination mandates and masking in public places.
In California, voters gave Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom a landslide victory in a recall election over the far-right fringe Republican candidate Larry Elder. In Canada, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in beating back challenges from the Conservative Party and far-right extremist People’s Party of Canada, received a mandate to continue his government’s stringent public health controls during the Covid pandemic.
On September 26, voters in Iceland also voted for a continuation of their government’s policies on public health and the anti-vaccine Center Party, which is actually to the far-right in Icelandic politics, lost four seats in the parliament.
Also on September 26, voters in Germany overwhelmingly opted for the progressive left, which favors vaccine mandates, travel controls, and business compliance with public health controls during the pandemic. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which allied itself with conspiratorial groups like Querdenken—Germany’s version of the Qanon cult—lost 11 seats in the Bundestag. The clear winners of the German election were the Social Democrats and Greens. Departing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union coalition lost 50 seats. The CDU/CSU was plagued by scandals involving its leaders profiting from the pandemic, including earning commissions for negotiating deals between the federal and Bavarian governments and mask manufacturers, and a slow roll-out of vaccines. The German voters, having long memories, punished the right at the polls.
The combination of Covid conspiracy groups like Querdenken and Qanon and neo-Nazis in Germany not only cost the AfD seats but voters also rejected some CDU/CSU candidates who generally agreed with the loony far-right. German schools are required to teach courses on the rise of the Nazis and how the far-right not only destroyed Germany in World War II but continues to pose a threat to this very day.
The AfD and its Querdenken allies continue to be a powerful political force in Saxony and Thuringia in eastern Germany, where the AfD beat the Social Democrats and the CDU in Dresden, Leipzig, and other cities. These areas are where international fascists led by Steve Bannon concentrate their efforts in order to use regions already dominated by fellow fascists as bases to further spread their political venom.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) has announced their 2022 meeting will be in Hungary, a country that has become a center for neo-fascist promotion, having recently attracted to a far-right conference Fox News’s resident Nazi, Tucker Carlson. Former Trump White House adviser Sebastian Gorka, a Hungarian-American who possesses the World War II Hungarian Nazi regime’s Order of Vitéz, is a major supporter of the neo-fascist Hungarian government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Bannon is also a close friend of Orban.
Central Europe, including Hungary, eastern Germany, the Czech Republic, and western Ukraine have become a major nexus for neo-Nazi activity. In many ways, the area resembles interwar Bavaria, where Adolf Hitler’s Nazis were based and from where they launched their political campaign to dominate German politics, thus spelling the end of Germany’s democratic Weimar Republic.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and nationally-distributed columnist. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).