I think we will not be able to really master the driving forces of populism and that populists will try generation after generation to undermine our system. The danger is that, as in the Roman Empire, the system will slowly die down over 20, 40, 60 years.
In Italy, populists and semi-right-wing extremists aspire to power and who thinks Germany stopped the collapse of democracy is naiv and still has not understood how much the AfD's entry into the Bundestag changed the basic coordinates of Germany’s political system. In the UK Torries and Labor managed to keep this UKIP out. In France, for now, also the FN ist kept out of business.
But what happen, why people are following fearful the paroles of populists? To put it simple: the old sayings of populists are beginning to come true, that there is not much difference between the established parties - because if you always have to govern with each other, then it is very difficult to keep differences. And that it is the only way to really change the government, to choose the extremists.
It really does not matter that the Socialists, SPD, joined the Grand Coalition or not. Now she did, so Germans will have a government that will be unpopular that will not be able to display a grand vision of truly changing the country. And if she would have not joined the Grand Coalition, then Germany would have new elections, in which the AfD gets even stronger. And then the whole problem starts all over again.
Its a global phenomenon that the democratic system is questioned.
Most Americans thought it impossible for someone like Donald Trump to say the opposition is not legitimate, but Hillary Clinton needs to be imprisoned, independent institutions like the FBI are not just doing their jobs, they're the Deep State, they are Traitors, they are enemies of the American people-such a person, it has been said, can not become President of the United States. And now we see that he is.
We see in many European countries, also in Western Europe with Farange and Lepen who are similar populists, who also do not consider political opponents to be legitimate, who are saying that “I stand alone for the people and everyone else is illegitimate”, “all others are traitors” - such people have more and more Power in our system.
This means that there are no politicians who really have power in the democratic system, who fight for maintaining the basic norms of democracy. We no longer have a political system in which all the powerful really - with all their differences to each other - speak out for the system itself.
When can populists hold power? And when do they disintegrate themselves?
My favourite side of Donald Trump is that he is so incompetent. Because if he were more competent, he would have a much greater chance of really undermining democracy in the US. I think Donald Trump is very dangerous, but I do not think he is as strategic as Viktor Orban or Jarosław Kaczyński. Trump is always distracted by the latest controversies. He also has to open his mouth when he says things that are highly unpopular. He twitters like a teeny. He tries to undermine the rights of minorities. He also tries to change the political system to his own advantage, to curtail it.
Everybody can very clearly see that the electorate is not very dynamically engaged for the populists: This applies to the AfD as well as to the Front National in France or to Donald Trump in the USA or Brexit in the UK - especially in parts of the countries which are densely populated and have lower education layers. If you look, where are the investments, where is the per capita income particularly high or low, even if you look at in which parts of the country is the number of jobs especially high which may be lost through automation, robots, - all these are good indicators of where people vote for the populists because populists exploit fears.