If a right-wing, or even a moderately conservative, politician did that, there would probably be a criminal investigation, and calls for him to step down immediately. But not so in the case of Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament, who as the newly-elected leader of the German Social Democrats aspires to replace Angela Merkel as Federal Chancellor after the national elections in September. In his case, we are to accept that it was just a joke gone wrong.
The Social Democrats, although it is not reflected in the latest elections in the region of Saarland, are currently going through a phase of “positive thinking”, or megalomaniac self-suggested euphoria, which they hope will help to sway the masses and carry them to an electoral victory.
Symbol of this hype is the “Schulz-Train”, with Schulz on the locomotive, which has as its final destination the Kanzleramt, the Chancellor’s Office. To clad that idea into visual images, the campaign managers have devised a video game, which you can find here.
But wait … this is only the updated version. In the original version, which had to be removed following protests, the obstacles to be rolled over and destroyed were human beings: Schulz’s political “enemies” from in- and outside Germany, such as Frauke Petry (leader of the Euro-sceptic “Alternative für Deutschland” (AfD), Donald Trump, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Presidents of countries with which Germany once had friendly relations), and -finally – Angela Merkel. What a beautiful, telling, meaningful image: run over them, destroy them … kill them. Ecrasez les infames!!!
This is the electoral campaign of someone who wants to hold himself out as a beacon of ‘decency’, calling Petry and her party “a shame for Germany”. Now it seems that if there is someone to be ashamed of, it is Schulz himself (and his campaign manager, the notorious Markus Engels).
Especially in the case of Trump one is left to wonder what this campaign means for German/US relations if ever Schulz really gets elected….
The defining moment of Schulz’s political career was when Silvio Berlusconi called him a Nazi Kapo. How right he was.