Another in a long line of autocratic German leaders

Screenshot 2020-01-25 at 15.33.27Dalrymple observes that Angela Merkel’s sudden acceptance of a million migrants

was an authoritarian decision that made Viktor Orbán look a model democratic ruler. For when Merkel said, ‘We can do this,’ what she meant was, ‘You can do this,’ or rather, ‘You must do this,’ and all without the semblance of a consultation of the wishes of the German population in so serious a matter. She had nothing to lose herself but her polls, and she was near retirement anyway.

Her unilateral decision

must surely have deepened divisions in German society, between the better educated who were the least affected, and the worse educated who were the most affected by her decision. The former would be more concerned with feeling good about themselves—a specially urgent desire in Germany, for reasons I need not explain—than with the effect on those who would bear the brunt of the consequences of the decision. Voilà the rise of populism, that is to say of popular opinions that some people don’t like and think despicable.

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