The mosque debate in America has been instructive when it comes to Leftist rhetorical tactics. Ordinary Americans make an argument — “the mosque is inappropriate on secular sacred ground.” The Left then responds, not substantively, but with personal attacks — “you’re racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic and stupid.”
If you think this approach to debate is limited to the American Left, think again. Precisely the same thing is playing out in Germany. There, Thilo Sarrazin, a German central bank board member and former senior city official in Berlin, has given an interview and published a book, both of which carry the same message: Germany is being destroyed by its Muslim immigrants, who take a disproportionate amount of welfare relative to their contributions, who do not contribute to the nation’s intellectual life, and who are having children at a much faster rate than the Germans themselves.
The Leftist response has been predictable. They’ve produced carefully detailed statistics showing the major economic and social contributions that Muslim immigrants are making to Germany society, and proved that the birthrate argument is a fallacy. In the face of these reasoned arguments, Sarrazin has backed down. They’ve hurled myriad personal insults at Sarrazin, and threatened his right to free speech:
Sarrazin’s comments have also made waves outside of the SPD. Green Party head Cem Özdemir called Sarrazin a “tribal leader in the mold of bin Laden” in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE and said that he has done a “disservice to efforts aimed at improving the dramatic social inequalities in our country, and not just among immigrants.” He said he was disappointed because “the ongoing debate over mutual expectations of Germans and immigrants is much more rational than Sarrazin makes it seem.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel is likewise unimpressed. Through her spokesman Steffen Seibert, she said on Wednesday that Sarrazin’s offerings were “extremely injurious, defamatory and very polemical.” She also called them “completely unhelpful” and said that “a different tone is necessary.”
Following Sarrazin’s comments last autumn, the SPD began proceedings to kick him out of the party, but the attempt failed in March. He was, however, disciplined by the German Central Bank, which stripped him of his previous responsibility for cash management as a result of the Lettre International interview. It is unclear whether the SPD will make another effort to strike him from the rolls.
No matter in which country you drop a Leftist, he’s still a Leftist, committed to doctrinal purity regardless of objective reality.