The right form of engagement with the AfD has not yet been found and is also not easy to find with politicians of a party that follows the principle of jumping procession on two aggressive lunges forward always followed by a soothing step back. However, those who want to risk the public debate - in the hope that they unmask the movement in their right-wing extremist tendency - should at least not put themselves in the wrong light. In no case may the Republic, which in such a debate ask its declared enemies, in any way appear unfair, less humane and just than it is.
The failed ZDF interview with the Thuringian AfD chief of state Björn Höcke, which will now be on the Internet for a long time, including the helpless abortion by the AfD man who was struggling for composure, but this was just - unfair and everything else as an interview, in truth an inquisition, with artificially procured means to involve the defendant in contradictions. What should Höcke also say to the statements of his party friends, who did not know whether the Höcke quotes presented to them came from him or from Hitler's Mein Kampf ? Should he say, that's right, is it easy to confuse?
And what could one have expected at all from the random and raid-questioned AfD-people? An ideology-critically crunched language analysis - or even joyful recognition? Hardly anyone today, even in the AfD, has read the monstrous book or even its style in the ear, one would like to say: Thank goodness not. Incidentally, one would not have had to make any attempt at Hitler to dissect out the fatal tendency in the Höcke quotes. It would have been patient to go through, word for word, in terms of school, and that would have been the fair form for an interview. Mr. Höcke, how did you mean that? What did you want to say with this?
It is a misfortune that instead the raid-like confrontation was selected with pieces of evidence that were also won in a way that was more cabaret-worthy than journalistic serious. The tendency to malicious cabaret and denunciatory robbery is just one of the demagogic means of the AfD. You will not expose the party and certainly not disenchanted if you copy it. Objectivity and serenity are the minimum requirements for a public debate - and not least the human respect, which everyone, including those who are considered politically dangerous.