During the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign, Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton famously described roughly half of Donald Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables”. But if you think that was demeaning, consider that Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, one of the leading representatives of Germany’s ostensibly ‘liberal’ Free Democratic Party (FDP) has now compared supporters of the rival Alternative for Germany (AfD) party to “flies on a pile of shit”.
According to the latest polls, the AfD is now Germany’s second largest party in terms of potential electoral support, with 24% of respondents in a recent YouGov survey saying they would vote for the AfD. Only the Christian Democrats of former Chancellor Angela Merkel are polling better. By contrast, Strack-Zimmerman’s FDP, which is part of the ruling coalition of present Chancellor Olaf Scholz, is polling at just 6% – just one-quarter of the support enjoyed by the AfD.
Strack-Zimmerman is the chair of the Armed Services Committee (Verteidigungsausschuss) of the German parliament or Bundestag. She is slated to be the lead candidate of the FDP in the upcoming European Parliament elections.
Strack-Zimmerman is reported to have made her remarks while discussing the AfD and other allegedly extremist parties in a speech to an FDP party gathering in Dusseldorf. Far from denying the report in the German tabloid Bild, in a post on X, Strack-Zimmerman confirmed it, writing, “In a speech today I warned about the AfD and [other] extremes. Summarising (!), I said: “The bigger the pile of shit, the more flies are on it!”
In a second post in her thread, Strack-Zimmerman added that she was referring, however, to the “generally dangerous political situation”, noting that she did not “directly mention anyone or anything”. This is “a small but important distinction”, she concluded.