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‘Tensest people in world’: Merkel’s successor doubles down on ‘third gender joke’ after outrage

‘Tensest people in world’: Merkel’s successor doubles down on ‘third gender joke’ after outrage
Facing a barrage of criticism over her “third gender joke,” the new head of the Christian Democratic Union, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has shown no remorse. Instead, she attacked Germany’s overzealous political correctness.

In an unusual outburst, the leader of one of Germany’s major parties and hand-picked successor of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is known for her liberal stance towards migration and multiculturalism, has assaulted Germany’s ‘sacred cow’ – political correctness.

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“Today, I have a feeling that we are the tensest people out of all who roams this world,” Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is commonly referred to as AKK, said at an annual traditional Ash Wednesday party reserved by politicians for mocking opponents and allies alike in a jocular manner. However, it seems AKK was not joking this time.

“If we're so rigid, as has been the case in the past few days, then a piece of tradition and culture in Germany will be lost, and we shouldn't allow that,” she said, adding that “it just cannot go on like this.”

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Her rant was provoked by the public outrage that followed a joke she made at another traditional German carnival-like event – the Jester’s Court mock trial in late February. At that time, the CDU head quipped that bathrooms for the third gender installed in Berlin were apparently reserved for “men who can’t decide if they want to sit or stand when they pee.”

‘Speech police’

The joke then sparked a wave of outrage from LGBT activists as well as from politicians from virtually all sides of the political spectrum. The opposition Green and Left parties’ members, as well as pro-business Free Democrats and even CDU’s coalition partners from the Social Democratic Parties, all competed in devising increasingly ingenious ways of slamming the fresh conservative leader.

Berlin's Deputy Mayor Klaus Lederer called her words a “travesty” and a senior member of the Left Party, Dietmar Bartsch even said it was “another reason to fight against this woman becoming chancellor.” 

Support came from where it was least expected as the co-chair of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), Joerg Meuthen, suddenly came to AKK’s defense, even though his party is traditionally known for its sharp criticism of the Christian Democrats.

“Relying on her residual conservatism …Kramp-Karrenbauer dared to target the idiocy of the so-called ‘third gender,’” he wrote in a Facebook post in early March, adding that “it could not, of course, be tolerated in the Left-Green madhouse of Germany.”

The speech police of the permanently offended ones should have been, of course, immediately deployed. Whether it is carnival time or not, it cannot play any role in such an important case.

On Wednesday, AKK herself said that the barrage of criticism and calls for her to apologize only “show how bad the situation must be with those” who attacked her over her joke. She also received some backing from a regional CDU head, Vincent Kokert, who said that his party would not allow any “speech police” to spoil the carnival fun. He also said that equal rights also mean a right to make fun of everything and everyone.

We do not need any instruction as to what equality means.

What happens here is ‘madness’

In a stark deviation from the course pursued by Angela Merkel, who rarely allowed herself to diverge from the mainstream pro-multiculturalism line and was usually reserved in her statements, her successor seemingly set out to continue her crusade against political correctness.

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She particularly weighed in on another recent hot topic involving a Hamburg kindergarten advising parents against letting their children wear costumes of American Indians at a carnival party, deeming it “insensitive” and “offensive.”

This is all sheer madness what happens here.

The CDU head said she wants to see a Germany “where children can just be children” and can dress up as cowboys or Indians or anyone else “without anyone telling them at the age of three that they have to be culturally sensitive.” The issue already unleashed a wave of criticism from politicians and apparently still occupies the minds of at least some of them.

Most recently, the leader of the CDU’s Bavarian allies, the Christian Social Union, Markus Soeder, mocked the whole debate about political correctness in kindergartens by saying that it turns Germany into a laughing stock.

If the world knew about what nonsense we are quarrelling about, the world would have lost all fear of and respect for us. We should again come to our senses.

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