Politics is made via language. With entry of right-wing populist AfD into Bundestag in October 2017, tone of debate in Germany intensified. But populist voices have also increased in or countries. Ekkehard Fields is professor of linguistics at University of Heidelberg – and provides information on language of populism.
Online Time: Mr. Felder, how do I recognize a populist?
Ekkehard fields: Specific speech strategies. Populist speaking stirs fear, borders and homogenizes diversity of interests and ideas. It gives impression that re is a solution and that it is also "all said". When AfD, for example, refers to will of people or common sense, it claims that one does not have to discuss furr and ends conversation. But democracy works by constantly negotiating, being in dialogue, taking into account different interests and coming to solutions that will never remain without contradiction.
It is also typical for speakers to distinguish between a "we" and a "hers": "We down here and up re". Or, "We versus ors". This is directed against different groups: against or ethnic groups, against politicians and politics in general, against elites, against intellectuals, against institutions. If "we" and "your" are on same social level, we speak of a horizontal antagonism.
Online Time: Can you give an example?
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
fields: The AfD politician Alexander Gaula said at end of Bundestag election in September 2017, "we will hunt government". Or American president Donald Trump called a federal judge a "so-called" judge. In so doing, he questioned judge's decision and legitimacy. As President of United States, he doubts institutional role of judiciary and ultimately separation of powers.
Online Time: So Donald Trump attacks status of judge. If this is a horizontal antagonism, what is a vertical antagonism?
fields: Vertical antagonism is down against top – when people with poster inscriptions such as "We are people" are demonstrating a lump-sum against elite and politicians. This is where social functions are attacked. Populist speaking against or ethnic groups, on or hand, focuses on non-modifiable traits, such as origin or birth. This happens when Alexander Gaula says that Minister of State Aydan Lawrence can be "disposed of in Anatolia". It is not a matter of policy content, but it is directed against person and focuses its roots, which, unlike a social role, cannot change it.
Online Time: If one considers electoral success of AfD, se speech strategies obviously convince many people. Why?
fields: This could be because speakers emphasize that y have majority and common sense on ir side. This is also seen in or countries. The party leader of former Front National Marine Le Pen ran for presidential election in France in year 2016 with phrase "au nom du peuple" (on behalf of people). And Theresa May, British politician of Conservative Party, says British people have decided to leave EU. Considering how close vote has been, this is an unacceptable homogenization. She could have simply said that majority of British people chose Brexit.Updated Date: 06 August 2018, 12:00