Angela Merkel, who some hail as the most powerful woman in the world, just won her victory as chancellor for a fourth term in Germany on Sunday. That was completely expected, as she’s been popular beyond belief for the last few years and Germany has prospered under her reign.
Let’s rewind a few months back to when Emmanuel Macron won the French Presidency. A centrist who just defeated Marine Le Pen, a major far-right candidate of a major party. It seemed as if Europe had learned from America.
Unfortunately, Merkel’s victory came with a caveat. The far-right Alternatives for Germany party won 12.5% of the seats in the German parliament, while Merkel’s own centrist Christian Democrats party’s support eroded.
Forgetting the fact that the Alternatives for Germany party is basically in bed with neo-Nazis, they have vowed to “hunt her down,” trying to essentially destroy everything that Merkel has tried to build over the last few years. Her decision of allowing one million refugees into Germany didn’t help her and fueled her rivals instead.
This victory also comes at a bad time for the rest of the world. Germany (and pretty much every other Western country) is facing fears of immigrants, refugees, terrorism, inequality and the threat of democracy itself being taken away. Not only that, but U.S. President Donald Trump seems to have made it clear that racism is okay. Trump wants America to become white-dominated and the Alternatives for Germany want German to be led by people who don’t welcome anyone from outside in.
This isn’t saying that Merkel is done for. Not yet. Time and time again, she has proved that she can overcome the odds and make things run in her favor. She is also generally accepted as the leader of the United Nations, which means she has a lot of friends that can help her out.
But German is nearing a dangerous line. Europe is unstable as Britain withdraws from the European Union and America (who Germany would most likely have looked to next for help and guidance) is struggling to cope with its own volatile and unpredictable president.
If this is Merkel’s ending streak as a leader (she must be exhausted from having the free world balancing on her shoulders for the last 12 years), then all of us better hope that she leaves a bang. If she doesn’t, democracy itself could come crashing down.
Image Credits: Business Insider