Why does Bernie Sanders hate open borders

A question of the target group

The multi-part documentary »Ungleichland«, which was broadcast on ARD in May, deals with social inequality in Germany from different perspectives. Nobel laureates in economics, sociologists and wealth researchers have their say. The findings of the documentation are simple: »In one of the richest countries on earth things are uneven. The rich are leaving, the poor are left behind. The middle class is fighting to maintain the status instead of, as in the past, to achieve promotion through work and performance. «Ultimately, inequality not only endangers social peace, but also democracy.

Sahra Wagenknecht, the Bundestag parliamentary group leader of the Left Party, also has her say in "Ungleichland": It is a problem for democracy that companies have power. No other topic is as important to the Left Party as the social question. When Chancellor Angela Merkel spent an hour answering questions from members of the Bundestag in the plenary session of the German Bundestag last week, those questioning the Left Party focused on inequality. Jan Korte, the first parliamentary manager of the group, pointed out that 2.5 million children live in poverty, there are around 1.2 million Hartz IV top-ups and almost a million temporary workers. "Do you think this could have anything to do with your politics?" He asked the Chancellor.

One might think that the conditions for the Left Party are favorable. Social inequality, poverty and precarious and temporary work continue to increase. At the same time, the SPD, as an old competitor of the Left Party, is now regularly below its result in polls in the federal elections in September, in which it won just over 20 percent of the vote. In a poll published by Emnid in April, the SPD only got 16 percent approval.

In the Left Party itself, enthusiasm for a gathering movement is limited.

Still, the Left Party fails to reach the masses. Rather, it seems as if it is irrelevant for your election results what happens in society, in Parliament, in Europe or the world and what officials say about it, even what their officials are called. Since the 2017 federal election, the Left Party has remained unchanged in every nationwide poll between nine and eleven percent of the vote, and there were hardly any relevant deviations in previous years.

Since the merger of PDS and WASG in 2007, the Left Party has always been between eight and twelve percent. For the past ten years, the Greens have been treated as a people's party - and have crashed. The FDP achieved almost 15 percent in the 2009 Bundestag election and was thrown out of the Bundestag one election later, only to retire one election later with 10.7 percent. There is now another party in parliament. The Left Party's election results did not move during this time.

Why is the left not gaining momentum? This is a question that worries many in the party. At the weekend party convention, it hovered over everything. Sahra Wagenknecht, too, has been facing it for months. Your approach is a "collection movement". With this she wants to collect supporters for a social awakening outside of the Left Party. In the debates about this proposal, Bernie Sanders in the USA, Jeremy Corbyn in Great Britain and above all Jean-Luc Mélenchon in France are mentioned as possible role models.

In the Left Party itself, enthusiasm for a gathering movement is limited. The party leader Katja Kipping rejected the proposal back in January. Instead, you have to strengthen the party with a "15 percent project". Gregor Gysi also expressed himself skeptically before the party congress: “You can't decide something like this from above. And the pressure from below isn't there. ”Unimpressed by these objections, Wagenknecht and her husband Oskar Lafontaine want to start their movement in September. She described the criticism of her project in a contribution published jointly with the dramaturge Bernd Stegemann on June 7th in Die Zeit as "proof of the interplay between left morality and neoliberal interests".