Election 2020

An Interview with Sebastian Kurz

Sebastian Kurz (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

They call him Wunder-wuzzi — the whizzkid — and he’s poised now to become the next chancellor of Austria. Sebastian Kurz, elected on an “anti-immigration” platform (translation: no more Muslims), is yet another in the wave of new leaders in central and eastern Europe who have had it up to their keisters with Mutti Merkel’s insane “immigration” policy, and are about to say Nein! to the European Union’s demands that the cradle of western civilization admit even more of these culturally, morally, ethically, and religiously inimical people. Der Spiegel has the interview. Note the hostile tone right out of the box from the mouthpiece of west German groupthink:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Kurz, you’re 31 years old and poised to become the new Austrian chancellor. Do you sometimes spook yourself?

Kurz: Not in the least. I am aware of the responsibility I am taking on. Things have developed very quickly for me in recent years, but they didn’t happen from one day to the next. I have more than six years of experience in government. I took the decision to run as a candidate very seriously. In May, I decided to change the Austrian People’s Party and to start a broad-based movement aimed at changing this country for the better.

SPIEGEL: Can you understand that some people are a little spooked to see such a young man in charge of a country?

Kurz: If that’s how the Austrian public thought, they wouldn’t have voted for me. Austrians have had a while to get a sense of who I am. Other candidates have been on the political stage for a much briefer period than I. Voters probably were much less familiar with some of the candidates in the German elections, who were previously in Brussels.

SPIEGEL: Do you sometimes wish you had more life experience to bring to your new office?

Kurz: We are who we are. You can’t become 30 years older just like that. People who are older have the advantage of more experience. But you don’t have to despair just because you’re young. If young age is the problem, you can take comfort in the fact that it gets better with each passing day.

Ach, du lieber… After wasting time and space fretting about Kurz’s age, the interviewer finally gets to the heart of the matter:

SPIEGEL: In the election on October 15, your center-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) together attracted 60 percent of the vote – marking the biggest share for parties to the right of center since World War II. How do you explain this slide to the right?

Kurz: The ÖVP and the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) also had combined support of 60 percent. But clearly, the FPÖ increased its support. That would seem to indicate that more voters were drawn to the party’s platform. As a big-tent party, we take our momentum from mainstream society. When I assumed leadership of the party in May, we made a decision to launch a broad-based movement. In recent months we’ve gained 200,000 new supporters – and that in a small country with a population of 9 million.

SPIEGEL: Are you trying to say that the view that there’s been a slide to the right is nonsense?

Kurz: I’m not going to cast aspersions on DER SPIEGEL’s ideas. But the result of the vote is unambiguous. The People’s Party won. Parties other than the Social Democratic Party have only won twice in the last 50 years. We know we picked up a lot of votes from people who previously voted for the Green Alternative.

Kurz, wisely, deflects some of the interviewer’s hostility by couching his victory in economic terms, and those are certainly worth emphasizing; they also help to broaden the coalition’s appeal to voters for whom Muslim “immigration” is not the top priority. But let’s not kid ourselves: Kurz’s election is a part of the broader swing to the right we’ve already seen in Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic.  Let’s hope the wave eventually hits Germany — and let’s hope it’s not too late when it does.