Racism and Nationalism Make you Dumb

Via Politco:  Far-right German candidate promises to get rid of Arabic numerals

Otfried Best, who is hoping to become mayor of Völklingen, near the French border, was asked by a member of Die Partei, a satirical party, during a debate earlier this week what he thought of Arabic numerals used in the town, Stern magazine reported.

 ”Mr. Best … I find it alarming that in Völklingen many house numbers are displayed in Arabic numerals. How would you like to take action against this creeping foreigner infiltration?” asked the Die Partei politician.

The audience cheered and laughed, but Stern reported that Best gave a serious answer: “You just wait until I am mayor. I will change that. Then there will be normal numbers.”

FILED UNDER: Europe, World Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    Reminds me of the Trumpkins on Twitter who are all outraged because Obama was golfing after Hurricane Katrina.

  2. Moosebreath says:

    I suspect the direction of causation runs in the opposite direction, i.e., that people who are dumb are more inclined to hold racist and nationalist opinions. Still, that was pretty funny.

  3. @Moosebreath: Well, sure.

  4. Mikey says:

    Well, you know, Europe only changed from Roman to Arabic numerals 900 years ago. Maybe Herr Best is just slow catching up.

  5. Mikey says:


    Reminds me of the Trumpkins on Twitter who are all outraged because Obama was golfing after Hurricane Katrina.

    Which is doubly stupid because Obama actually visited New Orleans after Katrina. He was there with Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush.

  6. CSK says:


    On the other hand, his XV minutes may be up.

  7. Unsympathetic says:

    I have the biggest numbers, the best numbers.

  8. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    @CSK: Yeah. Funny how the original criticism didn’t mention Katrina, though — that came later. The original just mentioned Louisiana and flooding and golf, which is a totally accurate description of what happened barely a year ago.

    Trump and Pence went to Louisiana to help out, though.

    Hey, I know what might ring a few bells!

  9. gVOR08 says:

    One more demonstration that everybody’s got hillbillies.