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Photos by Janina Gallert
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It’s not easy being a red-blooded Fox News-loving, Obama-hating Republican in Berlin. You get flak from all sides: from those “self-hating liberal US expat wackos” dying to give up their passports and from those “Palestinian-scarf leftwing German wackos” you meet at parties. The daughter of AFN (American Forces Network) radio-host Rick de Lisle and a bona fide army brat raised in Germany, Heather is such an American.
Since the rise of Obama, the Deutsche Welle TV English-language anchor has enjoyed a second career as professional American conservative. She regularly appears on talk shows to provide the (Red-State) American perspective. In the summer, she published Amiland: Streitschrift für die Weltmacht USA, an impassioned defense of America in the face of German prejudices about her homeland.
Are you the Sarah Palin of Berlin?
No, I think that I’m a lot more intelligent than Sarah Palin. If you want to call me the German something then don’t call me the German Palin, call me the German Ann Coulter.
So how did you get on these German talk shows in the first place?
It started shortly after Obama popped up here during the campaign and gave his little “Siegessäule” speech in front of 200,000 people. The Germans suddenly realized that they needed a raving mad Republican to go on TV and tell the other half of the story. So there I was!
So what’s that “raving mad” Republican’s mission?
I often get backed into a corner and have to defend myself or defend conservative decisions, because I think the Germans don’t really get it. That was also part of the motivation behind writing this book.
But don’t you think western Germany is in many ways more pro American than a lot of other Western European countries?
No, I’d say the East is more pro-American. I’ve met a lot of East Germans who were like: “Hey, America is cool,” whereas West Germans are: “You just come here with your soldiers and blow everything up.”
The book’s provocative subtitle translates to something like “Pamphlet for USA, the world power.” Not exactly the way to win new friends here.
Yeah, it’s like a communist manifesto. I think it’s ridiculous to hear every couple of weeks people going on about the US not being a superpower anymore. I’m going to irritate a lot of people who I wanted to irritate to begin with. And I actually have won quite a few friends who said: “You know what, I never really looked at it that way, but you’re right.”
A lot of US expats have a negative view of their home country...
The Americans I meet in Berlin are here because they hate America. And they think Europe is brilliant. So, sure, you’re not going to find a whole lot of other conservatives out here. I’m different because I’m a military brat. There’s a difference between expats and military brats, and I would definitely stick myself more in the latter category. Apparently there are Republicans abroad and they have parties and things but they don’t invite me. I don’t know if I’m too crazy for them or what the problem is.
But does it really make that much of a difference whether they’re Republicans or Democrats?
Republicans are more intelligent and love America. Democrats love champagne and Europe and cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
How would you define your political views?
I say ‘crazy’ because that’s what 99 percent of the people I work with who are all left-wing loony liberals call me. I don’t think my views are crazy.
For you Ronald Reagan was the perfect president…
Well, we wouldn’t be sitting in East Berlin right now if it wasn’t for him. The damn Wall would still be up and people would still pay 400 Ostmark for imported bananas.
Did you try to explain that to one of those crazy lefty Germans?
They usually get up and leave in disgust, call me a baby-killing gun-toting fascist. But you know what? We let you guys choose who you wanted for president last time and you chose Obama, now it’s time we let the Americans choose again.
'We let you choose??' That’s conspiracy talk...
We let the Europeans and all those damned left-wing liberals influence our vote. And it’s so stupid that everybody loves Obama here anyway, cause if you sit down and look at it, the Democrats are still to the right of the CSU here, so I don’t know what you guys are so happy about. What I see from the Democrats especially in the last few years is them looking at the European model which I, living here, wouldn’t say is working all that well.
Right now the German economy is going pretty well compared to the US.
Yeah, I don’t know how Germany managed to weasel its way out of this crisis. Even though I was extremely skeptical, I think Merkel with this crazy Kurzarbeit somehow ended up with everyone keeping their jobs and that ended up saving the economy. Or it’s going to come back and bite them in the ass.
What’s your perspective on Sarrazin?
I don’t think Germany has a Turkish problem. It’s an attitude problem. Because it doesn’t matter how many damned generations you’ve lived here, or if your parents, grandparents and great grandparents were all born and raised here. If your name is Ali or Ahmed and you’ve got brown hair and brown eyes, you will not be considered a German.
My son, for example, has an English name, a German last name, blond hair and blue eyes and he’s never going to have any trouble, and I think it’s damn unfair and I think that the Germans need to sort out their racism issues. They’re practically saying that Turks are not really wanted here. That’s bullshit.
Sarrazin says that stupid immigrants having more and more children will end up making Germany stupid.
All you have to do is turn on RTL2 and you see a hell of a lot more stupid blond-haired blue-eyed Germans running around. Even Guido Westerwelle, our fucking foreign minister, was once in the Big Brother container. Germany has a much bigger white trash problem than immigrant problem. Seriously. The entire nation is sinking into idiocy.
For most Germans America is just millions of white trash idiots driving around in SUVs eating burgers.
“And they keep their shoes on inside as well. Oh, dear God.” It’s basically the same as: “All the Germans wear Lederhosen and drink beer and their names are Hans and Otto.” You can find your quotient of uneducated, fat, kulturlose people everywhere. I don’t know if it’s been hammered into the Ossis because it was their Klassenfeind, and in that case I don’t know where the West Germans got it.
So what are your career plans as the one conservative woman in Berlin?
Keep trying to spread the message and fight these champagne-swilling, lobster-crunching, East Coast liberal journalist wackos that are over here trying to explain America to the Germans. That is one part of America, but there’s a whole big chunk of Middle America that is not being explained. Although you’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself too.