Klaus Hurrelmann explains why the US election signals to young people that bad behaviour is okay.
“At the end of a vitriolic US campaign, one thing that remains is the memory of both candidates’ aggressive, unfair and insulting behaviour”, says Hertie School professor Klaus Hurrelmann. “When public figures behave in this manner, young people receive the signal that it is okay to express their own aggression openly. In the election, the candidates abandoned acceptable social conventions, going against what children are told at home: not to attack or humiliate others, but to handle people fairly. Now the candidate for the highest office in the United States has broken these rules. I find this devastating. In Germany, you see this trend in the making as well. At the moment, we are talking about thinly veiled racist and sexist statements, but these are entering the mainstream, especially among fringe groups like the AfD.”