From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr
The coalition agreement in Germany is ready, and the country gets a center-left government within the next weeks, consisting of three parties. It is reassuring to know that there are still countries in the civilized world where political currents can come together to share responsibility without blocking each other, even if they are far apart on some issues. And it is astonishing how little this seems the case on the other side of the Atlantic, in a country that calls itself the oldest existing democracy on earth, along with all those people who proclaim a Christian faith. If only they would live accordingly instead of constantly denigrating political dissidents in support of perverts like Donald Trump and his minions.
In authoritarian countries – and the U.S. may be one of them, because a very large part of its electorate cannot be reached with rational arguments and instead adheres to delusions that may reflect in radical election results again at any time – the term “left” may sound strange and be equated with socialism. First, not only is it wrong, but the label “center left” is also not particularly informative. Secondly, content is more important than labels, not only because the pandemic has created even more complex problems worldwide that require overarching answers. Thirdly, it follows that the questions of our time will not be solved by partisan ideological stubbornness, but by rational approaches of pluralism.
Those who want to divide a people into left and right, liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, and point the finger at anything progressive, are damaging the unity of their own country. The U.S. has been and continues to be a prime example of deep social division. In Germany, too, a burgeoning polarization must be persistently countered so that those who refuse to face reality by promoting conspiracy theories cannot divide society with ideological nonsense.
So, it remains to be seen what the new German government is capable of achieving. The challenges are huge, and for that reason alone things will more than likely not run completely smoothly.