First a flood disaster, now a failed withdrawal from Afghanistan: can the Sangh still face major crises? Or is there a loss of trust in the party?
These days the CDU is telling an anecdote about the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Harold Macmillan. When a journalist asked the British politician what the biggest challenge of his reign was, Macmillan replied: “Events, my dear boy, events.” – Events, my dear boy, events.
Macmillan was an outspoken conservative. And decades later, German conservatives also share their biggest concern: a growing fear in the CDU that the dramatic events of recent weeks could destroy its entire political strategy.
On 14 July, flooding began in West Germany, killing over a hundred people and causing entire villages to disappear in the flood. Now, five weeks later, the Bundeswehr is withdrawing from Afghanistan – and the radical Islamist Taliban have taken over the country within days. Videos show how desperate Afghans cling to the last plane to take off from Kabul and die. Real scenes that look like something out of an apocalypse movie.
The essence of Christian Democrats is staggering
Two successive disasters, the floods and Afghanistan, have nothing to do with each other. They have only one thing in common: both crises seem to have been handled poorly by the German government.
The warning system failed during the floods, and the security situation in Afghanistan was clearly wrong. And both will probably cost many lives. Of course, the union is not responsible for every failure, but because the federal government is led by the chancellor of the CDU, the focus is on the party.
For Christian Democrats, it’s not only bad for marketing in the election campaign. Your essence falters. The Sangh, the pre-crisis resolution team, does not solve sudden crises. Quite the contrary: it makes it itself.
What remains of a good feeling?
If you will, all other parties have one pillar in terms of content: the Left is seen as a former SED aimed at building a socialist regime. Greens stands for Climate Protection. The SPD is considered a workers’ party. AfD claims to stand for disappointed and right. FDP wants to strengthen the economy.
And the CDU? The core of the Union and not a real necessity in the federal election campaign in recent years. The Christian Democrats made another offer to voters: their offering was a sense of security. The feeling that there is already orderly governance, that the country and the people are safe and that there is as little political nonsense as possible.
What remains of it after political mismanagement took hundreds of lives?
This is mainly a problem for the chancellor’s candidate Armin Laschet. And it’s stumbling again these days. “2015 must not repeat itself” – this sentence by Lasset irked the media. The outcry was enormous, seeing as Afghans begged for their lives, Lasquet looked like a heartless border guard who was lowering the barrier. In the rest of the statement, Lasquet spoke in favor of full support for the Afghans.
Laschet fights, but he shouldn’t get in the chancellor’s way
This is a hallmark of his election campaign: Lechette’s mistakes are rarely political mistakes; They often feel that there is little feeling for the right messages. But in public perception, politics often carries images, especially in times of crisis. Laschet has started a multi-billion aid fund for the victims of the crisis, which will help many people. But it should be noted how Lashet smiled behind the federal president on television when he spoke about flood victims.
However, the inability to communicate is one of Laschet’s problems. Secondly, he has to constantly explain what his plans are without getting in the way of the Chancellor. It is a particular focus of crises, during floods and during disasters in Afghanistan. Laskett remains only for sending letters to the members. Take for example on Monday, when he wrote that Merkel and Kramp-Karenbauer now deserve “all our support”.
The Sangh is now looking for ways to restore its credibility as a party to resolve the crisis. A rethink is taking place, with some already saying that one should no longer try to convert other countries into “morally drunk” democracies. Ironically, conservatives are now discussing Germany’s role in the world with surprisingly open results.
a new pitch
For example, the Sangh may gain confidence in the next few weeks by presenting concrete plans to deal with the current crises. Provided that there are no further disasters in the weeks before the election.
The opening statements point in this direction. On 23 June, the union rejected an application from the Greens for early asylum for Afghan aid workers. Many of them now fear for their lives as the Taliban see them as allies.
Rodrich Kiswetter, an influential CDU politician, now wrote on Twitter: “Rejecting the Greens’ offer was a big and grave mistake – in principle. Period.”
It was a tone rarely heard before from a top RSS politician: a tone of humility.