Die Lehre aus den Merkel-Jahren

Bekanntlich sollten wir Frau Merkel vermissen. Schneller als (von mir erwartet) ist Frau Merkel nicht mehr so geachtet wie noch vor einem Jahr. Meine Bilanz zur Ihren 16 Jahren ist hinlänglich bekannt und hat mir immerhin Stoff für zwei Bücher geliefert.

Nun kommt auch die FINANCIAL TIMES (FT) mit einem kritischen Fazit, das über die Person Merkel hinausgeht: “Liberals must learn from the Merkel years”. So wahr.

  • “George W Bush has never issued a mea maxima culpa for his botched war in Iraq. The central bankers who oversaw the credit bubble of the early 21st century have not abased themselves and begged for their reputations. Why, then, should Angela Merkel? The gas dependence on Russia, the turn against nuclear power, the inadequate defence spending: parts of her record as German chancellor have aged as well as milk.” – bto: Sie hat konsequent Oppositionspolitik betrieben, weshalb die heutige Regierung zwar behaupten kann, unschuldig zu sein, aber es faktisch nicht ist.
  • Es ist egal, ob Frau Merkel sich entschuldigt. Wichtig wäre laut FT etwas anderes: “That is not so true of those who cheered her on. Western liberals still have votes and, through preponderance in the media, opinion-forming clout. It matters that they are skirting around their lionisation of the “Queen of Europe” for much of the past decade. It implies that they will not learn the lessons of her tainted legacy. Here are just three.” – bto: Dass sie nichts gelernt haben, ergibt sich bereits deutlich, wenn man in Deutschland Radio oder TV einschaltet.
  • Consensus and compromise are not ends in themselves. Merkel’s style of leadership was what endeared her to liberals, not just her (nominally centre-right, remember) beliefs. (…) Gradualism has turned out to be its own kind of dereliction.” – bto: Heute wird Konsens durch die Ausgrenzung jener mit anderen Meinungen erzielt.
  • “Another moral of the Merkel years is that trade is not always, or even generally, a force for peace between nations. She says that she always had an empiricist’s doubt about the likelihood of Wandel durch Handel (“change through trade”) in Russia. But she too often acted otherwise.” – bto: wobei ich da mehr bei Prof. Weede bin.
  • Liberals are not always the best defenders of liberalism. There is no evading the fact that lots of supposed rightwing polecats — Trump, his then secretary of state Rex Tillerson, Boris Johnson in his stint as UK foreign secretary — saw clearly the danger of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline to Russia.” – bto: Ich hätte ein anderes Beispiel gewählt. Die Toleranz gegenüber Intoleranten wird der Freiheit massiv schaden.
  • “The late philosopher Roger Scruton said that conservatism is now a defence of liberalism by those who don’t trust liberals to do it. That is generous. But his point shows up from time to time in public life. The US Republican Mitt Romney, for whom Russia was ‘our number one geopolitical foe’ as far back as 2012, stands enhanced now. Barack Obama, who beat him to the White House that year, doesn’t. It takes a cynicism about human nature, even a certain roughness, to comprehend the threat posed by the enemies of the west. Liberalism can lack this reptilian vigilance.” – bto: Vergessen wir nicht, was hier als “liberal” beschrieben wird, ist in Wahrheit links-grün. Liberal hat im angelsächsischen Raum einen anderen Klang.
  • “Obama, Justin Trudeau, Jacinda Ardern, Greta Thunberg, two or three Kennedys, the fictitious Jed Bartlett of The West Wing: in its need for heroes, liberalism is as messianic as the strongman-toasting right. But the Merkel fandom went beyond Warhol-lite posters and schlock TV. It was a worked-out belief that she, in manner and content, was the geometric opposite of populism.” – bto: Darüber kann man nur lachen, sie war purer Populismus.
  • “The misjudgments were too important. The risk of repeating them in other contexts — China, most obviously — too serious. Merkel herself is entitled to a retirement of peaceful Baltic walks and memoir-writing. For her admirers the world over, there are recriminations to have.” – bto: die diese niemals akzeptieren werden!

ft.com (Anmeldung erforderlich):„Liberals must learn from the Merkel years“, 28. Juni 2022