Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's Just Not One Big Happy Family Party

An American in Germany, typically wouldn't notice this or ever come around to hear this in some topic of discussion.  There are various levels of political parties, which have fundamental agreements....and fundamental disagreements.  Same party....same slogans....same meetings....just groups within a group.

Today in the regional press (Hessen).....we got a tidbit of reporting that indicated the Jungen Union (JU).....the youth arm of the CDU....had a statement that collided with Chancellor Merkel (their party boss).

The Chancellor came out in the past week and made a bold statement that got maximum press coverage across Germany.  The Chancellor's comment?  "Islam is a part of Germany".  It was a curious thing to watch the news coverage....multicultural discussions...and views stated to go along with the Chancellor's theme.

The Hessen JU leadership?  "In Germany we have to respect freedom of religion and that Muslims live their religion with us. But to German identity, Islam does not belong".  Quoted from the JU chairman Stefan Stern (straight from HR).

Some older CDU enthusiasts of leadership in Hessen distanced themselves or tried to explain the reality of both statements.

The Greens and SPD of Hessen?  They pounced on the statement and attacked boldly.

A multicultural divide?  I think one would have to look at the national level of politics in Germany and the current theme to carry them up to 2017's election.  The theme is to talk about the economy, emphasize continuity and stability, and show a happy face over disputes.  The national politicians of Germany are successfully working the theme and using the news media, focus events on pubic TV, and speeches to carry the theme forward.  The divide here exists because there are two perceptions of life in Germany (the national slant and the perceived slant locally).

In this case, the JU folks are looking at Hessen life, reading the statistics, discussing events in coffee houses and pubs, and not being charmed by smiling politicians or gimmick journalists (that 'pin-stripe-Nazi' theme only goes so far).

Bottom line?  As much as one might see the current CDU theme being accepted around the CDU enthusiasts.....I might question this, and see a divide in progress.

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