Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Explaining 'Politkverdrossenheit'

I know....'politkverdrossenheit' is a pretty long German word.  Translation?  Basically it comes down to mean a personal disillusionment over politics.

The word was 'framed' in the mid-1960s, and centered at that point around groups of Germans who were asking questions, and finding no real explanations given by journalists or politicians.

One could be truthful here and admit that 'party disenchantment' was also brewing at this point in time.

Across the age spectrum in Germany?  More or less.  My son (late 20s) will say that the various political 'slants' that you hear about....are just that...a 'slant'.  He'll listen to a few lines, and then hit his own personal 'mute-button' because he's lost trust.

So what really happened in Germany?  I would lay this down into three observations:

1.  Political options multiplied.  Slightly more than 50-percent of voters today....would not vote for the right-of-center (CDU/CSU) or left-of-center (SPD) political parties.  Once the other parties organized and had a theme....the center-mass declined.

2.  TV and newsprint don't control the theme anymore.  Internet, along with social media and YouTube....have downsized the 'giants'. 

3.  All of these crisis episodes (2008 crisis, Erdogan's Turkey, Trump, BREXIT, Ukraine war, etc)....require explanations.  The official explanations simply aren't believed much anymore.  Maybe it's the fault of the news groups, or the German government.  But if you don't believe the details, there is a loss of persuasion.

So where does this German disillusionment go now?  I think you are looking at a path being constructed and both the CDU/CSU group and the SPD group.....will be weakened enough that combined...they won't be able to show more than one-third of public support within the next decade.  Creating a coalition government out of this weakened situation?  Almost impossible.  You would have to imagine a government trying to exist with three to four members. Trying sitting in a room and getting four widely constructed political thinkers to a single agreeable position.

In some ways, the race to build a strong EU might have a good reason behind it.....if there is such a weak German government existing. 

In the end, at least around 2030.....I see a chaotic situation developing, with a lot of Germans asking questions which can't be answered. 

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