It really isn’t difficult to discern the source of Germany’s ailment, both political and economic. For years now, U.S. and British Euroskeptics have sought to divine the source of Germany’s current account surplus. Working Germans really don’t have the stomach to support other Euro-denominated states that will not seek domestic reform, nor do German citizen believe its own government possess the interests of working citizens.
The source of Germany’s secular stagnation is its self serving political class. This is best evidenced in Merkel’s overt willingness to accommodate mass migration of Muslims in the hope of consolidating new demographic alliances that would support the very redistributionist policies that have been repudiated by the public.
Merkel has led her Christian Democrats (CDU) to their worst election results since 1949. You read that right! Her exhausted counterpart named Lindner, a leader of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) has become sickened witnessing Merkel preempt the very consensus driven model underwriting German political comity since ’49. He simply blew up Merkel’s bid to form a coalition with his own party and members of Germany’s ‘Green’ movement. The entire Bundestag is now moribund with Merkel driving components of a new coalition that the German public openly rejected.
Germany’s entire political establishment is intellectually and morally bankrupt. It remains politically rudderless and in desperate need of renewal outside of government. By any measure, German reluctance toward leadership even within the EU runs deeper than most are willing to discern.
The conviction of Merkel’s minions is difficult to parry, yet the German conviction that Eurozone problems be laid at the feet of ill disciplined states only recognizes half the problem. For how did an expansive, reckless monetary accommodation led Germany to embrace identical schemes of fiscal transfers and financial risk advocacy. For Merkel and her minions throughout the Bundestag, this remains an awfully loaded defensive position that cannot be reconciled with leadership. Hence, the impasse that continues to unfold.
Difficult as it is to endure, Merkel and her compatriots fervently believe they’ve changed Germany’s approach to the world. Berlin dominates European foreign policy and it openly manages hotspots throughout the western Balkans, long home to Russian, Turkish aspirations. Even still, the American’s and others only see contempt from Merkel and a morally bankrupt strategic culture. Neither view can be reconciled.
Either Germany finds a way out, toward reconciling various social, political trends that anchor its domestic politics or it prepare for the emergence of radical discontents that will only engender reactionaries that skirt both sides of Germany’s political class.
For Berlin, its leadership or the whipsaw.