News: SPD, party congress, Angela Merkel, Afghanistan, Bayern Munich

The country that wanted to bring democracy to the West is likely to learn today how the first round of the presidential election came to fruition. Choice sounds like democracy, but if you call the election date, all the illusions are gone: That was the 28th of September. More than two months were counted after the election had been postponed twice before. Actually, the Afghans should vote on April 20 vote.


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Issue 50/2019

Who still needs the SPD? Psychogram of a disturbed party

If none of the candidates gets more than 50 percent, there is a runoff between the two leaders. Since the two favorites had already declared victors shortly after the election, it is unlikely that the Afghans will be able to enjoy a certain stability starting tomorrow. Even the election campaign was accompanied by assassinations, election and counting of disabilities. It really does not look like democracy.

A victory of the good nerves


Hannibal Hanschke / REUTERS

In the end, everyone will always vote for Angela Merkel, even this party convention of the SPD. The Social Democrats have decided that they want to continue the grand coalition, which means that Merkel remains Chancellor. She just has Fortune, that was already on Election Night 2005 when she had a miserable result and had a chance for her in-party opponents to get her out of the way. Nobody dared.

  That's how it stayed for 14 years. Nobody dared, not even in the time when the SPD, the Greens and the Left had a majority in the Bundestag. Behind it stands the great German fear of the new, the unknown. If someone stays in the chancellery for a while, he can usually stay if he does not lose his temper like Willy Brandt or Gerhard Schröder. Merkel never lost her nerve, and of course that speaks for her.

Football and hair


The top match of this weekend is called Borussia Mönchengladbach against Bayern Munich. Strangely, I think of it as the first hair. In the 1970s, when this duel was almost always a top game, most players wore long hair. And I also remember that I was proud of those long hair, in the European Cup or international, when West German teams met the competition from the Eastern bloc. They had short hair.

  If I remember correctly, that was my first encounter with what the historian Heinrich August Winkler later called the "normative project of the two Atlantic Revolutions," in the American colonies of 1776 and in France in 1789. For me, the adolescents the long hair of our players expressed our freedom, while the others wore military short hairstyles, which I could only explain with compulsion, because you did not want to run around so silly. Soon, however, the hair of the Soviet or East German players were longer. Was not there already foreseeable that communism would have no chance in the long run?

  That was a small detour to what I actually wanted to say: Hopefully Bayern win today.

Winners of the day …


… are the reading heroes of the U6 in Berlin. They get up at half-past nine in the overcrowded car, squeezed in, knocked down at all stations by the departures and arrivals, constantly burdened by the noise of not dense headphones, enveloped in various odors, almost thrown off balance by rocking at an unexpected stunt.

  They cling to the poles with one hand while their book lies in the other hand, mostly a novel, sometimes a fat one, and they read, read stoically, as if they were in another world, ten, fifteen minutes, then rise they miss if they do not miss their train station. I am quite a fanatical book reader, but I can not get that concentration, this big underground dip in a subway. With a bow, I declare these people my winners of the day.


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  I wish you a nice start into the weekend.

  Your Dirk Kurbjuweit

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