RHEditorial Februar 2024

Germany in February 2024. Once a leading economic and industrial nation and admired around the world for the “Made in Germany” seal of quality, our country is now considered the sick man of Europe. High energy prices, skyrocketing social costs and a completely overloaded education system, together with hundreds of thousands of missing homes and rising violent crime, create a bleak picture.

And our government? I’ve seen a few come and go myself, but none before have managed to become so unpopular in just two years. The SPD knows that and the Green Party know that and even though the ‘ampel’ coalition no longer has a majority in the population, it simply carries on as before. No contest of ideas, no competition of the best ideas on how the country can be led out of the crisis, loudly, presumptuously and unrealistically, it invokes its own ideology of saving the world and climate justice, and celebrates itself at demonstrations in the brave fight against the “right”. As if Adolf Hitler would be at the door. With the reporting offices for discriminatory incidents, the European Digital Service Act and the new Democracy Promotion Act, it organizes spying and snooping on the opinions of its own citizens and rewards the world views desired by the state in its frontline organizations, NGOs and public broadcasting with our tax money and compulsory fees.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, the government is largely allowing cannabis possession from April 1st (!), contrary to the warnings of doctors, criminologists and judges. In the future, anyone aged 18 or over will be able to legally carry up to 80 joints with them. The fight against drug use is lost and so we can at least decriminalize and remove the basis for illegal trafficking, thinks the ‘ampel’ government. I ask myself, how naive do you actually have to be to believe that someone can control the legally required framework conditions for the cultivation, origin and distribution of the substance, not to mention the so-called minimum distances from schools and kindergartens.

In any case, clear thinking will not be any easier in the emerging marijuana fog and critical questions about climate and migration policy will probably not be welcome in the future either. Because our political leadership speaks of diversity and inclusion, but at the same time it excludes large parts of society – and by that I mean, above all, millions of AfD voters. She discusses the ban instead of openly naming our country’s problems and then confronting the “impossible” party in the substantive dispute. Presumably the government believes that discontent can simply be banned and that after a ban there is nothing left to vote for on the right wing of center. In the rest of the political landscape, a majority could then be enough again in the next election. Anyone who has always wondered what this “firewall” is for may now have an answer.

But the misery should continue to grow and by that I don’t just mean more and more pensioners who collect deposit bottles from the trash cans in order to somehow make ends meet. When it comes to the rampant poverty and neglect of children in Germany, we only need to listen to the founder of the Christian aid organization “Die Arche”. Two children a week now die from neglect. They want to become citizens’ benefit recipients, his fifth-graders tell him. “We let people into the country and then park them at ‘Die Arche’ or the food banks,” says ex-pastor Bernd Siggelkow.

Germany has been driven to the wall twice in wars in the last 110 years. There would be no need for tanks and cannons for a third time. Because according to the writer Max Frisch, “it is always the moralists who cause the most mischief.”

There are still around a year and a half until the next election. Maybe things have to get worse before they get better.
“He who wields lightning for the truth has achieved greater victory,” said Friedrich Schiller.

With this in mind – stay vigilant and don’t give up.

Yours warmly

Ernst-M. Ehrenkönig

CEO & Managing Partner

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