Sunday, March 19, 2017

Schulz Wars: Episode 2017 - A New Hope

It seems like it was only yesterday (mainly because it pretty much was) when the whole world was moaning about the choice the Americans were facing in November 2016. Clinton, oh my God, they said. She is a liar and an immoral woman. And oh yeah, she is a woman. A woman who has hormones. Oh God, no, please not that woman. But the alternative wasn't much better, was it? The alternative was an orange monster that continues to be perceived as such, only now he brings his whole family and staff. It was, even then, a horrible choice. The choice between the plague and cholera. About a year later, my own country has to make a choice between a man and a woman. The choice there is really hard as well but for the complete opposite reason: it's super tough to decide who is actually more awesome.

None of that should matter because in Germany we elect a party, and that's the way it should be. Whoever leads that party shouldn't really matter, but it does. In Germany, we will end up with either our veteran badass lady Angela Merkel, head of the Conservative Party, or newcomer in Germany, EU pimp and hope of anyone below 50 to maybe have a future that includes safety and money, Martin Schulz, soon-to-be head of the Social Democrats. I'm a party member of the latter, so my choice, quite frankly, was made before Martin, as I get to call him as a pretentious party comrade, entered the scene. Before I go into detail, again, how Martin Schulz makes my political heart skip a beat, I have to say though: to know that if we lose, Angela Merkel is the consolation prize, is a wonderful feeling in a political world that is currently engulfed in Orban, Wilders and LePen-induced darkness.

I'd never vote for Angela Merkel because she simply didn't choose the right party for me to tick her box, but that lady has had some glorious moments. Germany is in good shape and she represented us well. For me, the current prosperity is the last excuse her party had for neglecting the people, focusing on the numbers. Yes, our numbers are great, the whole world envies that. We wear nice things, we have great health care and go on holiday on the entire planet. And then there are those you don't see in restaurants, at the movies, taking part in mine and your circle. We don't see them because they simply can't afford to play like we play. They're invisible because their welfare checks barely buy them a dignified life, as we like to call it. And we don't wanna see them either, otherwise the Conservative party wouldn't have hauled in 49% in the last election. These people are neither less hard-working nor less intelligent as us, the lucky, privileged masses. They're just simply not as lucky.

Let's pass the mic to Martin Schulz at this point. He talks about justice, and that whatever is going on in Germany right now is unjust. Of course those who were born to a middle class or above family, got to go to the best schools for free, then studied finance or medicine (again, for free!) would have difficulties relating to those Martin Schulz is encouraging to ask for more justice. When everything is free and we're told all the time we are all equal, the impression arises that those in the council block around the corner had the same chance as I, a woman with two Masters and a fancy job abroad. I worked hard, maybe they didn't. Perceiving injustice is really hard because it requires people to question whether they're right or not. Opinions are a product of personality; the facts, however, are different. We aren't equal, and luck still plays a much bigger role than it should. If what we truly desire is equality for everyone, we still have a big chunk of injustice to clean up, even though the whole world buys our cars and our household is flourishing.

Martin Schulz might know a little bit more about that than most people. I hear in almost every talk show that people are complaining about the lack of manifesto: what does Schulz really want? I haven't read a manifesto, but I know the answer. How? Because the an has been my hero for four years, I've had the privilege to hear him and speak to him on many occasions. Martin Schulz has been the subject of many of my blogs because to me, he is what Michael Jackson is to music and Cristiano is to football: so good at what they do that it's inconceivable they would ever do something else. Martin Schulz has the talents of a politician, namely the presence and skill of a great speaker as well as the ability to really encourage people to care about issues. Many politicians have made it big with these talents without having great convictions, but Martin Schulz has stood for the end to youth unemployment, right-wing populism and that nasty ailing of a continent in perfect health for years as the one of the greatest in Europe for years, and now we have a chance to let him steer our ship.

Social democrats are failing all over the place, and my personal explanation is that they are simply closing their eyes from the fact that they are the party of those in the middle, still working, still trying, and that many people have lost touch to these realities. How do I know? A middle class nation interested in fairness wouldn't call for Angela Merkel to be ousted based on her letting refugees in the country. Social democrats in Germany have rightfully identified we can't save every single life, but we can try a lot harder than the other countries in our union. Angela Merkel knows that, but her party and her electorate do not. And lest we forget, we elect a party. It seems that Angela Merkel is the perfect choice as a person, just like Kohl was all these years being the man that reunited us all. But when all we really have left to really FIX, as in completely mend, is people desperately watching all Germans get richer while they are being left behind, then it's time for change. With all of Europe turning more right, hence less inclusive and less understanding of those who were not born with their unaware privilege, those who are aware need to start speaking a little louder.

What sort of completely misinformed individual would perceive refugees, terrorism, or even more ridiculous, "the unknown" of globalization as the biggest threat in Germany? The rest of Europe is not Germany. We should know better! We have learned, we don't like ignorance, we try harder to remember and are truthful to ourselves. As a result, we can really, truly be a beacon for Europe. It's our time to show that our hard work as a nation has made us a compassionate people that looks out for everyone, not just ourselves. Not like Americans. Better! We don't need to save the EU because if it does fail, we lose the least. The question is, though: do we still want to? I do. I'm not poor, disadvantaged or depending on the single market. Hell, I live in Brexitland, it's too late for me. In the end, you could probably argue my life won't change if Merkel or Schulz win. What would change is our message to the world: One on inclusion and response to insanity such as Brexit. The only thing I want Schulz for Germany for is to feel like we got the chance to show we care about those who were forgotten or are about to be kicked to the curb and we took it. More than ever, I want to vote for the candidate that loves Europe as much as I do. I won't ever be able to repay those suckers in Brussels for everything they've done for me, but I can vote for their mate Martin who's worked hard for me in the past two decades. I personally can't wait for it...

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