Friday, February 24, 2012

Joachim on the Spot

The man who I feel should have been Germany’s president has been nominated to the position. While the position is that of a state funeral attending figurehead, the position permits commentary on the state of the culture and the of its’ big pieces and parts, namely freedom and the role of the state.

Theologian and former East German dissident Joachim Gauck is just the man for the job, and is at the right place at the right time in European history. A man well aware of the nature of an overbearing state is needed right now in a position where a bully pulpit can be used from time to time.

The nomination is not without its’ distractions though:
The FDP, her beleaguered junior coalition partner, put Ms. Merkel's grip on power to the test on Sunday by backing Mr. Gauck. She was furious, according to a person familiar with the weekend talks, but realized she couldn't persuade the FDP to support any other candidate. Fearing an irreparable split in the coalition, Ms. Merkel grudgingly accepted Mr. Gauck.
Her position on this is strange, given that Merkel is herself a former East German, and the daughter of a pastor who opposed the state, one familiar with the role the Lutheran Church played in the downfall of the repressive Socialist regime.

There must be something unheimlich going on with one or the other of them that isn’t obvious to the rest of us.