Cultural Revolutions

Winning Another Term

Gerhard Schroeder has won another four-year term as German chancellor following his Red-Green coalition’s victory in September—the narrowest ever seen in a German election.  Until just weeks before the election, he was expected to lose, and, considering his record, deservedly so.  Under Chancellor Schroeder, Germany has enjoyed a double-digit unemployment rate—over four million Germans are currently out of work—coupled with a continuing deluge of Third World immigrants; in addition, Schroeder’s first term was plagued by scandals, which forced the resignation of Defense Minister Rudolph Scharping last July.

What saved Schroeder was his strong, determined opposition to Germany’s participation in the coming U.S.-led war against Iraq.  In a campaign almost devoid of issues for the Social Democrats to exploit, Schroeder discovered that standing up to Bush paid rich political dividends.  When he declared that he would “not click his heels” and say “yes” to whatever President Bush decides, the Germans ate it up.  The rhetoric soon escalated from attacks on Washington’s Iraq policy—which were both legitimate and justified—to crude anti-Americanism.  Scharping was quoted in the New York Times saying that Bush wanted to overthrow Saddam to please “a powerful—perhaps overly powerful—Jewish lobby” (which...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here