Election losers and losers – a dangerous volcano simmers inside them

Guest contribution by Gabor Steinart: Election losers and losers – a dangerous volcano simmers inside them

Friedrich Merz, Oskar Lafontaine, even Markus Söder or Toni Hofreiter: They have all suffered defeats. But they draw new strength from it. To continue to challenge the winners. And seize the next opportunity. They are the true heroes of democracy.

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Most journalists look at those who have become something: chancellors, ministers, secretaries of state. The winners of elections and intra-party power struggles can hardly escape interview requests and media admiration that is hard to suppress.

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It is often more rewarding to watch the losers of elections and those who failed in the power game. A volcano simmers there. And the more the winners have fun and give off the aroma of power through the relaxed ancestors of the limousine and the possibility of flying with them in the air taxi called Bundeswehr, the more the temperatures rise in the heart of the loser. It’s all about escape.

Merz or Lafontaine – valuable attack energy for the political process

From this internal frenzy arises valuable offensive energy for the political process. The desire to pay back and outbid, as well as the latent coup spirit against those who were equal yesterday and who are now powerful, are part of a desired competition that ensures that the enjoyment of power does not become an abuse. to be able to.

This is why Friedrich Merz was boring for CDU chairwoman Merkel, but valuable for his party. He ensured that the burning embers of conservatism did not crumble into ashes during the years of political purism.

Oskar Lafontaine also contributed to the revitalization of the left side of the field. He was an opponent of Schröder, a victim of Schröder, and through the combination of resigning (from the finance minister’s office) and leaving (the SPD) he freed himself as an escape artist from the stake of torture of Gerhard Schröder for being an eternal opponent of Schröder in the left party launches the wigwam. He was now the Gus Backus of the German left: the old Indian chief was talking.

Theurer and Lauterbach – they let themselves go now

Even today, political snipers are ready in the capital, recruiting effortlessly from the training camps of those who have been duped and overlooked. Baden-Württemberg FDP leader Michael Theurer, for example, did not rise to the rank of minister, as he had hoped. He was disgraced as a parliamentary secretary of state. You should know that the position of parliamentary secretary of state is to feed the poor for a professional politician. You have nothing to say for a lot of money.

Since then, Michael Theurer has shown what he is capable of as a cunning critic of Lindner. He found the idea of ​​proposing a male-female double leadership a few hours before the opening of the federal party congress clever and thus circumcised Christian Lindner. Finally a party plot that is also impressive in terms of gender politics. He has rarely seemed so fresh in the back room of power.

To no one

Gabor Steinart is one of the country’s best-known journalists. It publishes The Pioneer Briefing newsletter. The podcast of the same name is Germany’s leading daily podcast for politics and business. Steinart has been working with his editorial team on the ship “The Pioneer One” since May 2020. Before founding Media Pioneer, Steinart was, among other things, chairman of the board of the Handelsblatt Media Group. You can subscribe to his free newsletter here.

Great talk show careers were also launched at the foot of defeat: Wolfgang Bosbach would never have become the black CDU sheriff and critic of Merkel if “Mutti”, as he called him, had followed his wishes and the had appointed Minister of the Interior.

Karl Lauterbach also owes its adoption by Anne Will and Markus Lanz to the prior approval of the SPD, which did not know what to do with the eccentric Harvard professor. It was only through the detour of his doctorate on the media as a double doctor of the pandemic and paranoia that he was able to obtain a post of minister. Since then, the live has been broadcast from the Ministry of Health.

Söder and Hofreiter – with the next vacant seat on the train

The most effective loser of the present – and therefore a man with future potential – is Markus Söder. The leader of the CSU had lost the candidacy of Chancellor of the Union in favor of Armin Laschet and had therefore not done things by halves in the electoral campaign.

It cannot be taken for granted that the Union can defend the chancellery, he prophesied. Laschet did not convince him that it would not work “to drive the sleeping car to the Chancellery, at reduced speed”.

Vesuvius in Munich spewed poison and bile until CDU man Laschet choked on the lava rain. Olaf Scholz claims he killed Laschet. But this is not true. It was Soder. Scholz had only to close his eyelids on election night.

The energy power of the defeat also powers the Bavarian bioelectric power plant named Anton Hofreiter. The Greens, who would have loved to become a minister of something, were ignored when the traffic light cabinet was formed but were silenced with the promise that he would be in charge of the next vacant post.


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But that promise turned out to be as useless as Wirecard’s actions. Even after the resignation of the Greens’ family minister, his hope for resurrection did not come true, which is why the man, whom the Greens only call ‘Toni’, went underground in party politics. with the hair in the wind. From there he now fires his salvos against his own government every day – most recently due to their wavering attitude towards arms deliveries:

“I have the impression that Mr. Scholz is unaware of the serious damage he is doing to Germany’s reputation in Europe. He must finally show leadership responsibility and ensure that the cabinet holds his promises.

The defeated are the true heroes of democracy

Conclusion: We should no longer view losers in the political power game as losers. They are often the winners of tomorrow. And even if this is not the case: the vanquished are the natural antagonists of the powerful and therefore the true heroes of democracy.

We should encourage those affected, who yearn so earnestly for higher things, to continue to grumble and seek revenge in the service of pluralism. You can lose everything except your good mood. The phrase of the cabaret artist Wolfgang Neuss therefore belongs on the desks of all losers:

“Gallows humor is the art of laughing at the branch you’re sitting on.”

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