Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 8:17 AM

Hail, Merkel! The Grandmaster of German Politics

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

If pollsters are correct, Angela Merkel will secure her place at the helm of German politics for what will be a total of 16 years following Sunday’s election results.

The 63-year-old Chancellor has certainly provided the country with a sense of stability for more than a decade, but political apathy has gripped the nation and left many voters disillusioned about the lack of an alternative.

The impact of Ms Merkel on the EU has been ‘huge and underestimated’, said Mr Kornelius Stefan Kornelius, head of foreign affairs at the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung … from the threat of collapse of the eurozone to pressures from Russia and her handling of the refugee crisis, Ms Merkel had been able “to close the ranks, keep Europe together and prevent it from slipping apart” and that she intended to do the same with Brexit.

(London Independent, September 22, 2017)

Granted, given the way pollsters performed on everything from Brexit to Trump, the condition “if pollsters are correct” does not inspire much confidence. Nonetheless, I am convinced Merkel is on the precipice of a remarkable political recovery.

After all, just two years ago, she seemed as vulnerable in Germany as President Francois Hollande was in France. That’s because she was suffering unprecedented backlash for pledging to assimilate one million migrants.

But, far from feeling checkmated, Merkel maneuvered like a chess grandmaster. She showed she was not too blinded by politically correct emotion to make corrective political decisions. Specifically, her moves to mollify concerns about the “plague” of Syrian/African migration left her political opponents reeling.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel can be forgiven for bemoaning that no good deed goes unpunished.

Recall that she made quite a show last summer of welcoming as many refugees as could make it to Germany. But she soon had just cause to rue her open door policy – as reports of assimilation woes and spikes in crime attended sequent waves. I duly commented in ‘Migrant Invasion Causing Humanitarian Remorse in Germany,’ September 28, 2015.

Understandably, Merkel felt compelled to allay growing fears. Unfortunately, she did so by pitting the categorical imperatives of assimilation against the transforming impositions of multiculturalism. She even pledged to close Germany’s open door enough to ‘drastically decrease’ the number of refugees entering the country. I duly commented in ‘Merkel Betraying Migration Policy that Won Her ‘Person of the Year,’ December 21, 2015.

(“Germany: Muslim Men More Sexual Predators than Asylum Seekers…?” The iPINIONS Journal, January 11, 2016)

She clearly disappointed bleeding-heart liberals like me. But Germans are already showering her with yellow roses, assuring her that the schoolmarm affection they’ve shown her for the past twelve years will endure for at least another four.

I can’t argue with that.

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