Germany's Conservative Merkel secures big win in liberal Europe
By Tom Evers
September 28, 2009
Sunday's result in the German Election is a huge boon for not only the Federal Republic of Germany, but also for the world community. In a time when the American President is actively peddling his plans for a second great society of expanded government and increased taxation, the German people seem to moving in the opposite direction.
Of course, we shouldn't get to carried away by describing Angela Merkel as a conservative in the American sense (she still favors VAT taxes, socialized medicine and is a huge advocate of the Global Warming theory), but for a European politician, she may yet be one of the most conservative minded on the European continent. Merkel has long been a strong ally of American foreign policy - supporting American initiatives in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Merkel, despite Islamic fundamentalist threats, continues to be an advocate to resist Islamic cultural incursions into Germany and Europe, and has deployed at least 4,000 German troops abroad in the cause of liberty. This is of course a difficult line to walk, given both internal and external reminders that Germany that it has had its own history of military ambitions at one time and the ghosts of those days are still fresh to some. That aside, Merkel has managed to win support from right, left, and center.
American conservatives can view this victory with a sense of irony. Just a few years ago, the United States under President George Bush saw a period of thawing of German-US relations as then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was vastly opposed to supporting American action in the Middle East referring to them as mere "adventures" instead of recognizing the jihadist threats as legitimate. When Frau Merkel came to power, US-German relations turned positive almost over night and cooperation improved to levels not seen since the Kohl years. Sadly, since the election of Barack Obama, relations have once again soured. And perhaps the beginning in a change in relationship between the two countries may have occurred when Obama decided to use the Brandenburg Gate as a backdrop during the Presidential campaign tour. Little did we know that such bad judgement was a sign of things to come.
But what's clear is that this change in the winds is not just due to political philosophy. Obama, a foreign policy novice, appears to have ruffled feathers in Berlin, London, and Paris - a trifecta. This is historic in its own right as even as Gordon Brown, who is closer to Obama in his politics, was snubbed by Obama who, last week, refused to make five minutes for him. While Obama thought this attitude acceptable, the foreign press recognized the insult without hesitation. Hardly the way to treat America's greatest ally in world politics.
What American Conservatives (and European, as well) can take most delight in from this moment is the fact that the Obama phenomena doesn't have legs. There isn't some global move to the left, which sometime follows a shift when Americans make drastic political change. Conservatives won outright this time around. It may even be said that Obama's policies which have so negatively impacted the US economy may have actually helped the Christian Democrats win this election. The example of a downward trending economy caused by irresponsible spending and anti-business policies have shown to be a fair warning to all that such backwards policies are damaging to one's own national interest.
Merkels win is also historic in that her party managed to kick the Social Democrats down eleven percent from the last election, and moved the Social Democrats down to the lowest total vote count since the fall of Weimar Republic in 1933. We may have a new Iron Lady at last.
According to Bloomberg analysis, the Merkel government was successful in that it "delivered the lowest jobless rate in six years and the highest tax surplus since 1949. Germany's economic expansion is radiating across Europe, leading to a European Commission prediction of 2.6 percent growth this year in the 13 nations that share the euro, outpacing the U.S. for the first time in six years."
So perhaps it wasn't luck. And it certainly wasn't media manipulation. It was more likely reward for reform and success even at a time when the Global Market has suffered from fraudulent bank loans, and bad economic practices. Merkel campaigned on tax cuts, and deregulation which is nearly the opposite of the rhetoric heard by President Obama and his cabinet. Yet the results are in. And Frau Merkel and her ministers are leading the way, maybe its time that America follow their lead for a change.