Christian Lindner and Friedrich Merz knock old man’s sayings at the expense of women and homosexuals. They hope for an audience that will approve of such statements.
It was a week of linguistic lapses. First Christian Lindner humiliated the general secretary Linda Teuteberg, who had been killed by him, at the FDP party congress with a sexist “joke”: he had started his day with Teuteberg 300 times, he said, took a break to catch laughter in the audience and then followed up : “I speak about our daily morning phone call about the political situation. Not what you think now. “
CDU man Friedrich Merz made a similar misstep when, when asked whether he could imagine a gay chancellor, he linked homosexuality with child abuse. Everything in 2020. Weren’t we already further?
The interesting thing is that both statements came across as surprisingly backward-looking, but at the same time so everyday and “heard a thousand times” – it was just everyday sexism and everyday homophobia par excellence. The fact that Lindner and Merz both felt misunderstood in retrospect is only an expression of their permanent self-infliction.
Nevertheless, it is too easy to dismiss Merz and Lindner as yesterday and to claim that the rest of society is already further. The degradation of others is a tried and tested means of maintaining power. It’s also like this: Friedrich Merz is running for the chairmanship of the CDU – and his polls are not too bad. And Lindner is still the FDP leader, even if his party is currently not soaring.
These men are not just from the present, they may also be men of the future. It is far from clear that these escapades necessarily lead to poor approval ratings. Considering the Trump principle, the opposite could also happen.
Progress is not necessarily linear; all social achievements can also be lost again
Lindner and Merz are both rhetorically trained and not new to politics. Both apparently assume that there is an audience that approves of such sayings. It is therefore not exaggerated to deal with these apparently only spoken words. The public can and should ask politicians not to discriminate against anyone with words.
“Anyone who wants Merz as their chancellor and Lindner as their deputy wants a rollback to the 1950s,” criticized SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil. But it is dangerous to locate the two men in a past that is long gone.
It was not 1950, but 2001, when Klaus Wowereit was the first top politician to openly address his homosexuality with his sentence “I am gay – and that’s a good thing!”. In 2005 Angela Merkel became the first woman to be elected to the Chancellery. Both moments were milestones in emancipation. But progress is not necessarily linear; all social achievements can also be lost again.
Narrowing the problem only to the two people Merz and Lindner or the CDU and the FDP obscures the view of the whole picture. The fact that today gay and lesbian politicians can act more naturally in political operations without having to cover up this part of their identity, and that women occupy ministerial posts does not mean that everyone lives non-discriminatory.
Despite legal achievements, sexism, homophobia and trans-hostility are still common – in all social milieus, in all parties. Anyone who claims otherwise is misunderstanding the reality of life for those affected.
There is also discrimination in left, progressive circles. Identifying Merz and Lindner as culprits can also serve to just make sure that you are on the right side. But perhaps this only reveals the discrepancy between modern social discourse and a society that is not as progressive as some would like it to be.