Comment: The CDU has to anchor itself anew in society

Norbert Röttgen (left) and Friedrich Merz

The candidates for the party chairmanship: The winner will have to lead the Union out of its depths.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The CDU wants to use a procedural trick to achieve what it has not been able to do since 2018: By means of a member survey, the next leadership figure is to dissolve the vacuum that Angela Merkel as CDU leader has left in view of her conflict of interests as Federal Chancellor. Both Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Armin Laschet, as party leaders, were unable to meet this claim.

Of course, both had to fail: no party chairman without a government office is in a position to distribute enough posts and thus exercise power that ensures calm in his own ranks. On the contrary: the alleged cat in the house was twice a toothless tiger, which the mice danced with relish on its nose and which also had to endure the howling of the weakening lion from Bavaria. Not even the prospect of government office was enough this year to contain the gamblers.

So now the approximately 400,000 members should determine the chairman. Then, it is hoped, the losers will submit and help to renew the party so that a chancellor will soon be appointed again.

The party has to anchor itself in society

This romantic dream can only come true if everyone pulls together and accepts the seriousness of the situation. The party has to re-anchor itself in society so that it learns what really moves people and what they expect from a bourgeois party. It is about social issues in times of profound upheavals in the world of work as well as in private life and less about buzzwords like the “black zero”.

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How does the CDU feel about freedom, trust in the individual in times of pandemic, how about mutual help in a fragmented society, how about home in times of unrestrained mobility?

Answers to these questions nourish the roots of the CDU: the libertarian, the social and the Christian. It is time not to arbitrarily spell these terms in terms of power politics, but to spell them seriously in keeping with the times. In the opposition, this is the primary duty of a people’s party.

More: The CDU politicians Friedrich Merz and Carsten Linnemann want to form a team

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