Commentary on the state of the greens: fdp with organic label

The Greens have no idea when it comes to the election-critical issue of justice. Those who want left-wing reforms will not vote for them.

A party of the underclass? The Greens certainly aren’t. Photo: dpa

There was once a young man with Turkish parents who had made it from secondary school to the Abitur – and now had to decide on one of the many courses of study. He had already made another choice. Because he wanted to get involved politically, he had looked at all the parties and then decided on the Greens. Because, he said, they represented where he himself would like to go: the upper middle class.

One could read this true story as a great success for the Greens. In fact, however, nothing describes the party’s problem more precisely. Yes, it can win over people with an immigrant background. Yes, even if they come from a working-class family. Stupidly, however, only when the up-and-comers have succeeded in leaving their milieu and becoming intelligent, cosmopolitan, ecologically minded academics.

Those who don’t manage that vote for the Left Party, the AfD or not at all. Or, more recently, Martin Schulz and his SPD. But the Greens?

They still have a left wing that thinks saving the world ecologically without social change is impossible. It’s just that when it comes down to it, it’s hardly ever able to get its way – in line with its voter clientele. That’s why it never hurt the party that it once supported the Hartz IV reform. The idea of raising taxes for high-income earners did all the more.

Nevertheless, the Greens did well with their program as long as left-wing ideas and social reforms were considered shelf warmers. That is, until mid-January. Then Martin Schulz appeared as the savior of the disinherited – and the Greens stand there as who they are: as an FDP with an organic seal, but without an idea on the election-critical issue of justice.

The Greens still have a left wing. But when it comes down to it, it can hardly ever assert itself.

And now? Should the Greens jump on the Schulz bandwagon? No one would believe that. What can halfway save them is consistency. Sticking to their self-image as a party of academics with a heart. That won’t win them the election, but it might win a few Merkel fans who doubt the CDU. And that will be the deciding factor in whether the red-red-green coalition gets a majority. That’s what they’re needed for, the Greens.

But anyone who wants left-wing reforms won’t vote for them either way. You don’t have to. That’s what the Left Party is for. And recently even the SPD again.