Thank God for the mother. Mutti. The Chancellor of Germany. Angela Dorothea Merkel.
In a world that seems overrun with populists, uncertainty, leaders who cannot lead and political figures who are blown by the wind or the latest option poll or focus group, we are fortunate to live in the time of Angela Merkel; someone who offers us the perfect antidote to this leadership vacuum and provides the strength and stability that many others can only dream to embody.
Today, Mrs Merkel was re-elected as Chancellor of Germany – her party – nearly half as popular as she is personally – will lead another coalition and she will thankfully be returned to lead the most important county in Europe at the most important time in the continent’s history since her country took the world to the brink of destruction nearly eighty years ago. The rise of the far-right AfD is of course alarming if not unexpected but the fact that Mrs Merkel personally polled 65% coming into today’s election signals the esteem she is held within Germany.
It looks to me that outside Germany there is a trap which too many fall into of underestimating Mrs Merkel – of seeing her success as tactical and not strategic. Nothing could be further from the truth. She is governed by deep values; a sense of Germany’s place in the world; the importance of a Europe that works for everyone, and a pragmatism which means she chooses the path she feels is right not expedient. She has a world view and a plan and she follows it, with the right amount of wiggle room to adapt to changing circumstances. She is that rare politician who is not driven by news cycles and headlines. She doesn’t pretend to be something she is not. She is consistent, coherent and confident. She is authentic.
The words Trump and Brexit send shivers down many spines – mine included – but seeing Mrs Merkel still dominant on the world stage gives us some comfort that it might all be ok – that there is at least one grown-up in the room, keeping things safe and sensible. This ability to reassure and stay calm whilst others lose their heads – some may unkindly say to be boring – is one of Mrs Merkel’s biggest assets – as the depth of her support amongst young Germans proves. They look around the world in horror but see their Chancellor as someone they can trust to put them, their country and their continent before her party or political games and advantage – as we saw with her deeply moving response to the migrant crisis. No short term calculation from her; just a focus on doing the decent thing – the right thing – regardless of the political cost.
That’s why Germans love their Mutti. That’s why she is back for a fourth term as chancellor. That’s why she stands head and shoulders above other political figures. That is why she – and she alone – is the true leader of the free world and thank God for that.
Photo taken from BBC News website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41376577