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The Berlin Perspective: Discussing Things with Conservatives

Liberals, Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, Greens: We are all democrats in the sense that we want democracy, freedom, and a strong Europe. Still, we need to quarrel once in a while. It’s part of the political game. Discussing things is important.

Unfortunately, to some conservatives it is not about convincing others or improving things by finding better solutions, but rather about sticking it to those they see as political foes, no matter what. Their approach: What those foes do is wrong because they are foes.

On June 13th, I got into an online discussion about the 70th Berlin Airlift anniversary. They said, the commemoration event on May 12th had been ridiculous, which was not surprising under a “red-red-green” Senate. When they ran out of arguments, I was accused of taking “too many drugs”.

O.k., Berlin’s decision not to allow landings of so-called Candy Bombers at Tempelhof Field for the anniversary may have been a little stubborn. On the other hand, a very appropriate commemoration event already took place.

Even famous Air Lift veterans like 98-year-old Gail Halvorsen took part. He seemed happy with the festivities. Besides, a stationary Candy Bomber was part of the anniversary event. And fly-overs took place. On June 16th, Candy Bombers were seen and heard over Berlin.

I consider myself some kind of a centrist who agrees with either conservatives or progressives, depending on what it is about. Next time they accuse me of consuming drugs in a discussion I will start talking about the Berlin Banking Scandal. No, that one was not caused by “red-red-green”. And yes, as opposed to the Air Lift anniversary, it was a real scandal.

Discussions are fine, but let’s not exaggerate or get personal. In fact, we should be fighting anti-European, xenophobic, radical right-wing populists together instead of coming up with the kind of nonsense mentioned above. In this regard, I am one of yours and you are hopefully my guys.