German politics in one sentence

In the context of the ongoing coalition negotiations in Germany, Spiegel quoted Mike Mohring, the leader of the CDU (center-right, the party of Angela Merkel, with a near-majority of the Bundestag seats) in the state of Thüringen speaking in favour of a coalition with the Greens, the environmental party, that started out as an insurgent far-left party in the 70s, but is now a disciplined party of the intellectual left. (Hence the need for the Pirate Party to fill the gap in the political spectrum by focusing on more up-to-date issues (not that the environment is ever not an important issue, but the well-heeled environmentalism of today’s Greens can shade into NIMBYism). Sadly, the Pirates didn’t clear the hurdle to make it into the Bundestag this time.)

Anyway, Mohring summarised the move of the Greens toward their “realistic” (Realos, contrasted to the Fundis, the leftist fundamentalists) wing by saying

Ein Großteil der Wähler der Grünen ist fest im Bürgertum verwurzelt.

A large portion of the Green voters is securely rooted in the middle class.

“Middle class” is only a weak translation for the German Bürgertum, with its undertones of right-thinking and class struggle. And the Greens (or rather, their voters) have not only made it, they are even “rooted”. There’s enough condescension to power a whole revolution right there (except that the Greens and their voters are too middle-class to revolt).

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