An era always ends alone. Which is why we are not familiar with the plural of the era ("eras", says the Duden). But now we have to learn the majority, because at least the end is just at the end: the era of Merkel, the era of undisputed western dominance, the era of unbreakable transatlantic friendship and the era of devastating nature. And everything culminates in politics.
It in turn is increasingly trying to live in a world that is passing away and at the same time in a world that is coming. This has consequences: paradoxes everywhere, parallel worlds, unsolvable puzzles. The Groko, for example, will soon have to solve the following end-of-year puzzle in certainly very tough negotiations (pardon: conversations): It is so tiny that CDU voters cannot see it with the naked eye - and at the same time it is so huge that SPD voters how a change of policy must happen. What's this?
Logically, this cannot be solved, but what should a Groko care about logic, since it has been successfully overriding political physics for two years, because for Groko it does not apply: the stronger, the more solid, but vice versa: ever weaker, the more stable. All courage grows out of fear.
How can that be? At the beginning of its third reissue in the face of the epoch break, the Groko made a momentous decision, which of course is not in the coalition agreement: we are not dealing with the epochal questions, but only with everyday problems, which still exist.
The revolution has been called off, but you sing the "Internationale", ironically, of course
But where reality is largely disempowered, the virtual grips. So the SPD staged its next step as a fresh start. First with a bogus visionary from Brussels, then even with a woman, and finally with a virtual left turn that bathed the going on in red party light. And precisely because the revolution was over, the comrades sang lightly bullied on the evening of the party and the International sang with their fists raised - ironically, of course. At such moments, you just have to love them, the SPD, that's exactly how you had imagined the decline of an era.
If you go to the base without orientation, you will obviously get out with even less. And with even less legitimation. That, too, is one of the paradoxes of our day: the more party members are involved in finding the chairperson, the weaker this body is; the more plebiscitary the decision - the poorer the legitimation.
Although it doesn't all look like a recipe for success, the CDU has copied a lot. Here too, a new leadership was elected with considerable grassroots democratic effort, which then had to go to the losing side in such a way that within a few weeks it was no longer possible to see who was the winner and who was the loser.
But why does the CDU and SPD's full concentration on the unity between top and bottom and between left and right not lead to more unity? Because the lines of division within the parties are at least as strong as those between them. And because the deepest division is between today and tomorrow, while politics continues to try to keep silence about the epoch through non-processing. In general, the real problems in return undermine the foundations of the parties, what is not discussed out of fear makes fear.
Occasionally a pantomime treatment of epochal problems is tried. For example, when the Minister of Defense calls for a security zone in Syria, ordinary people do not ask whether that makes sense, but rather: with which aircraft, frigates and machine guns, please? Better go to the workshop again! Or when Macron declares NATO brain dead and the German foreign minister promptly calls for a working group to be set up, one wonders: is that still politics or is it already acting?
And how should it all end? It may well be that the SPD and Union cannot solve their year-end puzzles. Then the matter would lead to a new, somewhat charming paradox: the groko that nobody wanted ends when nobody wants it.