Debate about "identity politics": Thierse: Experience overwhelming approval

Debate about "identity politics"
Thierse: Experience overwhelming approval

With an opinion contribution, SPD man Thierse is making waves – also and especially in his own party. There was even a resignation from the party. Now the former President of the Bundestag reports on the reactions to his admission.

The former President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Thierse, in his own words, experiences "overwhelming approval" in the dispute with the party leadership over the right dialogue with sexual and other minorities. In an interview with the magazine "Cicero" he reiterated his criticism of the culture of conversation and debate of what is known as identity politics, because it does not aim at reconciliation and concrete progress.

"I think the shift towards identity politics is problematic, for example I think more important than language change is that we are working on the gender pay gap. Germany has just been certified that the wage inequality between men and women is greater than elsewhere," said Thierse. "The SPD was attested that it has largely lost the majority of its voters of Turkish origin to the CDU. We have already lost part of the workforce. We have to deal with that as a party!"

Those who fight for recognition and equality in society have social democracy by their side, according to Thierse. "For us Social Democrats, it has to be about pooling interests and formulating common ground," he said and warned: "The absolute establishment of one's own concern, the idea that I feel like a victim, so I'm right, is murderous for a democratic society Discussion culture. Because there are other concerns and others could say: I am also a victim, I mean the exact opposite. "

"Not threatened with leaving"

A central term in society for him is "respect", but not the control of language use. "You have to talk to me in the old German language. Otherwise I won't understand you," said the 77-year-old. He is also "slightly stubborn". "I don't want to have to constantly submit to the language used by others. We have a language that is certainly changing and connecting that I like to use."

Thierse made it clear that a public distancing from SPD leader Saskia Esken and party vice Kevin Kühnert could only have been aimed at him, since no one else from the party has currently publicly commented on questions. The criticism is also "inappropriate". "I didn't threaten to leave. I don't just stand for myself, as the reactions have shown," said Thierse. "Since the publication of this essay I can hardly save myself from e-mails. I received between 500 and 1000 e-mails – in addition to the shit storm. It was an overwhelming approval, not only from my own party."

Thierse also warned against considering the concept and reality of nation as finished. "Take a look around the world! Nation is a reality. We are just experiencing it again in the pandemic. The national welfare state will save us. It is elitist stupidity not to want to see that."