Second Observation: The Meaning of Schäuble (I)
But Schäuble politely tried to respond, which required him to look for some rational kernel in the delirious shell of Wenders’s ravings. Schäuble interpreted this rational kernel to be a criticism of the influence of Christian fundamentalism in American politics and he thus answered: “What we are picking up from America in the fundamentalist protestant domain has little to do with my understanding of Christian Democratic politics. There is no monopoly in the matter. We have a different conception.” Schäuble then went on to elaborate a bit on this conception, noting that he had just come from a “Reformation Day” celebration in Pforzheim and again emphasizing dialogue rather than confrontation with America also in this area. In fact, despite the repeated references to “Christian policy” that indeed could give this aura to Wenders’s outburst, it is not clear that Wenders meant principally to be attacking religious fundamentalism in the States. It seems equally plausible that he thought he was being cute by presenting himself as a God-fearing man in order better to denounce the “Social Darwinist” policy that in the fevered recesses of his mind is laying waste to America. It is not impossible either - however contradictory this would be in light of the fact that your average “Fundamentalist” not only rejects “social Darwinism” but even the biological kind - that Wenders imagined he was somehow cleverly doing both. Be that as it may, given this context and from what I can make out from the transcripts, I really don’t find Schäuble’s response to be a cave in, as some of the commentators on David’s have suggested. So, a friendly and respectful shout out to those guys: it might be better to go easy on Schäuble on this one. Just ask yourselves: would you like to be closed in a room talking to Wenders?
Note 1: Many, many thanks again to our Germanophone French correspondent for the tremendous contribution in transcribing portions of the Christiansen show!
Note 2: To be followed by a third observation on “The Meaning of Schäuble (II)”.