in the shade
Recently, we read the following:
London Times: “Germany’s Social Democrats exhausted in run-up to Sunday’s ‘don't care’ poll” by Roger Boyes
"Just a few days ago the Brandenburg Gate, Germany’s setting for spectacular moments, was the finishing line for the runners of the Berlin Marathon. Gold, silver and bronze medals were strung around necks as athletes were still panting into the final straight.
“Yesterday it was the turn of FrankWalter Steinmeier, the Social Democrat leader, to use the backdrop of the Gate. But he could not disguise the likelihood that his party followers will be mere stragglers in the campaign to run Germany. In marathon terms, the Social Democrats are the exhausted, well-meaning also-rans, puffing their way to the end to raise money for charity. The party has been in power for 11 years and needs a rest.
“ ‘We are in this together,’ he said in a scratchy voice to the crowd. ‘Our goal is for a strong Social Democratic party, for social justice, and to stop the formation of a socially exploitative alliance between the Christian Democrats and Free Democrats.’ Not a word about the Social Democrats taking power; its declared aim is to block, to shield Germans from unpleasantness, rather than to rule.
“Little wonder that the Social Democrats may be in for a trouncing in the general election tomorrow. Why vote for a party that is losing its will to lead the Left into battle? Why vote for a party whose only chance of government is to creep back into a grand coalition with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats? Why vote at all…?”
And we thought:
…When you’ve lost the passion to fight -- like the Social Democrats -- maybe it’s time to just step aside. No doubt new travelers will step up. Following their own sun, they will blaze a path of their own. One always hopes the next generation will reap a better social order…