Guttenberg: Coming to America

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Guttenberg: Coming to America

It appears Germany’s most popular personality will soon begin a sabbatical in the U.S. He will be sorely missed by a Germany caught in political crisis.

In somewhat guarded responses to questions raised during an interview with the Bild newspaper, Stephanie Guttenberg has confirmed that she, her husband and their two daughters will visit the United States for an undisclosed period of time. Indications are they will live in Connecticut, where the daughters will begin attending school in September.

Asked “How long will you stay in the U.S.?”, Frau Guttenberg responded, “This is still an open question.” But she adamantly confirmed, “We remain German, with all our heart. And we will come back, that’s for sure” (Bild, August 15).

Michael Glos, an ex-federal government minister and senior member of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s political party, the Christian Social Union (Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union), recently called for public forgiveness for Guttenberg’s alleged plagiarism of his doctorate so as to enable his speedy return to politics (Sueddeutsche, August 12).

With Vroniplague, the group that has attacked conservative German politicians with accusations of doctoral plagiarism, clearly revealed as having a political agenda to denigrate key political figures in the German government, Glos’s call may yet gain sympathetic support (Welt, August 4).

The point is, as Wolfgang Schäuble’s example shows, in Germany political ability and the right connections can fast override alleged scandal attached to a politician’s name. Schäuble, a one-time candidate for chancellor, was ousted by his own party, the Christian Democratic Union, in 2000 as a result of complicity in an illegal funding deal during the time of Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s government in which he served. Five years later, Schäuble returned to federal politics initially as minister of the interior in Chancellor Merkel’s government and since 2009 has enjoyed a high profile as minister of finance.

German politics are on a knife-edge at the moment as Chancellor Merkel struggles to find a political path through the euro crisis maze that will be acceptable to global markets and to her German electorate. With her party having lost significant support in five crucial state elections this year, and two final elections looming this September in the crucial electorates of Mecklenberg-Pomerania and Berlin threatening to swing against her, Merkel is fighting for political survival.

It is highly possible that subsequent to a negative result in the September state elections, the governing coalition in Germany will seek new leadership. With Germany and Europe in a state of confusion, elder statesman Edmund Stoiber declared this week that the EU needs “a strong European voice” (Welt, August 15).

That is the glaring gap in European political debate, especially at this time of crisis—there is no singularly strong personality to lead the EU through the quagmire of 27 dissenting voices within its membership to a consensus on the euro crisis. In the absence of consensus, Germany has all in its favor now to impose its own will on the entire eurozone, but it still lacks that strong personality to exert the political will to do so.

That the “strong voice” needed to take effective charge of Europe must hail from Germany is a given. Not only is Germany the most powerful economy in Europe by far but recent events have revealed that it is both the chief paymaster and financial regulator of Europe. All eyes look to Germany today for a solution to not only the euro crisis, but to its concomitant—a global financial system in crisis.

Two “strong voices” are in evidence in Germany. One, Edmund Stoiber, is presently divorced from federal politics, the other, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, is about to take a break in America, free from all current political attachments.

In their present modes, each of these men are in classic positions to be invited back to play an active role in European politics as the EU approaches its most crucial moment—the prophesied division into 10 constituent parts, all responding to a central governing authority (Revelation 17:12).

Whoever the supreme political authority will be who will ultimately lead the prophesied northern power of Daniel 8 and 11, these two men, Stoiber and Guttenberg, have each been proven to possess a “strong voice.” Will either—or both—end up being invited back into positions of leading political authority in the final admixture of the 10-nation combine that will soon prevail in Europe?

We believe that both men are certainly worth watching in this respect.

Stoiber has the political smarts, strength of character and proven record of economic success, yet he lacks the charisma and eloquence that a Europe in turmoil needs in a “strong voice.”

Guttenberg, on the other hand, has proven popularity with the German public and wide connections with European elites given the combined dynastic tree of both he and his aristocratic wife. He is an excellent orator. Strengthening his Atlantic ties by spending some time domiciled in America will certainly do his political résumé no harm.

In particular, we shall be watching for the return to active politics, by invitation of his own countrymen, of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, baron of the Holy Roman Empire.

Given current events in Europe and on the global stage, we have a feeling that we shall not have to wait too long to see this occur.