Rockenbauch recommends a change of perspective and turns the tables with relish: “The most extreme thing I can currently imagine is going on,” he says. “Because that is the path that will surely lead millions of people to ruin.” He is particularly annoyed when he hears the accusation that he shouldn’t give people false hopes with his unrealistic plans. Then the chatterbox lectures: “You can only say something like that when you have already given up on mankind still getting the problem under control. Why should it – just one example – be so impossible, 50 kilometers of cycle paths in two years Other cities can do that too. The important thing is that we really get down to it now. We need more ambitious goals than those that are considered achievable. “
Nopper, Schreier, what’s the difference?
The question of climate protection is an existential one, but certainly not one that a Stuttgart mayor could solve on his own. And even more so, despite its overriding importance for all other areas of life, environmental policy is by no means the only issue that concerns the population of the state capital. Nevertheless, the social and media handling of demands that have to be radical because reality has become extreme can serve as a yardstick – and shows, not only in Stuttgart, how great the challenge of a presumably vital transformation of the modern business world is. Especially in a society that is subject to the false belief that everything can stay as it is.
The extreme reality, however, has long since made itself felt not only through the escalating climate crisis. Also on the housing and labor market, with the worldwide migration and refugee movements as well as the increasingly diverging socio-economic inequality, a few conditions seem to have gotten out of balance. Added to this are the global economic crises that break out regularly and at an alarming rate, which each time go hand in hand with drastic waves of impoverishment for the poorer sections of the population.
All global problems that no mayor can solve. But all problems that make themselves felt in every city. It is exciting to see who recognizes that there are serious difficulties here. For the people in the middle, the fundamental systemic crisis is mostly not an issue.
And so back to Stuttgart: Perhaps the greatest peculiarity in an election campaign that is not lacking in curiosities is probably that Hannes Rockenbauch and Marian Schreier are assigned to the same camp. It doesn’t even seem to matter that they see it differently themselves. The two have little in common. One is on the left and sees that as a positive quality. The other is wary of it and considers himself a progressive middle. The one loves the argument, insists on his point of view and seeks the argument. The other moderates, always has the success in view and is flexible where a new view promises more supporters. In fact, the boy with the liberal advisers is much more like the old man from the Union than the redhead with the radical ideas.