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2004-10-04

Worship 

Judge your correspondent by the topics he picks. For me, the Open House in the offices of the federal president last Saturday. This magnificent event, much ridiculed by the more cynical of my fellow countrymen and -women, is in reality a peak of democratic symbolism. (DerStandard [DE], DiePresse [DE], Kurier [DE]). Around 7,000 people waited in line, for up to one hour, to get the opportunity of a short handshake with the president. Visitors had arrived from all over the country, many had brought gifts such as bottles of wine.

It looks like idolatry or royalism. But these people did not queue for a religious guru or for a king, but rather for the federal president, a democratically elected official for a period of six years. More specifically, they queued for an elected official with few real powers beyond the symbolism of the role of the head of state. They travelled to the geographical center of the state and expressed their adoration to its highest human representative. Why they did this I cannot say, but they must have followed some genuine need or desire to make a statement, to perform an act of worship maybe. They must have transformed the sober practicalities of representative self-government into a psychologically potent symbol that plays a positive role in their lives. There is a power of political imagination in this, an affirmation of the public good that I find deeply touching. Here is also a valuable resource that government should use well, and that it must never disappoint.


3 comments:

Vielleicht kommt der Spott daher, dass einige Menschen diesen Tag der offenen Tür und das Volksgetümel als unecht, aufgesetzt und unglaubwürdig empfinden.

Viele Grüße
novala
 

sicher, und das kann ich schon auch nachvollziehen. ich verfolge aber derzeit mein optimismus-projekt :-)
 

Das ist gut!

n.
 
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