In Schleswig-Holstein, the CDU and the Greens have agreed on a coalition agreement. In North Rhine-Westphalia, too, the signs are pointing to black and green. At the end of June, the first government of the CDU and the Greens should be in place in the most populous federal state. Such two-party alliances currently also exist in Hesse and Baden-Württemberg. Almost half of Germans will soon be governed by the black and green.

The FDP looks on with embarrassment, because it was in power in Düsseldorf and Kiel and is now out – although it would have been enough for black and yellow in Schleswig-Holstein. The alliance of the hour is black-green. At the same time, the shares of the liberals on the political stock exchange are falling because they have become captive to a traffic light coalition in which their profile is only rudimentarily recognizable.

No wonder the FDP now has to listen to advice like that of the old liberal Gerhart Baum, who among other things recommends more “social responsibility” for his party.

This is part of the internal debate. However, one should not forget that the Liberals in the time of Federal Interior Minister Baum in the second cabinet of Helmut Schmidt in the federal elections in 1980 got fewer percentages than Christian Lindner’s FDP in the last two federal elections. In 2021, the FDP even managed to become the strongest force among first-time voters. Programmatically, she did a lot of things right.

In the heyday of Gerhart Baum, however, the FDP had more political weight because it could decide whether the blacks or the reds came to power. The current leadership cannot be blamed for the fact that the Liberals are no longer in this influential position. She has to distinguish herself in a six-party landscape.

The FDP is needed more than ever in an increasingly statist republic. It must be the party of practical reason, which talks more about making money than about distribution, which gives priority to fundamental rights in the Corona policy, which advocates an energy mix with nuclear power and fracking, which stands for an immigration policy with clear rules that the individual relies – no matter where someone comes from – instead of quotas and identity politics. Such an FDP would not have to fear the five percent hurdle. Even without the prospect of government participation.

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