There’s No One Left to Insult

In his latest op-ed, the popular German commentator Henryk Broder laments the absurd extremes that political correctness has reached in Modern Multicultural Germany.

Many thanks to JLH for translating this piece from Die Welt:

There’s No One Left to Insult

by Henryk M. Broder
August 31, 2017

(Photo [not the one above, a different snap of the photogenic Mr. Schulz]: At a campaign event in Göttingen, SPD chancellor candidate Schulz said: “I am much more interested in golf carts than in golfers.” His comment caused some upset in the golf association.)

So Martin Schulz doesn’t like golfers. Is that so bad? Having to like everybody may be evidence of societal advance. But it’s not healthy.

Martin Schulz, who always chooses his words with care, probably had no idea of the reaction he would elicit with his remark that he was “more interested in golf carts than in golfers.” The arrogance of these people — golfers — was endangering “the core of German industry.” To be sure, there was no hullaballoo[1] in the social media, but there were strong reactions.

First and foremost, the president of the German golf association pointed out to candidate Schulz that there are 1.8 million golfers in Germany, among them quite a few SPD sympathizers. Sahra Wagenknecht[2] commented: “Schulz is wrong. SPD is interested in neither golf carts nor golfers, but in golfing dictators who buy weapons.”

That was pretty funny, but it missed the real point. Schulz has unintentionally highlighted a problem. There is no one you can, in good conscience, insult anymore. Unlike the era of Franz Josef Strauß, who casually announced in 1970: “I’d rather be a cold warrior than a warm brother.”[3]

There are good reasons that pejorative references to homosexuals, Jews,[4] the handicapped, gypsies, freemasons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are beyond the pale. The negative feelings against these groups have not disappeared, but it is best to keep such feelings to yourself.

Antipathies Are Human

The same goes for single mothers, bicyclists, small allotment gardeners, pedestrians, the autistic, left-handers, vegetarians, vegans, hair-dressers, dyslexics, people with lactose intolerance and gluten allergies, women who publicly nurse their babies, nudists, patrons of the Bayreuth Wagner festival, soccer fans and people who watch RTL-II television.

One false word and you face an accusation of “group-related misanthropy.” That may be evidence of social progress, but it is not healthy. Love of neighbor is not boundless. It has to be possible to dislike someone. Antipathies, too, are a part of the human repertoire.

So who else is there to dislike? People who drive diesel cars, people who don’t separate their trash, parents who home-school, Christians who celebrate a Latin mass, homeopaths who prescribe little white pills, and dog owners who don’t clean up after their animals. That’s all there is, and that is quite noticeable these days. The times are exciting. Only the politics are boring.


1.   Broder uses the word, “s**tstorm” which is not treated as a swear-word in German, but is in English. The eccentricities of languages and their borrowings.
2.   Long-time communist, now a prominent member of die Linke.
3.   Warm brother = homosexual.
4.   Broder himself is Jewish, and to some extent empowered by that fact to complain about the establishment. He is more likely than not to find the official Jewish organization in Germany either ridiculous or maddening in its haste to appease the establishment.

11 thoughts on “There’s No One Left to Insult

  1. You may want to add to your notes that “Golf-Fahrer ” does not mean golf-cart drivers but drivers of the widely popular and mostly affordable Golf-carmodel by VolksWagen .
    It is in most cases a “sympathetic” way of describing the huge part of the german population that has to contend with compact-class type cars (which ,in these times of diversity , by no means are restricted to the VolksWagen brand….) 😉

    • Thank you. I jumped to a conclusion. As the owner of a CrossTrek, I am sympathetic to small car owners. I feel like I’m driving a baby buggy when i park next to a Ford Explorer, but I feel like Gulliver in Lilliput when I park next to a Smart Car.

  2. excuse me, but Schulz talked about the Volkwagen Golf, not about carts.
    In my letter to the editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine, I stressed that his argument is one to incite social envy, as he presumes that all golfers are obnoxious upperclass brats who cruise around in Porsches and vote right. On the very same day, I went to my club and had two Golf owners at my table, one with a car 20 years old and vanishing. Apparently, Schulz does not know the price of a well equipped new Golf, which is not affordable by his favorite electorate, being about 30.000€ at your local dealership.Which again makes this a car for the more fortunate ones who are slightly overrepresented in a Country Club. On the upside, this could have spoiled him 1.800.000 votes, but Golfers here are smarter than he thinks and only few vote SPD.

  3. Schulz is a moron, I wish he could win in the election! He is so stupid he would bring Germany so fast off the cliff, the Führer would be envious. It would force change faster, than this slow but sure dying…

    • Exactly my feeling – he would accomplish the new “Final solution II” much faster than Mrs. Merkel.

  4. When the world is a faceless bureaucracy, when responsibility is a fathomless pit defended by lawyers, when people are judged by the ink from a pen left on a sheet of paper long before their own presence, then tradition has been traded for treason, of which the individual stands permanently accused of, for in case he should have a question, the slightest of which is known to have the power to bring the whole false edifice to the ground.

    How fragile might it become and still remain standing, the structure is empty and barren without occupants, the few that adhere and that appear mechanically are driven by pay, their ideological reward, for which they must permanently seek to capture the emotion and attention of those around.

    Let us see if the occupants stand by themselves, without support, by denying them their legalised theft of the resources others have slaved to produce, and so also denying them the illusion of being the providers, and all the influence they capture from that.

  5. JLH, Thanks for your explanatory footnotes. But footnote 1 left me wondering what the original German word for “sh**storm” could be. Is it, I wondered, “Scheissesturm”? No. Checking the original German wording, it turns out to be a foreign word, something like “temp^ete de merde”.

    • It is exactly what you suspect–the word that comes naturally in unguarded speech in America–“That caused a s–tstorm” as in “The s–t hit the fan.” And so, you are right, it is a borrowed word, straight out of our own vernacular, which has come to be something other than its obscene self in the context of German. The only difference is that German capitalizes it because it is a noun. So the German who doesn’t really swear can use it exactly like, as you suggest, “merde.”

  6. Trump – Germans can openly insult our president, right?

    I feel little outrage from German or Swedish news anymore.

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