Young voters are disappointed in Christian Lindner

Young voters are disappointed in Christian Lindner

VBefore the general election, Carla Schlueter didn’t know who to vote for for a long time. Union and SPD were too interchangeable for her, the left and the AfD were taboo. Schlueter wanted the country to digitize quickly, better education and, above all, a progressive climate policy. For a long time, the young woman from Munich wavered between the Greens and the FDP. In the end she voted for the FDP. Because their promise of progress convinced them, which did not rely on more state and more bans, but on more individual responsibility and the market.

Oliver Georgi

Editor in the politics of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

Many young people made the same decision in autumn as Schlüter did. In the end, the Liberals came out on top among young and first-time voters, ahead of the Greens. This surprised many; the FDP of all people, which a few years ago was still the party of white old men? But the pandemic had made the FDP attractive to young people – those who sit at home and are no longer allowed to party are particularly receptive to the promise of freedom. Also worked Christian Lindner against Olaf Scholz and Armin Laschet like the dynamic son who visits his elderly parents and quickly sets up their computer for them, which they no longer understand: progress first, indolence second. Carla Schlueter liked that.

Almost a year later, the 25-year-old woman’s hangover is all the greater. Like many other young voters, Schlueter hoped for a kind of Green Party in a liberal market guise from the FDP; Fridays for Future as a thorny opportunity. To a Christian Lindner who secretly thinks as ecologically as Annalena Bärbock, but calculates more soberly. Instead, she got a Christian Lindner, who did not want a speed limit even in view of the energy crisis, who described criticism of the company car privilege as “left framing” and the desire for a permanent 9-euro ticket as a “free mentality”; all points that Schlueter strongly endorses. She was particularly upset by the sentence about the free mentality. “I had hope that the FDP had really changed and wanted to keep their new young voters in the long term,” says Schlueter. “Instead, in many respects she is again making clientele politics as before, for white, rich old men.”

A difficult tightrope walk

Anyone who asks young FDP supporters around often hears such sentences. Also from Leon Kerner, a 22-year-old man from Munich. Above all, he hoped for a new dynamic in digitization from the liberals and a resolute market-liberal concept for climate protection. The war changed a lot, says Kerner, and actually he still stands by his choice. Nevertheless, he also thinks that the FDP has not kept its promise to its young voters for the future. Instead, Lindner made headlines with text messages to the Porscheboss and his glittering wedding on Sylt. A private matter, says Kerner, but also a devastating signal in the midst of a major global crisis. In the circle of friends they would only have shaken their heads.

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