Making Unpopular Decisions?

That was never a problem with this guy. And you don’t see that very much anymore, do you? Here or anywhere else. Sorry to see him go.

Helmut Schmidt

During his two terms as chancellor of West Germany, from 1974 through 1982, Schmidt even had trouble convincing his own Social Democratic party to back him. His insistence on maintaining a balanced budget during an economic slowdown irritated his colleagues who were pushing for a stimulus; his push to station U.S. nuclear missiles on German territory angered the many members of the party’s grassroots who preferred to pursue rapprochement with the Soviet Union. Schmidt, for his part, scorned the inspiration-peddling politicians who stoked the idealism of late 1960s and 1970s Germany — and did so, according to Schmidt, in order to feed their own egos.

“If you have visions, you should go see a doctor.”

PS: One of my favorite sayings of his (regarding the treatment of Germany after World War II) is „Wir sind mit einem blauen Auge davongekommen.“ Meaning, we got out of it with a black eye, as in unscathed.

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