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Political Involvement

In my youth I didn't care at all about politics. The only two "political scenes" I remember of my childhood where in the context of the late Bavarian governor Franz-Josef Strauß; Two details of a moment, totally unimportant since they didn't relate to politics in se. My political interest didn't wake up before America, when I contacted for the first time the petitionary comitee of the German Parliament, the Deutscher Bundestag and the Petitionsausschuß des Deutschen Bundestages I really got interested in politics when I lived in the U.S. while I was at my High School. The saying is true, that you won't get involved untill you're hit by a problem yourself. In my case it was the property tax which is used as the school funding. To use property taxes for a purpose like that is totally unknown in Germany. So the people of our school district had to decide whether to raise the tax rate or not. Had that proposal been denied severe cuts in the school budget would have been made without the possibility of upholding the teaching quality. The decision was very close but CGHS was one of few in favor! Anyway that result tought me to stand up for what is necessary. Then there were the referendums, political measures that in my home state Bavaria were still unknown at that time. There was the presidential campaign when George Bush was elected President. I think very impressive was the week I spent in Washington, D.C. with the Close-Up Foundation, an organization promoting political comprehension among high school students. This meant Washington, D.C. from the inside, getting to know it culturally and even more politically. That included of course, monuments like the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument or a visit on the Capitol or the Supreme Court. It went on with meeting my senators and talks with experts and journalists and even a live T.V. appearance on C-Span. Later I was fortunate enough to see the capital of my home state, Salem. There I met "my" representative who had me greeted in the Plenum. He invited me for lunch and spent the whole morning with me. Around midday I was with the governor and even sat at his office desk (I doubt that the Bavarian governor Stoiber would allow that :-) ). Afterwards I met my senator. Some German member of Parliament should take that intensive care about his constituents as an example.

For all these experiences I thought I should get involved. As you can't achieve a lot in Germany without being in a political party I looked for an apropriate party that would suit me best (none is perfectly all right for me). That's why I got



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Reinhard Köhler