In Germany’s parliamentary elections Sept. 24, Chancellor Angela Merkel will be seeking her fourth term. For the past four years, the country of 80 million has been governed by a coalition of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union with its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, and the Social Democratic Party.

Merkel and Germany have emerged as the leaders of what could still be called the Western world in terms of democracy and principles. France has taken an iconoclastic approach to its traditional parties, the UK is trying to figure out its post-Brexit future, and the United States’ election of Donald Trump has upended the traditional trans-Atlantic alliance.

Germany can be said to be doing quite well, economically and politically. Unemployment has dropped from 11.2 percent when she became chancellor in 2005 to 3.8 percent today. Wages continue to rise. Germany shows a budget surplus of $31 billion.

On the foreign affairs side, Germany considers the Iran nuclear negotiations a model, and Merkel has now proposed comparable talks as an approach to the North Korea problem. She has already approached Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the subject, with Russian President Vladimir Putin next on her list. In taking this initiative, she has taken leadership on the issue away from the U.S., presenting Germany as an interlocutor more acceptable to North Korea than the United States is.

It is probably safe to assume that the current governing coalition, with Merkel in the lead, will win the Sept. 24 elections. Given her steady hand, that should be seen as a good thing, for Germany, Europe, the U.S. and the world.

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