April 19th, 2007

Decision time for France: will it break for a pro-American?

The first round of French elections are coming this Sunday, followed by another (and deciding) one two weeks later.

The field is unusual for France. As Jane Kramer points out in the New Yorker, all three leading candidates are relative outsiders, and all are in agreement that France is broken and needs fixing, quick. This in and of itself is somewhat unusual; the French are not especially known for self-criticism.

The candidate who interests me the most is Nicholas Sarkozy, the leader in the polls. But the situation is very fluid, because the large undecided group—in some polls, half of the electorate, a truly formidable figure—makes predictions impossible.

According to Kramer, Sarkozy makes many French people uneasy, for reasons they can’t articulate very well. I think it’s because he isn’t quintessentially French–his father was Hungarian, his maternal grandfather a Greek Jew. He is a blunt speaker in a world exquisitely sensitive to PC circumlocations, an action-oriented candidate focused on results, an extoller of the value of work in a welfare state, and an Americaphile in a country steeped in anti-Americanism.

One of Sarkozy’s rivals, the geriatric Le Pen (78), is capitalizing on the perception of Sarkozy as a foreigner, calling himself the candidate of “the native soil” as opposed to Sarkozy. Le Pen also points out that his own standing is probably higher than polls reflect because people are ashamed to say they’re voting for him—a strange thing for a candidate to say about himself, but Le Pen is probably correct.

There’s an even more basic disconnect from French perspective in Sarkozy, and it’s his attitude towards equality:

We’re in a crisis that comes from a very false idea of solidarity—the idea that you have to give as much to the person who doesn’t work as to the one who does. The élites have been wrong about this for decades. They have betrayed the idea of equality and given us egalitarianism.

If I understand Sarkozy correctly, he is coming down on the side of equality of opportunity over equality of results, something that makes him more akin to conservatives in this country than to liberals. But France’s “liberte, egalite, fraternite” has always seemed to have the accent more on the “fraternity” part (as in “brotherhood,” socialist style) than on the “liberty” part (as in “libertarian belief in individual freedom”).

In line with this idea, Sarkozy is quoted in this article in American.com as saying that the French do not value those who are successful:

This attitude is explained by the French desire for egalitarianism, the fascination with leveling out, and, frankly, jealousy… Success is more often criticized than presented as a model.

When I was in Paris last fall for the France2 trial, this was an idea I heard voiced many times—that somehow, in French society, it’s not good to stick out in such a vulgar fashion. This is in marked contrast to the US, where the veneration of the successful is probably at least partly responsible for Europe’s disapproval of this supposedly crass and brash country.

The next few weeks in France promise to be “interesting.”

59 Responses to “Decision time for France: will it break for a pro-American?”

  1. Dale E. Adams Says:

    circumlocutions ?

  2. The French Election « Poppypundit Says:

    […] French Election Neo-Neocon has a good summary of the candidates — including a front-runner with strong pro-American tendencies — in […]

  3. james wilson Says:

    Very well done. I have followed this closely, and have no idea what they will do. Doing the right thing makes Sarkozy a simple choice, but they are French. Tallyrand was the most vile individual of public life in the history of Europe, and the French loved him, including the long list he betrayed. They liked his style. That’s French. Segolene Royal has style, and is so vapid it is astonishing.
    I’m not sure it matters. Probably not. They’re listing so hard it would take a commitment to alien principles to right that barge. They’re commited to French principles.
    ‘Human beings cling to their delicious tyrannies and exquisite nonsense, till death stares them in the face.’
    In 1935 Will Rogers said the French couldn’t hate us more if we bailed them out in another war.
    It appears they are finally going to get what’s coming to them.

  4. camojack Says:

    It should prove interesting.

  5. sergey Says:

    It looks like this nation is still traumatized mentally more than 200 years after their Great Revolution insanity.

  6. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Considering the orgy of violence and self-destruction the French Revolution descended into, it’s not that surprising.

    They are the ones who gave us the very word “elite,” after all, and that contribution reflects their fundamentally authoritarian culture.

  7. david foster Says:

    Sarkozy seems a bit reminiscent of Georges Mandel, a very patriotic and utterly ruthless man who was Clemenceau’s deputy during WWI and who was Minister of the Interior (and an advocate of a fight-to-the-bitter-end policy) during WWII.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Mandel

  8. Gary Anderson Says:

    If America can buy a candidate with oil I am sure Bush/Cheney would try. Of course they may not be around if the Vermont senators call for impeachment sticks.

  9. expat Says:

    Actually I don’t think the French are all that egalitarian. They like their intellectuals and they tolerate their political class. Didn’t Villepin do some maneuvering to get that “de” in his name? The French seem to have more of a problem with people who have done something significant to earn a higher status or filthy lucre.

  10. harry Says:

    Gary Anderson, a one trick pony.

  11. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “The French seem to have more of a problem with people who have done something significant to earn a higher status or filthy lucre.”

    That’s part of the authoritarian mindset. People must never seek to better their circumstances, because it might make your betters look less like the divinities they are, and that could shatter the stability of society.

    The elites cannot rule without the consent of the governed, in a totalitarian state as well as a democratic one. Imposition of an authoritarian mentality among all subjects is one of the ways the elite ensure they retain that consent, regardless of how unfit they are as rulers.

  12. Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy Says:

    France at the crossroads?…

    France holds the first round of its presidential elections this weekend, and they come at an important time in the nation’s modern history: faced with high unemployment, a chronically stagnant economy, a large, self-segregating and increasingly hostil…

  13. Ymarsakar Says:

    Very interesting and educational cross-cultural perspectives, Neo. If only all multi-culti followers were like you, we might not be in this situation. But then again, one might as well wish for immortality at the same time.

  14. Cappy Says:

    Again, libs and their heroes, the French are shown to hate accomplishment and success. Just like in the responses to a couple of posts ago.

    I predict the usual troll suspects (very French, huh) will show up in about 3 responses asking us to look down in dismay at our being Americans, and feel humbled before the mighty French way of life.

    Not for me.

  15. BP Says:

    commentarymagazine.comCan France Be Saved?

    May, 2007
    Michel Gurfinkiel

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/cm/main/viewArticle.aip?id=10869

  16. Ymarsakar Says:

    youtube.comHere’s how France may be saved

  17. Charlemagne Says:

    While the neocon stars are going out one by one at home(Wolfowitz, Alberto Gonzales, Rumsfeld) neo-neocon chooses to focus on faraway France. Smart choice!

  18. Charlemagne Says:

    While the neocon stars are going out one by one at home(Wolfowitz, Alberto Gonzales, Rumsfeld) neo-neocon chooses to focus on faraway France. Smart choice.

  19. TomTom Says:

    You called it exactly right, Cappy: Charlemagne arrived in 3 posts!

  20. Lee Says:

    If you prefer, Charl, we could discuss Cho’s manifesto and the similarities between his “enemies”(rich whites, decadent Western society, “warrmakers”, etc.) and the “takling points” brought up at Daily Kos, Air America, Fark.com, etc. You know, Charl, your sources for the truth.

  21. Lee Says:

    “warrmakers”?

  22. DeShawn Q. Williams Says:

    If you prefer, Charl, we could discuss Cho’s manifesto and the similarities between his “enemies”(rich whites, decadent Western society, “warrmakers”, etc.) and the “takling points” brought up at Daily Kos, Air America, Fark.com, etc.

    Cho was obviously mentally ill. Why should we care what he wrote about in his manifesto?

    Notice that Cho also railed against “debauchery” and “promiscuity”. That’s exactly what the social conservative wing of the Republican Party (the “family values” crowd) also fumes against.

    Does that prove any point? No. The ravings of a mentally deranged person should not carry any weight at all. Not when he seems to agree with “Daily Kos”, nor when he seems to agree with conservative televangelists.

  23. DeShawn Q. Williams Says:

    Click here for an interesting take (by an American who lives in France) on the French elections:

    http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2007w16/msg00162.htm

  24. Lee Says:

    Has anyone noticed that when Democrats are elected, the “people” have spoken; but when Republicans are elected, The Constitution and election laws are suddenly “easily corruptible” and “manipulated”?

  25. DeShawn Q Williams Says:

    Has anyone noticed that when Democrats are elected, the “people” have spoken; but when Republicans are elected, The Constitution and election laws are suddenly “easily corruptible” and “manipulated”?

    Always?

    No one I know ever disputed the elections of Reagan or Bush senior.

    The election of Bush Jr has been disputed, because there were irregularities.

    Also, keep in mind that our electoral system is already stacked against the poor: unlike most other countries, we don’t have the vote on a holiday — which means that fpr poorer people (those who are working two jobs for example), it can be hrd to even get to the polling booth. Given that poorer people tend to vote more Democratic than Republican, there you have structural factors “manipulating” the election right there.

  26. Lee Says:

    DeShawn, I bring up Cho’s “message” since it was suggested by people from sites I mentioned above that he was “incited” by “right-wing hate radio”, when his “message” parrots those that rail against Bush, neo-cons, warmongerrs, etc. The “decadent Western society” isn’t usually cited by the social conservatives, but is cited ad nauseum by the pious terrrorists who also go to sites mentioned above to disseminate their message as well. And if you noticed, his victims weren’t the Journalism dep’t, the liberal arts, or the Women’s studies dep’t; it was the engineers, the future “warmakers and bombmakers”.
    I think Ward Churchill referred to us as “little Eichmans”.
    Maybe there’s something to learn from this “kook’s” message, after all.
    Millions of kooks are voting in France this weekend.

  27. Lee Says:

    The “left” never “disputed” Reagan’s election, they just concocted the “October Surprise” story.
    Bush one’s election was never “disputed”, they just moaned on and on and on about how “unfair” the Willie Horton ad was.
    In other words, the left claimed fraud and manipulation.

  28. Lee Says:

    By the way, the “first Tuesday in November” thing comes from The Constitution. Are you saying Jefferson, Madison, Adams, et al. conspired against “the poor”?, DeShawn?

  29. douglas Says:

    DeShawn, surely you jest? Too much trouble for those poor little poor people to vote? Even if you have two jobs,
    1. The law allows for you to take leave from work to vote.
    2. You can vote by absentee ballot
    3. You can now vote in advance in many locations
    4. It’s not like we’re asking them to risk their life. People who value their vote are even willing to do that (a la Iraq).
    Your view of poor people as so pathetic they can’t even manage to find ten minutes to vote is rather disgusting.

    circumlocutions?
    Talking in circles. Academic verbal treadmills.

  30. DeShawn Q Williams Says:

    By the way, the “first Tuesday in November” thing comes from The Constitution. Are you saying Jefferson, Madison, Adams, et al. conspired against “the poor”?, DeShawn?

    Yes, a bias against the poor was built into the Constitution.

    For example…

    … When the Constitution was written, a slaveowner who owned a lot of slaves had a vote worth much more than someone who didn’t own any slaves, because slaves counted for the purpose of how much vote the slaveowner had. To be precise, the Constitution actually gave a Southern slaveholder owning 1,000 human chattels 600 times as many votes as a property-less free Northern workingman would have had.

    The voting on working Tuesday rather than a holiday, was likely part of the same bias against the poor.

  31. DeShawn Q Williams Says:

    Douglas, if you are homeless, where would you have the absentee ballot sent to you?

  32. John Rutherford Says:

    DeShawn:

    The younger Bush’s elections were disputed because they were close, so both sides bitterly contested the results. Reagan’s two elections and the elder Bush’s first election were won by margins too large to contest.

  33. Lee Says:

    The slaveowner didn’t get any more “personal” votes than anyone else at the time, however, the slave population of states were counted as “one fifth” for puropses of representation in the House of Reps. Interesting in that it was the Democrats who opposed any change, and cited the virtues of Southern “social” system.
    And here, at the time of the writing of The Constitution, “holidays” were referred to as “the sabbath”. Friday? nope…muslim sabbath. Saturday? Jewish, Seventh Day types…. Sunday? nope?(running out of days, here, people)

  34. DeShawn Q Williams Says:

    And here, at the time of the writing of The Constitution, “holidays” were referred to as “the sabbath”. Friday? nope…muslim sabbath. Saturday? Jewish, Seventh Day types…. Sunday? nope?(running out of days, here, people)

    Not only in the USA, but elsewhere too, “at the time of the writing of The Constitution”. But other countries in the world have moved on, and hold their vote on a Sunday (like France) or make the day of election a holiday. The USA continues to stick to voting on a working day.

  35. Lee Says:

    Here in Denver, there are church charity groups and homeless advocacy groups that provide their addresses to homeless to receive correspondence(usually at a “PO box #” or “suite” of that addrress), provide a telephone with “voice mail” for potential employers and-or family, etc. to reach them. Even information about provisional ballots in case their registration is in question. Believe me, DeShawn, the homeless vote.

  36. Lee Says:

    Then you’d be bitching about how little time you have to go to church, catch a football game, and have ANY time to yourself, after all, this is supposed to be my DAY OFF!

  37. DeShawn Q Williams Says:

    Then you’d be bitching about how little time you have to go to church, catch a football game, and have ANY time to yourself, after all, this is supposed to be my DAY OFF!

    Why should anyone “bitch” about that? Voting isn’t compulsary — if someone wants to watch football instead, they will.

    We’re talking about people who would like to vote but can’t because it’s a workday. Yes, it’s the law to let people off from work to go and vote, but if you’re a lowly employee you can’t necessarily risk angering your boss by having to ask to go. The point is, why put people in this situation at all, when a simpler solution exists: voting on Sunday.

  38. Lee Says:

    Aw, gee….I pray for a boss who would “get angry” and fire me for exercizing my rights under the law; then I could SUE him or her and not be POOR anymore.
    The point is, no one is getting fired, or being “looked badly upon” because they want to vote. Except all those poor people “disenfranchised” when Republicans are elected, but apparently are able to “overcome the system” when Democrats win.

  39. Tap Says:

    Yes, indeed. I pity the plight of the Democrats – all their voters being so poor they work 2 jobs and haven’t a spare moment to get to the poles, what with all that work, and yet they are homeless and cannot receive an absentee ballot. gosh. I didn’t even realize the 2-jobs-and-yet-homeless population was big enough to swing an election. We should start an awareness campaign. More people must know about the plight of the hapless Democrat candidates!!

  40. Lee Says:

    Hey, guys! Remember what I said about the similarities between Cho’s manifesto and the leftie talking points? Daily Kos just put up a gd TRIBUTE to the man! You’ll have to go there yourselves, not smart enough to provide “links” yet.
    “Seung-Hui Cho, I Mourn Your Life and Loss”

  41. expat Says:

    DeShawn.

    Thanks for the link. What a jerk that guy is! America really needs someone to represent the bikini fraction. Apparently Kerry’s wet suit wasn’t edgy enough. Royal’s “partner” doesn’t even think she is competent.

    I’m glad he likes lots of choice, but we are not picking out ice cream cones. There is something to be said for a system that forces voters to prioritize rather than indulging a particular interest. Few single interest advocates function well when they face issues outside that interest. David Broder had a good column on the electoral college this week.

    BTW, the French are talking about a new constitution. Some are not as enthralled as Marxist.

  42. Ymarsakar Says:

    In any case, the open secret of this Presidential campaign is that Sarkozy scares people and that nobody in France is supposed to notice.The only Frenchman not scared unafraid of him is Le Pen, whom Sarkozy enraged by taking over his issues. Scaring people is Sarkozy’s modus vivendi. Like Richard Nixon, Sarko operates a ‘hit-list’ of his enemies, including honest critics in his own party who suddenly get the ax after some slight. Like Dick Cheney, Sarko is vindictive and uses fear to censor the least personal criticism the media. For example, he got his ally Lacordère to fire a careless editor who reprinted a report from the U.S. media about Sarkozy’s wayward wife – a taboo subject — seen galavanting in N.Y. with her chevalier servant. Only Le Pen dares to allude to the humiliating public cuckoldry of France’s diminutive, vain, vindictive macho Minister of law and order.

    More seriously, the media did not react for more than ten days to Sarko’s latest racist outburst. In a published interview in Philosophy, France’s top cop declared that pedophilia and teen suicide were inherited, genetically-programmed forms of devience that neither education nor social action (nor apparently Divine Mercy) could correct. Nor do interviewers ever ask Sarkozy about his monomania, his violent rages and his frequent use of outrageous language against colleagues and adversaries alike. The Interior Minister even scares President Chirac, blackmailing his former mentor and late rival into silence with the threat of prosecution on corruption charges. Yet interviewed off the record, mainstream French statesmen and journalists are seriously concerned about Sarkozy’s unstable egomania, his lack of culture, and his inhuman power-drive; some see him as a dangerous populist, a potential Louis Bonaparte. France’s closest neighbors are also scared of him. The Belgians are closely watching the French race on tinterhooks, and Le Soir of Brussels declared Sarkozy “dangerous.” This fear is shared by Spanish President Zapatero, who has openly declared for Ségolène Royale. Here in France, Blacks, Arabs and other immigrants are justifiably scared of Sarkozy’s proposed “Ministry of French Identity and Immigration,” as are young people, old people and other vulnerable or non-competitive citizens. In my opinion, Sarkozy is arguably worst than Bush. Could I add more?

    Finally. A frenchman with ballz.

    The election of Bush Jr has been disputed, because there were irregularities.

    Pretexts in other words.

    When the Constitution was written, a slaveowner who owned a lot of slaves had a vote worth much more than someone who didn’t own any slaves, because slaves counted for the purpose of how much vote the slaveowner had. To be precise, the Constitution actually gave a Southern slaveholder owning 1,000 human chattels 600 times as many votes as a property-less free Northern workingman would have had.

    It’s a good thing Andrew Jackson put out male universal sufferage then, not just the franchise being only available to male landowners. Some folks said Andy was kind of scary like Sarko, too. The French Connection at New Orleans must have been it.

    The USA continues to stick to voting on a working day.

    There are folks who believe Europe should follow the US, and then there are folks who believe the US should follow Europe. What can ya do.

    Here in France, Blacks, Arabs and other immigrants are justifiably scared of Sarkozy’s proposed “Ministry of French Identity and Immigration,” as are young people, old people and other vulnerable or non-competitive citizens. In my opinion, Sarkozy is arguably worst than Bush.

    Sarko isn’t worse than Cheney, and Cheney is Bush.

  43. Ymarsakar Says:

    I also admire France’s pluralistic multi-party system, a secular system where God is not on the ballot and where only the crackpot Right candidates feel obliged to go to church. It permits opposition views to be heard in the media and gives direct expression to the needs and ideals of various social classes. Today’s France remains true to her reputation among Marxists and political sociologists as the ‘model’ bourgeois republic in which contending classes in society express their interests in explicitly political ways.

    Speaking about elections, you can read some of the problems with parliamentary systems at this old post of Neo’s.

    Canada

    In summary, though parliamentary systems are one of the most prone to totalitarian destabilizations. Remember the Weimar Republic and President Hindenberg? The Machinations that came before Hitler’s being appointed by the President to the Chancellorship, was quite complex, but it hinged upon the inability of any truly unified government.

    In October 1931, Hindenburg and Hitler had their first meeting. The Hindenburg-Hitler meeting was a disaster as both men took an immediate and immense dislike to one another. In private, Hindenburg disparagingly referred to Hitler as “that Austrian corporal”, “the Bohemian corporal” and sometimes just simply as “the corporal”. Hitler in turn, often described Hindenburg as “that old fool” and “the old reactionary”. Right up until January 1933, Hindenburg often stated that he would never appoint Hitler as Chancellor under any circumstances. On 26 January 1933, Hindenburg told a group of his friends: “Gentlemen, I hope you will not hold me capable of appointing this Austrian corporal to be Reich Chancellor”.[1]

    The political battle between Hitler and Hindenburg, was not the battle between one side that is clearly good and one side that is clearly evil. Although it can be safely said that Hitler was most definitely the least good of the pair.

    So why did Hindenburg appoint Hitler to the Chancellorship? Because of parliamentary elections. Hindenburg was desperately trying to stop Hitler from being elected President, with all the powers that that would give Hitler, but he could not do so because he was losing support amongst Parliament.

    During the election campaign of 1932, Brüning had campaigned hard for Hindenburg’s re-election. As Hindenburg was in bad health and a poor speaker anyhow, the task of travelling the country and delivering speeches for Hindenburg had fallen upon Brüning. Hindenburg’s campaign appearances usually consisted simply of appearing before the crowd and waving to them without speaking.

    In the first round of the election held in March 1932, Hindenburg emerged as the frontrunner, but failed to gain a majority. In the runoff election of April 1932, Hindenburg defeated Hitler for the Presidency.

    We know that’s true, because parliamentary systems require majorities to command the power to appoint officials to power. And we know it is true because Hindenburg would not have dealt with Hitler had his own power base been insurmountable.

    So what Parliamentary systems fundamentally encourage, is governance by extremes. Meaning, because any moderate government, that is trying to secure the Constitution, can lose their power if they cannot hold a majority of seats, the middle party is forced into “deals” with extremist bug popular parties. Like SDP+Greens. The Christian Democrat has had a plurality of Germany’s MP seats for several years around 2000 if I recall correctly. But SDP and Green together held a majority. That was all that counted, even though SDP had less seats than Christian Democrat.

    You see how it works. You don’t need a majority, Hitle rdidn’t need a majority to gain power in government. Dictators and extremists don’t need to convince the majority of the country. They just need to use the Parliamentary system, and that’s it.

    Do people then wonder why Marxist likes parliamentary governments? Of course they would like parliamentary systems over the US system, people.

    It permits opposition views to be heard in the media and gives direct expression to the needs and ideals of various social classes. Today’s France remains true to her reputation among Marxists and political sociologists as the ‘model’ bourgeois republic in which contending classes in society express their interests in explicitly political ways.

    I don’t think even Neo can help this person. Neither a student of history nor all that wise, so even Neo will have trouble with that sort.

  44. Ymarsakar Says:

    The French system isn’t a pure Parliamentary system in light that they both have a Senate and a President, which curiously functions almost exactly the same as President Hindeberg functioned.

    In the original 1958 constitution, the President was elected by an electoral college of elected officials. However, in 1962, Charles de Gaulle obtained, through a referendum, an amendment to the constitution whereby the president would be directly elected by citizens.[7] Given France’s runoff voting system,[8] this means that the presidential candidate is required to obtain a nationwide majority of non-blank votes at either the first or second round of balloting, which presumably implies that the president is somewhat supported by at least half of the voting population; this gives him considerable legitimacy. Despite his somewhat restricted de jure powers, the president thus enjoys considerable aura and effective power.

  45. Ymarsakar Says:

    Not exactly sure what that does to France’s stability. Stable if the President is powerful and can keep the serfs in line, perhaps. But what happens now, given the riots and the inability of the President to do law and order? Germany found out what happened when the populace found themselves in trouble and sought out radical parties for aid and comfort.

  46. Ymarsakar Says:

    For the last 50 years, this flaw in Europe’s political system has been nullified and neutralized by America’s power. Both economic and military. Economically bolstering Europe’s fragile economy after WWII, prevented extremists from gaining too much power too quickly. Military stabilization of the region, did the same thing, by preventing local warlords from causing economic destabilization through war or through what Hugo likes to call soc (delete rest).

  47. Ymarsakar Says:

    But as we found out with VTech, you can’t keep somebody safe, all the time. And treating them as children, much as the role is between the US and Europe, can cause some potential higher risks in the future regardless of the short term benefits.

    The reason for the multiple posts was that I had to chop my paragraphs apart, (last 3), because I needed to find the word that was being caught in the spam filters. And it seems the word was soc (you can guess the rest).

  48. OverGourd Says:

    It is an exercise in futility to engage the left trolls. Their ideology has become so debased since the days they actually read and debated Marx and Engels’ ideas that it currently amounts to mere reflex based on an oral tradition.

    They can merely crawl out of the rubble of an intellectual tradition to throw stones, hoot and gibber. They are the ground squirrels of politics; part of the ecosystem and endemic carriers of plague. If we didn’t need them as indicators of political toleration, there’d be a bounty on them.

  49. Charlemagne Says:

    I’m glad he likes lots of choice, but we are not picking out ice cream cones. There is something to be said for a system that forces voters to prioritize rather than indulging a particular interest.

    In th French system, you have lots of choices in the first round, but the second round is between only TWO candidates (the top two from the first round).

    So, voters do get to prioritize in the second round.

  50. Lee Says:

    Here, Charl, the “first round” is the primary and caucus systems.

  51. Charlemagne Says:

    Here, Charl, the “first round” is the primary and caucus systems.

    Really? Why then is the candidate of either major party basically ends up getting “anointed” by the time only 7 or 8 states at most have made it through the primary process?

  52. Lee Says:

    Because people like you, Charl, don’t participate to any degree that lends support for your choice. Not that difficult to figure out.

  53. Lee Says:

    Of course, I’m sure you’re too busy holding down two jobs, afraid your bosses will fire you if you ask for time off to vote, all the while trying to find a homeless shelter for the night on a weekday.

  54. JB Says:

    In the US, Sarkozy would be on the left too. “left” and “right” mean different things there. In France the “left” are hardcore Marxists and the “right” are people who seem willing to sort of consider the idea that government is more of a problem than a solution. I don’t think this election will change France. The French are going to keep going down the rabbit hole for quite a while before anything changes.

  55. snowonpine Says:

    commentarymagazine.comThose interested in this topic might find the upcoming COMMENTARY article, “Can France Be Saved?” which is available here http://www.commentarymagazine.com/contentions/ to be of great interest.

  56. sergey Says:

    Thank you, snowonpine, the article is superb. But the answer to the question in headline seems to be “No”, except for a miracle. Is Sarcozi a wonder of the needed scale? Who knows? He looks, talks and behaves as First Counsul Bonaparte: the same inexhaustible energy, looming ego and power lust. If so, EU is a doomed project.

  57. Ymarsakar Says:

    The EU was a doomed project to begin with.

  58. gameboys 2007 Says:

    gameboys 2007…

    neo-neocon » Blog Archive » Decision time for France: will it…

  59. Nancy Odell Says:

    Hey!…I Googled for greek fraternity, but found your page about Decision time for France: will it break for a pro-American?…and have to say thanks. nice read.

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