The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Saturday, May 05, 2007

Is There Hope for France?

I've been to France--all over it actually--and I can genuinely say I look back with warmth to each place I have visited. The 15th-16th Century Chateaus of Burgundy make most Napa Valley wineries look like a new ride at Six Flags. (sorry--I do love Napa--but it's just fact...). Places like Beaune, Gevrey-Chambertin, Pernand Vergeleses, Chassange Montrachet, and Meursault are not merely unbelievable wines--they are old-world destinations which have to be seen to be truly understood for the magical places they are.

Further south, on the Mediterranean, The Cote d'Azur is some of the most beautiful and spectacular real estate on earth. And there is nothing like the Southern French countryside atmosphere of Provence. I could go on and on about Noves, Les Beaux de Provence, and Arles... but I digress. The real question that any American has to ask about France is: how could such a wonderful place have a government that is so screwed up?

Trust me, as someone who genuinely loves the place and the people (ok, outside of a few snooty Parisian waiters...), no one would be happier if France actually woke up and joined the English and the Americans in our real war for survival of Western Civilization. Our country would not even be here had it not been for the French.

Nicholas Sarkozy--the Presidential candidate leading in the polls going into this weekend's elections, is pro-capitalism and pro-American--and he appears to be in a strong position to defeat Socialist Segolene Royal (who is anti-capitalism and anti-American). Sarkozy would clearly be a dramatic improvement over Jacques Chirac. And that is an understatement.

But even if Sarkozy wins, his predecessors have left him a steep hill to climb: the simmering Muslim problem, the demographic time bomb, the failing nanny state, and other problems in a French society far too long dominated by a naiive socialist mindset, is going to make it an enormous undertaking to turn around.

Michel Garfinkel offers an in-depth look in this month's Commentary at how the French got here, and at the ongoing predicaments that the winner of this weekend's critical elections will face.

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DiscerningTexan, 5/05/2007 08:08:00 PM |