Monday, April 09, 2012

The Desire of Privilege and the Taste of Equality

C'est la vie.

Well, France will likely get a socialist for a president who wishes to spend more at home and retreat from war abroad:

As governments enact austerity measures elsewhere in Europe, he wants to hire thousands more teachers. He wants to scrap a European bailout package led by Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He has pledged to pull all French combat troops out of Afghanistan by year-end, and says that pledge would be the first thing he tells allies at a NATO summit in Chicago in May.

Get ready for it. Francois Hollande is likely to win.

And this is amusing:

His campaign has been textbook: He launched a 60-point platform months ago, hewing to many Socialist tenets. At times, he comes across as stiff and cautious, but has made no big gaffes.

Hollande's biggest challenge has been to try to project presidential caliber. While his pedigree is top-tier as a graduate of the Ecole National d'Administration — the French breeding-ground school for both political and corporate elites like former President Jacques Chirac — he has never run a government ministry.

A graduate of an elite school with no governing experience who preaches socialist policies and anti-war positions?

And here I thought we were supposed to be more like France, and not the other way around.

Seriously, this is the perfect example of Charles De Gaulle's description of France: "The desire of privilege and the taste of equality are the dominant and contradictory passions of the French of all times." Yes, Mr. One Percent appeals to the masses and their resentment of those who are better off.

So we get to go back to a France that is an unreliable ally that lives to cause us irritation and annoyance.

But then again, De Gaulle also said, "France cannot be France without grateness." Or something close to that, anyway. Oh well, it was nice having France as an ally for a while.

C'est la France.