March 28, 2007


France's Agents of Change (David Ignatius, 3/27/07, Real Clear Politics)

"This election will end more than 30 years in which politics was dominated by the old system,'' says Olivier Duhamel, a professor of politics at Sciences Po. He notes that most French voters under the age of 50 have known only two presidents, Chirac and his predecessor, Francois Mitterrand, who served a combined 26 years. "The French people know they can't go on this way, with more unemployment and less growth than the rest of the world,'' Duhamel says.

Nicholas Sarkozy, the conservative front-runner, announced two years ago that he wanted nothing less than a "rupture'' from the old politics. He proclaims his fondness for America and was eager to get his picture snapped with President Bush at the White House last fall, which is more than you can say for most Republican congressmen. Most French people secretly love American imports, such as jazz and Hollywood movies, but Sarkozy actually likes liberal, free-market economics, which led a rival to dub him "a neoconservative with a French passport.''

Sarkozy has trimmed his pro-U.S. rhetoric in recent months and has said that Chirac was right to oppose the Iraq War. Even so, his election would mark a sharp break with the Gaullist tradition of French foreign policy, which has defined itself since the 1950s in reaction (and often opposition) to U.S. hegemony. Sarkozy, a hard-nosed child of immigrants, would break that mold. Among other things, he would be closer to Israel and less automatically friendly with the Arabs than recent French presidents.

...but because they chose Descartes over Christ their future likely lies with Allah.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 28, 2007 12:00 AM
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