(April 9, 2012)
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French Presidential Election: Marie Rennard's 2012, année fatale
Hey Mr. d'Aymery
Marie Rennard's article was an entertaining read. She says she is not a political analyst. Well, I wish I could read such a neophyte in Le Monde or Le Figaro. Her take on the presidential election in France is right on mark. Too bad she did not write her piece in English for the benefit of your non-French-reading readers.
Her predilection for Jean-Luc Mélanchon, the candidate of the Front of the left, is understandable, if not misplaced, in light of the other candidates -- ten of them no less. But from those who count, we have a so-called socialist candidate, the insipid François Hollande, who lavishes Tony Blair and assures the world of finance, which he called an "adversary," that they had nothing to fear because "the [French] left was in government for 15 years in which we liberalized the economy and opened up the markets to finance and privatisations." They did indeed. Long live French socialism! Mollehande, as he is known here, has made 60 propositions, mostly all unrealistic. What he has going for him is the slogan "anyone but Sarkozy" (the other one who counts). People will vote for Hollande to get rid of "Sarko." But Sarko is not giving up... The next few weeks will be interesting.
Mélancochon ("mixed pork"), as my newly-minted husband calls him, has the merit to take Marine Le Pen right on, that pseudo-fascist bigot, and to let people know that whether Hollande or Sarkozy, the neoliberal game will continue. Yes, the game will carry on.
My generation (under 35) has only known years of "crisis." Disindustrialization, manufacturing dislocation, unemployment, problematic immigration with a foreign population that is asserting itself and tears our society apart giving rise to the ugliness the National Front represents, sheer materialism (I want the latest iPad and iPhone!), fossil fuels disappearing, education unaffordable (do you remember, Mr. d'Aymery, that when you attended Sciences Po it cost you very little, if nothing? Now it costs between €9,000 and €13,000 a year.) Education is going down the drain. Healthcare is going down the drain. Public services are going down the drain. We are all going down the drain. If you ever came back to France, Mr. d'Aymery, you'd never recognize the country of your childhood.
I used to joke about my beautiful legs in letters past and had a sense of humor (or tried to) but humor is no longer an arrow in my quiver. Shit reigns. So, I hear Marie Rennard's serenade loud and clear. At least Mélanchon cites Victor Hugo and sings L'Internationale. Your American readers would be astonished that 15 percent of the French people still know how to sing this anthem. You should write about this great spectacle. It is quite entertaining.
Paris, France - April 5, 2012
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