Friday, May 04, 2007

le candidat de la police

Like many French people, I am a little afraid of Sarkozy, the conservative/right wing candidate for Président de la République. I am afraid that he would be supportive and not adversarial to the Bush regime. It has been beneficial to the left-leaning world to have countries like France who have overtly condemned Bush's foreign policy (remember that we are not supposed to drink French wine, and we are to call fried potato strips freedom fries). I am worried that we could invade Iran, and I'm afraid of World War III.

I am also afraid of the plight of the immigrants in France, as race relations in that country seem to be on the brink of a major explosion, with the banlieue already breaking out in riots in 2005. With Sarkozy, the immigrant and non-immigrant dark-skinned population stands at odds with a government whose domestic policy might include turning a hose onto demonstrators. And since I'm not writing for the Times here, I can say, what the hell? A hose? It sounds like some metaphoric ethnic cleansing. Already suburban Parisians have declared that they will not acquiesce to a Sarkozy win on Sunday.

We all know that the French like to demonstrate. They are always in the streets, telling the government what they want, and often their government listens. But if Sarkozy wins, I fear that he will practice the same kind of domestic policy regarding the people's voices as Bush. I was part of the millions of people around the globe a few years ago when demonstrators took to the streets and marched for peace. And Bush turned a blind eye, and escalated, and we all know what a mess we are in now, and people keep dying. But I digress. My fear is that the so-called western world is growing more intolerant of dark-skinned people. I can't call them immigrants because many of them are French citizens, or in our country American citizens, born and raised. And yet, they are still often seen as foreigners, and the cause for unemployment, crime, drugs and many other woes of society.

Needless to say on Monday, May Day, as I was driving to work, I saw a group of demonstrators in Dolores Park, and I was happy to see them blocking traffic, happy to see them peacefully reminding us that they are making a contribution to our life in this country.

However, I do not see the riots that could break out across France on Sunday, if Sarkozy wins, as peaceful.

5 comments:

KT said...

That being said, je suis très, très pour Ségo!

Anonymous said...

The comment about the riots is precisely what Ségo said today.

I'm a little ambivalent about demonstrations, though. It's good to stand up for something and civil rights are sacrosanct in my conception of a republic but the government really should listen to the urns more than the street and process is as important as result in many, if not all, cases.

I'm kind of glad I can't vote 'cause I'm not too fond of either, though less annoyed by Royal than Mr. Douchetard.

M

KT said...

Well, call me a pinko commie! And whereas I respect your political opinion, I differ with you on the subject of the "power of people" and what you refer to as "the street." We may often take our opinions to the streets because a democracy, by definition, is by the people, for the people. And since I've personally chosen not to be a senator in Washington, I must call my resprentatives, vote and demonstrate in order to get my voice heard.

Also, whereas I agree with you on the lack of political leadership, I think that Sego will bring more unity to the country than Sarko, only because I don't see the old farts in the South of France rioting and burning.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I agree about demonstrations as a means of showing the passion one has for a certain subject, but my point is that when you're rioting against the election of Sarko by 53% of the amazing 86% (or whatever) of eligible voters, in a fair and open vote, it's not about democracy 'cause that's what the voting is, it's about issues. That's fair too since, after all, Hitler was elected and Napoleon III, but there's a difference between a peaceful demonstration and self-appointed anarchist 'revolutionaries' burning people's cars and breaking storefronts.

M

KT said...

Gotcha! And Bush was "elected" twice. I don't know if they are all anarchists though. There's a reason why immigrants and sons and daughters of immigrants are so angry (have you ever been to the banlieue?). We can try to solve this matter over drinks sometime. ;-)