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.