An Open Letter to the People of France Author: BobRDate:2017-04-27 12:00:00
An Open Letter to the People of France...
First of all, let me apologize for writing this in English. Like most Americans, I really only speak one language (some here even have trouble with that). You have a very important election coming in just a few days. I'd like to ask you all to learn from our mistake.
While it's true that Hillary Clinton got millions more votes than... than... sorry - I can't say that orange bastard's name. Anyway, due to the anachronisms of our Constitution and the electoral system we still employ, we ended up with pResident tRump (hopefully that translates to French properly). You can all see what has happened since.
What should have been a lopsided election became equalized by his appealing to the fear and mistrust in the less educated among us. He spoke of border security, he demonized immigrants, he promised to return America to greatness (which is vague enough to allow the listener to "fill in the blanks" with one's own interpretation). In short - he supplanted patriotism with a xenophobic nationalism, and that was sufficient to motivate enough voters to sway the election.
I've read the positions and claims and politicking of Marine Le Pen. It scares me. It sounds much too familiar. The anti-immigration rhetoric, the blurring of lines between terrorist and peaceful Muslims, the false idea that citizens are suffering while non-citizens live in luxury. I am certain she is more educated than our current president, but that is hardly the crux of the problem. In a way, it makes tRump less powerful because he is stumbling and bumbling his way through his term.
My concern is that she got enough of the vote to make it to a runoff against a much more level-headed candidate. This too is uncomfortably familiar. I don't know how those voters who rejected both of them previously will choose on May 07, but I beg you to please look back in history - to America in Nov 2016, or even Germany 1932-1934. Authoritarians use propaganda (even when generated by an erstwhile foe such as Russia) to consolidate and solidify their power.
Bland and moderate is better than charismatic and dangerous. We've taken a step backward in our country. Please don't do so in yours.