Monday, May 07, 2007

France's Hope - France's Fear

Sarkozy has won this presidential election. As we all feared, a little less than half of the country is undergoing a mix of feelings ranging from disappointment to outright hatred.

So far, 730 cars have been burned and 592 people have been arrested in what everyone was expecting: An outburst of rage from the urban underprivileged who identify Sarkozy's announced anti-illegal immigration policy with Hitler's "ethnic cleansing."

Keep in mind that France has to put up with hundreds of burned vehicles even on a good day like New Year's Eve, so it is no surprise that this time the reaction has been a little more violent than usual. (Source: La Liberation.)

burningcar
[Thanks to lelombrik.net for the photo, not from the scene.]

This is the kind of pressure Sarkozy will face over the next five years. France's dangerous illegal immigration problem, its economic woes, and its excessively-well-girded workers' unions will be part of the more than a little inertia he must overcome. This is no benign "change of party direction."

Segolene Royal, his Socialist rival, already announced in a pre-election last-ditch effort that a Sarkozy win would plunge the nation into violence. We all knew she was right; but to cede to this kind of pressure would be to imitate Spain's about-face after the Madrid train bombings. It would be a cowardly response to blackmail.

Hopefully, France will not be so easily intimidated, and Sarkozy will have a chance to attempt to bring France up out of its present Fantasyland Socialism into the 21st Century.

Now, if only America doesn't cross them going the other way.

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