America should not let France fall to Globalism and Jihadism
France is like a mirror through which we can see ourselves. Our two cultures are dissimilar yet complementary. We drink beer; the French drink wine. We are casual; the French are formal. We live for work while the French live for pleasure. We pretend to understand les affairs de coeur while the French make no pretenses about their expertise in this matter. Which only makes us love them more. Or misunderstand them more. And thus we have coexisted for 242 years in a state of mutual misunderstanding and occasional bouts of admiration. Sometimes at the same time.
|Eiffel Tower: public domain image.|
Like on March 23, 2018, when a terrorist with ties to ISIS carjacked a vehicle in southern France, killed several people when he fired at cops, and then took hostages in a supermarket before being shot dead. It was later learned that a gendarme, Col. Arnaud Beltrame, the very epitome of all that is good about France, offered himself up to the extremist gunman in exchange for a hostage and was later shot in the throat. We cannot help but admire the bravery and courage of this gendarme while scratching our heads at the reaction of French President Macron, who is shocked, shocked, that the gunman acquired his weapon in a country with strict gun laws. Never mind that France is the world’s third-biggest arms exporter, culminating in a recent arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the UAE worth 45 billion euros ($55.45 billion). Americans scratch their heads at this characteristic French obtuseness: criminals don’t care about gun laws.
|Col. Arnaud Beltrame Photo: LA GAZETTE DE LA MANCHE / AFP|
But sometimes we look in the mirror and the picture gets cloudy, such as when Americans start acting more French than the French. I am thinking here of the recent protests by students for stricter gun control laws.
The great French political scientist and historian, Alexis de Tocqueville, once said, “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” Our self-correcting fault mechanism has always worked in the past. If it fails us now, it is because we looked in the mirror of France and tried to emulate her instead of just admiring her. I do not know what France sees when she looks in the mirror of America, but if she continues down this path of globalism, the chance for self-reflection will be lost. America will lose our best, and possibly only, chance for self-reflection. How can America be America if there is no France to compare itself to?
The Dreyfus Affair was a microcosm of a Democracy teetering on the brink of despotism by an embedded cadre of Deep State operatives. The Republic was only saved at the last minute by a band of loyal citizens who pressured the government for justice, keeping alive the idea of Republicanism and the ideals of la Mère Patrie. It is perhaps a mirror of our own internal struggles with an embedded Deep State intent on overthrowing our rightfully elected president while our young people march in the streets demanding a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Perhaps they are too young to remember the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the sight of the unarmed French cop on the ground pleading for his life before being shot in the head. Still they march and demand tighter gun controls. Surely France must see a little of herself in this “human rights” charade and shudder. Or is it the reverse? Do we see ourselves in that terroristic siege in Southern France and shudder?