This series is called the “View from Paris” and asks Les Franciliens for their reactions to current affairs in the USA. These are the opinions not the facts (fake or otherwise).
I’m looking at an election poster of Obama but here in France! It’s a joke but some French people would prefer Obama over the crop of politicians running for president of France. The candidates for the French election are on the TV engaged in the first televised debate and those around me are saying they are too young, or too corrupt, or too far-right. I mention the Americans’ choice of Trump-In-Chief and I hear many stupefied responses. There are scoffs when I say that some in the USA equate Donald Trump with Marine Le Pen. Your humble correspondent is hearing, “France is not America!”.
Opinions fill the air around me: many Americans pay lip service to democracy but won’t accept that the other side has won the right to govern them; the two major parties are serving corporate interests and misleading their voters; the “Russian connection” is a smoke-screen put in front of a naive population that is too far from Russia to know better. When I say some do blame Russia for the election result, a witty French man turns to me and remarks, “They blame the communists again? Not very original.”
I’m hearing that, while Obama failed the environment, it is doomed under President Trump because he doesn’t even pretend to care. Even though it will affect the future of his children – pauvre Barron Trump ! The French are worried about the effects of US policy on the world their children will inherit. I ask, what about the domestic unrest and discord for the people of the USA now? “Well, they have made their bed, voted for it, now lie in it!”
The view from Paris is that the US Congress and the President represent who America is today. The wrinkle is, Donald Trump is not a president from the predictable political establishment. So, then, what will tomorrow bring? The fog of Trump spreads across the world and makes it hard to see.
– Lindsay A Gordon © 2017
– image by Valeria Aussibal of valeriaaussibal.com
(thanks to the talented Trevor Irvin for the cartoon idea)