The Objective Eye

"Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demand for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen."
- Ayn Rand, "America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business" (1961)

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Location: Los Angeles, United States

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dear France: Could You Loan Us Your President?

Now Playing: "Ouray" - Andy McKee, from The Gates of Gnomeria

A few months ago I cheered the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as President of France, a country whose socialist leaders' general attitudes toward America had hovered between ambivalence and hostility for decades.

Sarkozy's unabashedly pro-American stance was reason enough to cheer his win; how stunning, then, to discover that his love of America not only eclipses that of most of America's political "leadership" in either party, but that his affection for America is neither causeless nor superficial. The man actually gets it, right down to first principles:

"From the very beginning, the American dream meant proving to all mankind that freedom, justice, human rights and democracy were no utopia but were rather the most realistic policy there is and the most likely to improve the fate of each and every person.

"America did not tell the millions of men and women who came from every country in the world and who — with their hands, their intelligence and their heart — built the greatest nation in the world: 'Come, and everything will be given to you.' She said: 'Come, and the only limits to what you'll be able to achieve will be your own courage and your own talent.' America embodies this extraordinary ability to grant each and every person a second chance.

"Here, both the humblest and most illustrious citizens alike know that nothing is owed to them and that everything has to be earned. That's what constitutes the moral value of America. America did not teach men the idea of freedom; she taught them how to practice it. And she fought for this freedom whenever she felt it to be threatened somewhere in the world. It was by watching America grow that men and women understood that freedom was possible."

It remains to be seen whether Sarkozy's words will be borne out in action, but I'm not particularly worried. We may very well be witnessing the ascendance of France's Reagan. With Germany's new chancellor Angela Merkel garnering comparisons to Margaret Thatcher and signaling a moderation of that nation's largely anti-American stance, could the entire character of Europe be transformed from a Kantian/Rousseauian muck into a new embrace of Enlightenment values? We now have reason to hope, at least.

As for Sarkozy's November 7, 2007 speech in Washington, methinks it is no accident that the full text of it is buried deep even on the Internet, to say nothing of the standard (read: leftwing) media. To hear these Reaganesque sentiments coming from the new leader of...France... is deadly news for a hard-left Democrat Party that's heavily invested itself in the premise that America is despised internationally. As for the GOP "leadership," which has been mostly silent on the subject of American greatness for two decades, the pure Americanism expressed by Sarkozy has got to be a source of profound embarrassment for that contrast. As well it should.

Can you imagine a single one of the current Presidential hopefuls - of either Party - coming anywhere close to Sarkozy's grasp of core Americanism? I can't either. And that's lamentable, because never in America's history has it been needed more.

So let me post a reply directly to M. Sarkozy and to the people of France as a whole:

Neither will Americans - Americans of principle - ever forget that without France, the United States of America likely would not even exist. We shall never forget that France risked war with the British Empire by covertly supplying desperately-needed money and munitions to the American colonies from the start, and by becoming the first foreign power to recognize America officially as a sovereign nation in 1778. France took this enormous risk out of a love of and commitment to the same ideals for which America was struggling. And we shall never forget. Vive la France!


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