The ongoing leadership race in France is of vital importance to the EU
and to individual European countries because there are basically two
vital questions Europeans have to ask today. The first is, how will
other European nations and France in particular get along together and
with Germany in particular? And how will they and France in particular
get along with the Muslim and other immigrant people they have brought
in to do the work? The second question is more important, and that is
what this race is about.
Sarkozy represents to France and the world the mental trailings of imperial days adapted to the globalization of post-war economy, Euro-style circa 2007. Most representative of his rise was the memorable trip he took here to New Hampshire when George W. Bush was invading Iraq to show how tough a guy he was. This kind of faux imperialism wouldn’t hold for long in France. Sarko’s wife left him for Paris the next day. The rest of France will leave him in two weeks.
France is not, as one reporter called it this morning, a “Christian-rooted society.” This is Bush-era embedded politics and propaganda as well, absurdly dividing all the world into Christian and Muslim countries. Not since Napoleon. It is still perhaps deeply rooted in the feminine earth-based, earth-mother realm on which the great cathedrals like the one at Chartres were inspired. One thing it will never do: adopt Christianity as a political style and vehicle as sectors of America have done in the George W. Bush era. It would be considered profane, because it is.
I had occasion to visit the vast church on the Ile de La Cite for almost a hundred early mornings in the days when Chinese Maoists were commonly seen walking the streets of Paris in their long government- issue overcoats. There might have been a small Mass going on in one of the eaves, but in the main church which marks a thousand years for France there was only one very, very ancient woman in widow’s black lighting candles. And one Buddhist monk.