Sunday, September 17, 2006

Taking On Sarko

French Interior Minister, leader of France's conservative party, and presidential contender Nicolas Sarkozy was in New York City for the 9/11 commemorations. That's old news.

What's interesting is the debate his visit triggered on both sides of the pond -- especially in France. Everyone agreed on Sarko's opportunism and self-branding. Yet, what seems to have particularly shocked the French is his "blind admiration" for America.

I'm no Sarko-fan, but I am impressed by his clear-headed view of America -- its strengths AND weaknesses. A refreshing change from the clique of French doctrinaires and opinion leaders, who are anti-American for the hell of it; for the sake of their "intellectual integrity;" because they see America as the big, bad agent of change; because they cannot accept that the world is changing, and that the French model must adapt -- or die.

The world events of the past few years may have driven a wedge in transantlantic relations, but there's nothing wrong with admiring the qualities of another [American] system -- and taking inspiration for one's own. It might even be a sign of intelligence.
photo Canal+/Les Guignols puppet

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