Friday, June 02, 2017

Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité

Only after I came to the US did I understand that there was a deep passive-aggressive attitude towards France.  Well, not from the liberals, but from the reactionary Republicans.  And that attitude became evident soon after 9/11, when a few "brave" Republicans decided that french fries ought to be referred to as freedom fries, all because the Gauls had the galls to oppose the Americans in their plans to invade Iraq!

When John Kerry became the presidential candidate, and then the Secretary of State, it bothered the talk radio and Faux News pundits to no end that Kerry could schmooze comfortably in French.  Consider this excerpt from a NY Times column back in 2004:
A recent comment from Commerce Secretary Don Evans that the Massachusetts Democrat is "of a different political stripe and looks French" was only the latest of several jibes, mainly from conservative talk-show hosts and columnists, that have included allusions to "Monsieur Kerry" and "Jean Chéri."
For some months now, the Republican House majority leader, Tom DeLay, has been opening speeches to supporters with an occasional routine. He says hi, then adds: "Or, as John Kerry might say, 'Bonjour.'"
The remark "always brings the house down," said DeLay's spokesman, Stuart Roy, who added that its purpose was to highlight "Mr. Kerry's lack of support for the war on terror and the way he seems to be in agreement with the arguments of the French."
Which is why trump beating up on France and Paris is not any surprise to me, and I am sure it appeals well not only to his base but also to those who support trump only because he is a Republican president!  trump, with his eyes always on audience ratings, knows all too well that saying no to Paris is a sure thing.  Hence, now a "Pittsburgh not Paris" rally to celebrate his pulling out of the climate agreement.

Ironically, the rally will be held at Lafayette Square, which is located directly north of the White House.   As Wikipedia informs us:
Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War. A close friend of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson, Lafayette was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830.
 But then it is not as if trump and his adoring fans ever care for facts anyway.  The irony is lost on them!

The mayor of Pittsburgh immediately tweeted soon after trump's announcement:

Oh well,the facts like who really won Pittsburgh don't matter to these alternative-facts people!

As they say over in Paris, c'est la vie!


Ramesh said...

The Republican anger against France is a recent thing - simply because Chirac loudly and vociferously called out against the Iraq War. History proved him right, and Blair wrong, but it seems in today's America, once an enemy always an enemy.

The cheek of Macron to suggest that American climate scientists are welcome in Paris ...... :)

Sriram Khé said...

well ... even before this, the American right seemed to be rather pissed that the French were all oo-la-la condescending towards the ugly American, and all the more pissed that the American left looked favorably at all things French ... the politics of post-Iraq provided the right with the opportunity to tell the French what they really feel, like how trump crudely says and does what the right has always thought about