Monday, April 23, 2012

Sarközy and the expiration of national exceptionalism

It wouldn't be pretty for anyone, to preside over the day to day disexceptionalising of his nation by a globalism past restraining, but Nicolas Sarközy has surpassed every humiliation of the tide of history in his conduct of his reign - as Philip Gourevitch astutely refers to the character of the French presidency - with the most squalid dissipation and fecklessness to speak for France since Napoleon III. His pugnacity graces our page today not merely to cite his resiliency in French politics, but to acknowledge what it suggests for the American election.

We know very well, the American plutoc-racy will mount a denial of history's tides with the throatiest roar of "exceptionalism" it can buy with its corporate accounts, matching its evangelists' lust for social intimi-dation with demands for a loyalty oath on the nation's divine mercantile mission. Sarközy's composite minority (including the ultra-right Le Pen movement) matches Republican strength in the US, at some 47.5 percent of the electorate. If Republicans can elevate disdain for Obama by so much as half a point, if Sarközy can scare a few more Frenchmen with a Teutonic Cross of Gold, the two greatest democracies will be in the hands of the lowest talents to lead them, the surest to bring them shame.


  Again, why on 
  earth does all 
  this matter?

Philip Gourevitch
  No Exit: Can Nicolas Sarkozy
  and France survive the Eur-
  opean crisis?
December 12, 2011
The New Yorker©

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