Friday, April 28, 2017

Special Report

Friday, April 21, 2017

Why a Frenchman in DC supports Macron

A friend of mine, Benjamin Haddad, wrote this yesterday. Ben is a French citizen and a fellow at the DC Hudson Institute. I've translate-republished with approval.

The campaign ends at midnight tonight for French citizens living abroad.

I joined the movement in March, following Donald Trump's victory. This weekend, I will vote for Emmanuel Macron. I've never been so comfortable with a political choice. Why this commitment? Because this election is an existential threat to the European Union, which is, I think, the biggest collective adventure of our generation. Emmanuel Macron is the only one to defend Europe amidst changes and to do so with consistency all his life.

Because Emmanuel Macron is the first to reconcile a liberal project with economic reforms, finally attacking rigidities in our labor market, the delays of our training system, to put an end to the annuities. Because Emmanuel Macron is the only one to refuse submission to Vladimir Putin's Russia, to trace the route of an independent France in foreign policy based on Europe. Because he is capable of talking about France, cherishes his language, and his hero, Joan of arc, without locking us into a narrow, unconstructive nationalism.

Because he's young, he has worked in the private sector, and will choose nuance and complexity when the marketing experts advise simplistic messaging. Because he is the only one to defend the open society, to assert that France can propel ourselves with energy in globalization, because he's the only one to have developed an ideological alternative to Le Pen's ideology. Because he will fight Islamist terrorism in strengthening our intelligence, our police, in dismantling salafi organizations - by prohibiting funding from the gulf, without pursuing bidding war rhetoric. Because he is the only one who wants to rehabilitate the risk-taking, valuing the failure and pursuing the success. I've never met a political leader so calm and determined. I've never met a leader so reluctant to yield to the easy way out.

Because for the past 3 years, since I moved to the United States, I have lived with sadness and helplessness witnessing the violence that crosses my country: the rise of Islamism, unemployment, and incredible social tension. The distance is hard to live. I have tried here, in my modest level, to defend ourselves when our model of secularism was challenged in a rude manner by Americans. I have tried to convey messages, when we needed support after the attacks. I want my country send this message to the rest of the world: after these difficult years, after brexit, after trump, we make the choice of optimism, we are strong.

In 2007 I took part in the campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy with hope, I was seduced by a message of rehabilitation of political action and work. Very soon it became clear that Sarkozy was the energy without the vision. In 2012, I changed my vote, by default. What have the next 5 years shown? A President Hollande unable to reshape our system, to sit down its authority over its majority, an opposition voting against the only bold reform measures.

I am proud to be engaged in this campaign. I will vote enthusiastically for Emmanuel Macron in the first and second round of the presidential election.

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