French President Francois Hollande launched into a sermon on the sacredness of the European Union but his past sermons didn’t change anything.
The New Year was an opportunity for the French President to preach against the evils of nationalism. Or so he seemed to think. I’m not sure is was a real opportunity since he seems to be only preaching to the choir.
Thus, Reuters reports,
French President Francois Hollande on Saturday warned against the risks of rising nationalism in his last New Year address ahead of the election of his successor next spring.
Hollande, who said this month he would not seek a second term in 2017, defended his legacy as president and addressed the policies of the anti-immigration and anti-euro National Front, whose leader Marine Le Pen is set to make it to the second round of the election, if recent polls are correct.
“There are periods in history when everything may change dramatically. We’re in one of them,” Hollande said in an address that was broadcast on French television.
“How can we imagine our country being curled up behind walls, reduced to its internal market, going back to its national currency and, on top of that, discriminating between its own children according to their origins?” he said.
Hollande, who did not directly name the FN, mentioned British voters’ decision in June to leave the European Union, and the U.S. presidential election won by Donald Trump in November, as events that demonstrated that democracy, freedom and peace were “vulnerable and reversible”.
He also warned against the calling into question of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.
“France will not let anybody or any state, be it the biggest one, call into question this major achievement of the international community,” Hollande said
Europe is in the middle (or at the beginnings) of a major debt and currency crisis that is worsened because the nations that set budgets don’t each have their own currency. And no one has advocated discriminating between citizens. Advocating that Europe cease indiscriminately importing rapists, terrorists, and other elements of a hostile population is not the same thing. Hollande is resorting to caricature.
Which is one of the reasons his sermonizing is unconvincing. Unless you already have decided that you hate nationalism, you would never listen to such prejudicial language about it. The preaching of the French President is no good at nationalist infidels. It only serves to reinforce the beliefs of the Eurofaithful.
And that’s why the French President keeps preaching but never slows the trend of growing nationalism. Here’s a video from 2015 showing Hollande preaching the same message:
Did that sermon stop Brexit or get Hillary Clinton elected president? No. The French President could not do a thing to stop the changes that are coming. The people are fed up!
In fact, if the New Year was an opportunity for anything, it was an opportunity to again show the French people that they need new leadership. The French President has demonstrated that he will not back down from his agenda, despite a nationalist groundswell.