France selects her Republican presidential nominee

François Fillon just won a landslide victory as the presidential nominee for France’s Republican party.

Two days ago, the former French premier was already seen as the winner at the end-of-campaign two-hour televised debate with his rival Alain Juppé, according to an online flash poll conducted afterwards.

Fillon’s performance was dazzling.  Juppé came out as rather stuck up and on the defensive.  The first, lyrical, had presented his vision for France, a forward-looking France living with its times, yet rooted in its historical heritage and timeless values.  The second, technical and tedious, appeared to be going down a “to do” checklist of disparate items with no real unifying thread – gender equality, the duration of the working week…  It seemed as if the voters had already made up their minds before even casting their ballots, judging from their jubilant faces and frantic ovations while listening to Fillon, contrasting with the more restrained applause greeting Juppé.

The candidates were, among other things, at odds over the identity of France.  Juppé, reciting the globalist bible, expressed the opinion that it was her “rich diversity” that made France special, and that her “diverse identity” had to be celebrated.  But Fillon emphasized that France was not “a multicultural nation.”  And in a direct reference to Islamist militancy, he added: “ When you come to someone’s house, you don’t take it over.  It’s a matter of courtesy.”  He vowed to “clarify France’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and Qatar” and to dissolve all groups affiliated with Salafism or the Muslim Brotherhood.  “These organizations are outlawed in Egypt.  Does it make any sense for France to embrace them with open arms?” he pondered.

The 7,000-plus-strong crowd of the political rally was galvanized.  Fillon had seemingly touched on a raw nerve.  Many in France resented the battering of their national identity by a socialist government where one had to squint to spot a French minister, and where the Justice Ministry was, for several years, entrusted to a Guyana-born separatist who had once taken up arms against France.  They complained that France’s interests were no longer a priority.  More criminals were outside the prisons than inside; the police were regularly beaten up or shot at yet instructed not to respond to the assaults of the rabble.  On the initiative of the Franco-Moroccan minister of education, Latin got replaced by Arabic, and entire chapters of the history of France had to give way to the narrative of Muslim conquests.  The French no longer felt at home, no longer recognized their France, and they thought that it was not normal.

The previous era under Sarkozy the atlanticist had been none too glorious, either.  It saw the reinstatement of France within NATO’s military command and ensuing erosion of her political independence so jealously defended by General de Gaulle.  This led France down the path of a military adventurism contrary to her best interests in Libya and Syria.

Under Sarkozy, too, several of France’s historical landmarks were unscrupulously sold to the lustful Gulf monarchies.  The French, outraged but powerless, watched the jewels of their cultural heritage being removed from their nation’s sovereignty.

Sarkozy had also been the ardent advocate of a multicultural France during his presidency.  At a 2008 political rally, he even went so far as declaring that interbreeding was an “obligation” and “not a choice” and that if “Republican volunteerism” did not do the trick, then “the State would move to more coercive measures.”

Yet it was that same Sarkozy who also declared in a great flight of theatrical rhetoric that nothing is “more dangerous than a wounded identity, a humiliated identity.”  Admittedly, these words were addressed to Saudi Arabia, during an official trip to that country, not to France…

Sarkozy was right in seeing great destructive power in a wounded identity, and this is precisely why Fillon’s empowering discourse electrified the audience.  He had tapped into an enormous pool of pent up energy; his words were music to the ears of the crowd that chanted “Fillon, Fillon!”  Feelings thought of as lost forever were suddenly reawakened – the belief in the greatness of France, her destiny, her identity shaped by a 1,500-year history, the pride of being French…  Such an emotional outburst had not been seen for a very long time, probably since the days of the great general.  The patriotic flame was not dead, after all – just smoldering under the ashes, waiting for an idealistic yet strong leader capable of reawakening the spark in people’s hearts.  Judging from reactions, that day seemed to have arrived.  Coincidentally, that man was a Gaullist.

Today’s overwhelming victory is further proof that France is ready to turn a page on her decline of recent years and embrace Fillon’s ambitious and uplifting project.  She may have even selected her next president.

François Fillon just won a landslide victory as the presidential nominee for France’s Republican party.

Two days ago, the former French premier was already seen as the winner at the end-of-campaign two-hour televised debate with his rival Alain Juppé, according to an online flash poll conducted afterwards.

Fillon’s performance was dazzling.  Juppé came out as rather stuck up and on the defensive.  The first, lyrical, had presented his vision for France, a forward-looking France living with its times, yet rooted in its historical heritage and timeless values.  The second, technical and tedious, appeared to be going down a “to do” checklist of disparate items with no real unifying thread – gender equality, the duration of the working week…  It seemed as if the voters had already made up their minds before even casting their ballots, judging from their jubilant faces and frantic ovations while listening to Fillon, contrasting with the more restrained applause greeting Juppé.

The candidates were, among other things, at odds over the identity of France.  Juppé, reciting the globalist bible, expressed the opinion that it was her “rich diversity” that made France special, and that her “diverse identity” had to be celebrated.  But Fillon emphasized that France was not “a multicultural nation.”  And in a direct reference to Islamist militancy, he added: “ When you come to someone’s house, you don’t take it over.  It’s a matter of courtesy.”  He vowed to “clarify France’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and Qatar” and to dissolve all groups affiliated with Salafism or the Muslim Brotherhood.  “These organizations are outlawed in Egypt.  Does it make any sense for France to embrace them with open arms?” he pondered.

The 7,000-plus-strong crowd of the political rally was galvanized.  Fillon had seemingly touched on a raw nerve.  Many in France resented the battering of their national identity by a socialist government where one had to squint to spot a French minister, and where the Justice Ministry was, for several years, entrusted to a Guyana-born separatist who had once taken up arms against France.  They complained that France’s interests were no longer a priority.  More criminals were outside the prisons than inside; the police were regularly beaten up or shot at yet instructed not to respond to the assaults of the rabble.  On the initiative of the Franco-Moroccan minister of education, Latin got replaced by Arabic, and entire chapters of the history of France had to give way to the narrative of Muslim conquests.  The French no longer felt at home, no longer recognized their France, and they thought that it was not normal.

The previous era under Sarkozy the atlanticist had been none too glorious, either.  It saw the reinstatement of France within NATO’s military command and ensuing erosion of her political independence so jealously defended by General de Gaulle.  This led France down the path of a military adventurism contrary to her best interests in Libya and Syria.

Under Sarkozy, too, several of France’s historical landmarks were unscrupulously sold to the lustful Gulf monarchies.  The French, outraged but powerless, watched the jewels of their cultural heritage being removed from their nation’s sovereignty.

Sarkozy had also been the ardent advocate of a multicultural France during his presidency.  At a 2008 political rally, he even went so far as declaring that interbreeding was an “obligation” and “not a choice” and that if “Republican volunteerism” did not do the trick, then “the State would move to more coercive measures.”

Yet it was that same Sarkozy who also declared in a great flight of theatrical rhetoric that nothing is “more dangerous than a wounded identity, a humiliated identity.”  Admittedly, these words were addressed to Saudi Arabia, during an official trip to that country, not to France…

Sarkozy was right in seeing great destructive power in a wounded identity, and this is precisely why Fillon’s empowering discourse electrified the audience.  He had tapped into an enormous pool of pent up energy; his words were music to the ears of the crowd that chanted “Fillon, Fillon!”  Feelings thought of as lost forever were suddenly reawakened – the belief in the greatness of France, her destiny, her identity shaped by a 1,500-year history, the pride of being French…  Such an emotional outburst had not been seen for a very long time, probably since the days of the great general.  The patriotic flame was not dead, after all – just smoldering under the ashes, waiting for an idealistic yet strong leader capable of reawakening the spark in people’s hearts.  Judging from reactions, that day seemed to have arrived.  Coincidentally, that man was a Gaullist.

Today’s overwhelming victory is further proof that France is ready to turn a page on her decline of recent years and embrace Fillon’s ambitious and uplifting project.  She may have even selected her next president.

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