The French election: The end is nigh
Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 12:30 a.m.
Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Francois Hollande is described as "a moderate Socialist." Which is akin to being "a little bit pregnant" or "half drunk." And he's now the president-elect of France, the first Socialist to win the job since Francois Mitterrand in 1981.
Mr. Hollande defeated Nicolas Sarkozy, making the latter France's first one-term president in 30 years, and rejecting Mr. Sarkozy's rather inconsistent austerity efforts to pull back a nation on the precipice of economic implosion.
France is a mess. Government consumes 56 percent of the economy. A job is an entitlement and "getting fired" is a foreign phrase. Nearly full pensions are paid to many at a still ridiculously young age. Now the French have rejected austerity and Hollande promises to "fix" things.
Think massive "public works" programs. Think greater confiscation of "excess wealth." Think of an ugly anti-business attitude that promotes "social justice" at the expense of economic growth. And those "goals" surely will be approved by the Socialists' legislators, expected to win a majority in parliamentary elections next month.
"France now seems to be on the final leg of this journey of self-delusion and self-destruction," says Judd Gregg, the former governor and U.S. senator of New Hampshire. The "tipping point" is nigh, he adds.
The French have gotten what they voted for. Pity France. Pity Europe.
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As H.L. Mencken once quipped (paraphrased), "Democracy is the theory that the people deserve to get exactly what they want. And good and hard!" Beware of politicians peddling democracy as the highest order of political goodness. The U.S. founding fathers knew all too well their history, that Democracy was not an end unto itself. They enshrined the concept of "liberty" in the U.S. Constitution, making it a God granted concept, not one granted from government. (Where they erred was in allowing for the withholding of liberty from some segments of society, although some of that is complicated by trying to form a unified colonial force against the British.) Sadly, today most all Americans seem to have very forgotten the philosophy of liberty, many having a completely twisted sense of the concept. Through misinformation and, IMO, deliberate academic obfuscation, they confuse liberty with democracy -- forgetting the founding father's warnings of the tyranny of the masses (essentially where socialism leads, since it is always enforced at the end of a gun); they are so mis-educated, they see no difference between the idea of free markets vs our current system of government protected corporatism, etc. Pity France, Europe, and the U.S.A. So many here wave old glory (and vote) for all sorts of socialism, and don't even know it.