Tom Wolfe once joked that fascism is always descending upon America but always landing in Europe. France has a long history of native grown fascist movements, as a reading of the Third Republic will reveal. The movements then were driven by the same dynamic we see today:As a Brit who has lived in France for 15 years, I like to think I know my neighbors pretty well. I've pretty well mastered the language, and have even been elected to the local council. So my observations are not a tourist's snapshot. I talk to a lot of people at every level of French society and I am detecting a change of mood. And the mood is turning nasty.Normally, it takes quite a bit to excite my neighbors under the languid southern sun, but as one horror has followed another, I am no longer taking for granted that they will put up with this much longer.
Traditional politicians are failing France's citizens. The president, Francois Hollande, has so far responded feebly to this. After the massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine, he suggested that radicalism could be avoided by making school children recite a pledge of allegiance to the French state.
Last week, Manuel Valls, the prime minister, further infuriated my neighbors by suggesting that they should just "learn to live" with terrorism. No wonder the extreme nationalist politicians are gaining ground.I need to point out that this article is at CNBC, for crying out loud. As you'd expect from a reliably lefty media outlet it does a tip of the hat to the (very real) problems of discrimination faced by France's muslim community. But the entire article is grim. People are buying guns - lots of guns.
Me, I blame Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, and America's lack of an Assault Rifle gun law ...
Hat tip: American Digest.