The…people have opted for change. I shall be implementing this change because this is the mandate I have received from the people and because [my country] needs it — but I shall do this with all of the…people. I shall do it in a spirit of unity and in a spirit of fraternity. I shall do it in such a way that no one is left with the feeling of being excluded, of being left to one side.
I call on all the [people of this country], irrespective of their party, their beliefs their origins, to join with me to ensure that [this country] gets moving again. I call on each person not to allow himself or herself to be enveloped in intolerance and sectarianism, but to open up to others, to those who have different ideas, to those who hold other beliefs.
No, that was not a campaign speech made by President Barack Obama; that is the French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s victory speech in 2007.
The sweeping changes made by the Obama administration since January 20 dwarf the changes Sarkozy has made in two years. Obama has deepened the nationalization of the financial and automotive industries begun by George W. Bush and pursued a “stimulus” spending spree the likes of which we’ve never before seen. And now he’s working hard to nationalize health care while raising the price of everything we eat, wear, read, ride and stand on by his “cap and trade” energy tax.
It’s not enough to note that France now has, in some respects, a more conservative government than we do. (Heck, most of the former Soviet satellite states do). But it is fair — and sad — to ask, has America become the “New France?"
France — our oldest and most pestiferous ally — usually disagrees with us just for the sheer pleasure it gets from doing so. We, in turn have scrutinized their Socialism and meticulously picked apart their universal healthcare structure for years on end.
And we have talked about how much better it is to live free in America then to be under the government’s big thumb in France. France has been — to us — the epitome of Western liberalism, a bastion for anti-individualism, and a prime example of governmental institutionalization of society.
Now, however, some on the American left have seen France as an example worth repeating, and have turned the American left’s political platform into a summary of the French government.
Moreover, with an American President who both drinks and dispenses the socialist Kool Aid, it has become apparent that our unfortunate connection with French ideals may come to fruition in this country in a way we may not be able to abide.
The immediate question is healthcare. France has in practice a socialized/government-run healthcare system is similar to President Obama’s. Both the President’s plan, and the French system, are taxpayer-funded systems within which the government defines the benefits. Moreover, both systems defeat competition and create a monopolized healthcare system in which government reigns supreme.
The health care industry is about 17% of our economy. The financial sector — which provided us with the current recession — seems to be recovering, though the extent of the recovery is in doubt. Agence France-Presse recently reported that even now, after the recession has gone on for a while worldwide, France’s economy is still bracing for a 3% drop. Both sides of the pond have felt the blow of big government on their respective economies, and both sides are still feeling. And did I mention that President Obama has a stated support for tax increases? Even during his time in the U.S. Senate, President Obama voted against numerous proposed decreases in the tax code.
What about free enterprise? France and the free market? They don’t always mix…but I will say this: the French government, at least, does not control two auto companies. Our government controls both GM and Chrysler. France — through the EU — supports its aviation industry through below-market-rate subsidy loans. And what was that about bailing out AIG?
Foreign policy? France, like so many of its other European counterparts, has become notorious for bowing down at the altar of organizations such as the U.N. and the EU. President Obama has, also, bowed down at the altar of being liked internationally. His so-called “apology tour” including his Cairo speech, and his “citizen of the world” Germany speech all had the same message: PLEASE like me. Moreover, our new President has not as of late ruled out meeting with Iran’s crazy president or the equally as absurd dictatorial ruler of communist North Korea.
Life? No one can beat our President on being a leftist on abortion! Not only did he notoriously refuse to support Illinois’ version of the Unborn Infant Protection in the Illinois state Senate, but he also was awarded a 0% pro-life record from the National Right to Life Association for his 2007-2008 year in the U.S. Senate. He also abolished the ban on taxpayer funded embryonic stem-cell research within his first month as President.
Before we crown America as the “new France,” let’s take a look at the American people. Yes, the American people elected Barack Obama — not a large majority, but that’s another story — but this does not denote they believe in what he stands for. All it means is that they believe in his rhetoric. The American people have a stated distaste for liberalism. Polling data has shown that 69% of the American people believe that the income tax is “unfair.” 75% of the American people believe that we need to defeat America’s enemies. And this is just the beginning.
The American government is not half as conservative as its people. In less than 200 days in office President Barack Obama has set America on a course similar to that of France. Social, fiscal, defense, and even the rhetoric of our leaders are pointing towards the government expansionist policies of France.
Is America the equivalent of socialist France? Not yet, but, as we have seen, it is well on its way. But conservatism is really “the change [we] need” to overcome these tough times of open governmental expansionist liberalism.