As an American in Paris, I feel like the French are secretly laughing at me because of the ridiculous circus that is our current presidential race. There’s no defense for Trump and I hope no one thinks that because I’m American, I support this insanity. Am I being paranoid? What do you French really think about what’s going on? You all supported Obama, who do you support in this race?
You are so NOT paranoid!
“You’re not crazy” is what they say to the mentally ill in asylums but I swear to you: You are not crazy.
We are, indeed, laughing at you. And we are doing so because you are American and we are French. That means that you think you are always right and we think we are weak. It goes back to WW2 when we collaborated with the Germans while you didn’t hesitate to crush them.
Today, we feel bitter when we remember 2002. Do you? That was the year France was put to shame by the whole democratic world because Jean Marie Le Pen (leader of the far right le Front National) reached the second round of the French presidential election.
Maybe we were paranoid but we really felt that you Americans—and everyone else in the world—were laughing at us.
We French were ashamed of Le Pen and though you probably didn’t know or care about what was happening outside of your own country, we felt the sting of American superiority. Bet you’re feeling that sting right now, aren’t you?
I am super aware of the American dream. I’ve always heard my mum talking about retiring to Florida; my brother’s life goal was to be Coca Cola’s CEO (Muhtar, you are 64 now, maybe it’s time to hand over the reins… Reach me via LESLOLOS.com and I’ll put you in touch with my fantastic brother); and I would leave my beautiful Parisian flat for a townhouse in NYC, Boston or LA in a hearbeat. Basically, I love America. I dig Obama, definitely had a crush on Clinton and wouldn’t have said no to cocktails with JFK at Tiger—which is much more than I can say about any French presidents. So I have a level of expectation from America that, I have to admit, is just exploding into bits at the moment!
Trump? Really?!? The hair, the smile, the hypocrisy. Seriously?!
I don’t know what shocks me more: His not-so-latent racism or his misogyny. “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy Americans?”
Is Donald Trump going to give a blow job to every American who asks for it?
How about his own press: “Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money.” I want to spew.
I would never have expected that from you Americans, what’s happening to you? I know all of you say that it’s not you, that you’d never vote for Trump, that he doesn’t represent America, blablablaaaaaa. You are responsible. As much as I was when Jean-Marie Le Pen reached the second round. You have to stand up for your country if you want your country to stand up for you.
Ask yourself: What have I done wrong to deserve such a man as a frontrunner for presidential election?
I’ve come to realize that you are us and we are you. And I am devastated. I am 38 years old and I always thought that America was better than anything else. Because of Donald Trump, I sadly realize that you are not. You have, as in many European countries, a majority disconnected from its governors and opinion leaders. Because you are a democracy and because in democracies, the majority wins, you are in deep, deep trouble—just as we probably will be in France next year.
So I empathize. I empathize with you because I am French and I despise le Front National. I empathize with you because I didn’t vote for Jean Marie Le Pen but I have borne the shame of nearly 5 million of my fellow French citizens voting for a man I consider racist, anti-Semitic and more than anything, bad. They voted for the bad man.
Let’s set the record straight: France is not a racist country. Jean Marie Le Pen reached the second round of the election because more than 11 million people didn’t vote that day. It was a beautiful Sunday—better to enjoy a family picnic than go to the polling stations. Our leaders have disappointed us so much over the years that people just stopped believing that voting would change anything. So a man who says the Holocaust was a detail in the history of WW2; a man who declared that if homosexuality isn’t a crime, it still constitutes a biological and social anomaly, came very close to becoming France’s president.
Shame on us. And shame on Americans who’ve allowed someone like Trump to come as far as he has.
If you don’t want to carry that shame, VOTE. Don’t let any of your friends or family shirk their duty.
You are the country of Levis, Nike and Marilyn Monroe, of Nirvana, Apple and Michael Jackson. You are the dream that Martin Luther King talked about. You are the ones who elected a beautiful, sexy Black president in love with his wife.
Will you be the ones to elect Hillary Clinton? The fighter? The humiliated wife who showed all of us that you can still be strong after the shame. Will you be the one to throw The Donald’s words back at him: You’re fired!
I hope so.