Outside of 3 weeks in July when the world’s best cyclists compete in the Tour de France, I don’t pay much attention to what happens in that country but something happened in France today that everyone in America should know. From the Wall-Street Journal article:
“French voters elected Socialist Party candidate François Hollande as president Sunday, choosing a national leader who has pledged to shift the burden of economic hardship onto the rich and to resolve the protracted euro sovereign-debt crisis by softening the current prescription of austerity.”
“With his victory over conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the second and final round of voting, Mr. Hollande—France’s first Socialist president in 17 years—won a mandate to challenge German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has imposed spending cuts as the main remedy to repair the public finances of heavily indebted European countries.”
France just elected a President from a Socialist party who has promised to reverse the Austerity measures that Europe must undergo to reign in their debt crisis. Austerity means many things but the gist of its tenets relates to rolling back government handouts that reward people for not working and as these programs have been talked about and realized in some countries (like Greece) the people getting the handouts became upset. Color me shocked!
Days like this remind me of a famous quote that has been repeated by many but is first attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville from his work “Democracy in America” that he wrote during the early 19th century and we should all take the time to become reacquainted with it.
“We get the government we deserve.”
The French people appear to have bought into the class warfare meme that states the rich (successful) are evil and need to have their hard earned money taken from them and given to those who don’t have the same initiative and drive to become entrepreneurs. Punishing the rich and continuing to provide incentives for people to remain on the government payrolls is the first step toward Socialism and this is the path France chose today. I hope they enjoy this journey they chose to go on and as the quote states, they will now get everything they deserve for making this fateful choice.
Obama is hoping that the American electorate is equally as stupid as France’s since that is what he appears to be hitching his re-election wagon to. Obama is stumping on the income inequality meme and those who understand real world economics know this is a smoke screen to play on peoples’ emotions and has no history of stimulating the economy. But Obama is counting on a majority of Americans being ignorant to this fact and will vote for him so they can continue to be slaves to the government.
Just like France, the United States is also faced with its own debt crisis that has our debt to GDP ratio over 100% with no end in sight to the debt shell game where countries are buying up each other’s debt. The United States is faced with runaway spending with regard to Welfare and Social Security and no one on the Left has proposed solutions, let alone acknowledged the problems. But these are mere inconsequential details to Leftists and they prefer to tug at the heart strings of those who choose to be dependent on government assistance and refuse to embrace individual accountability.
The French elections are now history and there is nothing that can be done to undo its disastrous effects but let’s take a look at How Mr. Hollande won and see if the United States can learn from the French election so that we do not repeat these mistakes. The following quotes come from the WSJ article referenced at the beginning of this post.
Income Inequality Meme
“Mr. Hollande—the first Socialist president since François Mitterrand, who served from 1981 to 1995—has promised to continue efforts by Mr. Sarkozy to reduce the government’s budget deficit. But Mr. Hollande has said he would ask wealthy households to contribute more.”
Mr. Hollande saw fertile ground with the French electorate by demonizing the wealthy (successful) and convinced a majority of voters that the evil rich need to pay more to finance those on the government payrolls. Just like Obama is doing now, Mr. Hollande was very forthright in stating his intentions to redistribute wealth in hopes of solving the France’s debt problem and stimulating the economy.
No Solutions offered
“Mr. Hollande hasn’t spelled out exactly how he will improve France’s public finances while stimulating economic growth. His actions will be closely watched by international investors who could punish France by requesting higher interest rates on French bonds if they fear the president-elect isn’t serious about delivering on his deficit-reduction promises.”
Mr. Hollande hasn’t given any detailed programs that will rescue France from its financial crisis. Notice this tactic mirrors Obama’s plan as well – Just vilify the Right and don’t worry about offering real solutions to the problems. In over 3 years Obama has spent more time attacking the Right than offering solutions to our problems. The Stimulus of 2009 was a failure and Obama’s signature legislation, Obamacare, is set to be overturned by the Supreme Court so Obama has nothing of substance to run on for re-election.
“In a further sign of disgruntlement, nearly 19% of the 44 million registered voters abstained from voting Sunday. Nearly 5% of voters cast blank ballots.”
Mr. Hollande apparently benefited from a large group of voters who were so upset with the candidates that they either stayed home or casted a blank ballot. Does this sound familiar with the United States as well? Conservatives, who are upset with the apparent Romney nomination, are also threatening to stay away from the polls or worse, vote for a third party candidate. I have made my case for Romney and I encourage those who are unhappy with Romney to still vote for him since this is a far better alternative than four more years of Obama.
It’s the Economy Stupid
“Lagging behind Mr. Hollande throughout the campaign, Mr. Sarkozy emphasized a hard line on immigration, an attempt to attract voters who supported Ms. Le Pen in the first round.”
“The tactic, however, appeared to alienate center-right voters who were angered by the incumbent’s swing to the far right.”
It appears the Mr. Sarkozy lost some center Right voters when he left the main issue, economics, and decided to delve into social or non economic issues. In 2012 the Economy is the main issue and candidates should not deviate from this message on the campaign trail. I gave this advice to Republican candidates last year and the French elections only reinforce this. Immigration reform, Abortion, Gay marriage and other non-economic issues are important for a candidate to have positions on but in this election year, the economy should be the main focus and Americans need to elect a President who has solid plans to get us out of this malaise.
Americans should take heed of the results of the French election and realize that elections do have severe consequences. Do we want to continue our slide into Euro Socialism and go the way of Greece and Spain or return to American Exceptionalism and lead the world out of this financial mess?