Although I’m told it would be easy for me to obtain French citizenship after decades of marriage to My-Reason-For-Living-In-France (MRFLIF), I have never gone through the process to be a dual national.
Now however, during this current anxiety-riddled French presidential cycle, I would truly like to take out citizenship for a few days, let’s say from April 22 through May 8, 2017. Then I would happily return to a mono-national and relinquish my voting card.
The French elections are a two-part process. Next Sunday, voters will choose their favorite among the nine men and two women running for president. Normally there are two “winners” from the candidates because it is unlikely among that field one will amass 51 percent of the votes to walk away with the presidency in the first round. Therefore the second two-person match-up to decide the next president will be on May 7.
For the first time in three decades, I would like to vote in France.
As you know, I never talk about politics in this space and certainly not as it applies to the United States. Many of my friends inside and out of the blogging world know what I think and where I stand, but my blog is about lifestyle and France. And, yes, I realize I’m expanding my definition of French related topics today. At the same time, I’ve decided this conversation comes under the broad definition of “French lifestyle.”
So, if I could vote I would cast my ballot for Emmanuel Macron, the stunningly brilliant, charismatic 39-year-old candidate of the “neither right, nor left” En Marche party. He has graduated from France’s most prestigious schools, is an accomplished pianist, loves poetry and has a master’s degree in philosophy. Not incidentally, he speaks perfect English. That would be a first for a French president.
Oh yes, here is something Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump have in common: The age difference between the two men and their wives is 24 years. However, in the case of Macron it’s his wife, Brigitte, who is 24 years older. If you’re as voyeuristic as I am, you’ll want to read this.
Generally speaking, and MRFLIF and others confirm my observation, the French tend to be leery of youth in government, at least in leadership roles. They have their places in the ranks as supporting players and advisers as they slowly plod their way up through the ranks and the decades.
The other leading candidates include: the terrifying Marine Le Pen, 48, the far-right xenophobe; Jean-Luc Mélenchon, 65, the far-left amuser who wants more social protections and shorter work weeks; and François Fillon, 63, former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s prime minister, riddled by scandal, who recently told the public that “you don’t have to like me,” just vote for me.
It is very difficult to like Fillon who emits an astounding air of arrogance, so it was probably a good idea that he told everyone they didn’t need to find him warm and cuddly.
The four major candidates: Macron, Le Pen, Mélenchon and Fillon — in that order according to the most recent polls — are in the statistical three-point margin of error, which makes many observers extremely nervous for the outcome.
The Socialist candidate, Benoît Hamon, 49, trails behind the other candidates in all the polls and is therefore considered out of the running.
If you would like to read a fascinating New York Times analysis of the malaise that is affecting France and why the country is in a traumaticly schizophrenic struggle to define its domestic and international identity, I suggest you click here.
And to think, I had originally planned to write an “in-depth” piece on my love affair with French blue and how ab-so-lutely fabulous it is and how everyone should join me in celebrating this perfect color.
It appears however that I’m starting to get more comfortable with controversy — of various dimensions. MRFLIF gently suggested that maybe I shouldn’t be so forthright with my political opinions, precisely because I am an étrangere (foreigner), but then I assured him that no one would care what I think.
Let’s see if I’m right.
It’s your turn.