Thursday, April 26, 2012

Don't Get Too SarCozy

In the midst of political turmoil in France, people are beginning to learn that what they say matters. One of the key voting issues for the upcoming election will be immigration and particularly that of Muslim residents. Since the end of the 20th century, France has held particularly strong feelings against Islam worshipers and so far this has remained basically static. Current political leaders like President Sarkozy and Marine Le Pen, leader of the French far-Right consistently demonize the Muslim population of immigrants in France to attract voters. Sure, occasionally they draw heavy criticism but the storm always blows over and they remain popular leaders

Marine Le Pen has become well known for her frank and
sometimes appalling candor regarding race and religion
Why couldn’t this happen in the United States? TIME recently published an article, which focused around the reemerging political life of conservative social scientist Charles Murray. Early in his career he committed political suicide with the publishing of his 1994 book The Bell Curve which analyzed American social hierarchies and the corresponding elite. From there he drew conclusions about intelligence not only between individuals, but between groups, and in particular, races. More than a decade and a half later and still no one will lend credence to anything he has to say. Mean while, two years after Marine Le Pen’s most infamous proclamation against Muslim worshippers and their similarities to “Nazi occupation” and she remains one of the most influential political thinkers within the country.

Despite the intense globalization of the last few decades, the politically correct atmosphere of the United States still hasn’t shifted towards Europe. As the unofficial leader of the United Nations for more than six decades, the United States has had to take on the role of a global conscience, instigating resolutions like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and consistently displaying an interventionist policy. With this constant mantra of freedom and equality, these concepts were bound to trickle down into our political sphere. First used as an effective tool against slander and racism in the United States, before long it lost a majority of its meaning and became yet another tool used by politicians to brand one another has bigots  As lawsuits became a common practice throughout the States, the fear of being labeled on account of a careless “racist” remark gradually seeped into the complete social strata of America.

In a counterproductive turn of events, the concepts and ideals that were originally meant to free the country bogged it down in a never-ending series of bitter arguments that focused on the words being said and not the real concepts behind them. In some ways this is not all bad, having a thick cushion of political social barriers keeps the United States relatively static in its political ideology. While the recession takes its toll, such verbally liberal nations like Austria, Belgium, France and the Netherlands have been rocked by the sudden shift to the radical right. Greece for example has seen a dramatic pull exerted by extreme parties like LAOS and Golden Dawn who have histories of violence and fanatic policy. Even with the current anger over political reform in Europe, these right-wing movements must temper their demagogic cries to draw in the still-hesitant populations. The surface may not be enough however, and more bipartisan ideals must sink deeper into the ideology of these groups to avoid making costly political mistakes that could cripple the government as has already happened to the Netherlands, who’s Freedom Party’s refusal to back a reform plan send shock waves rippling through the bureaucracy.  
Right and left parties fight against one another to capture the populations
vote and establish power in Europe

Even as we pay the price of heightened bureaucratic limitations and a society sternly tempered by its own practices, we enjoy the benefits of a less volatile political scene. While the revolutions and crowds of angry people across the Atlantic may seem like an enticing reaction to the current state of the union, the stability and continued recovery that we will experience will be worth it as Europe tears itself apart in rash theories that only represent heightened emotion and not a solid belief base.

Incumbent Nicholas Sarcozy fights
to stay in office during this election
Europe is still not a foregone conclusion. Populations still do not naturally want to adhere to the extreme right. If leaders, like current incumbent Sarkozy, continue to work to engender faith within their populations and enact reforms that take away the bite of recent political lethargy and the economic slump, they can maintain a following that can back their leadership and the country as a whole. However, if they are unwilling to do this, the people—left between an aloof bureaucracy and welcoming extremists—will have little other choice.

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