Now that the British have voted to secede from the European Union and America has chosen a president who has never before held public office, the French appear to be following suit.
In Sunday’s runoff to choose a candidate to face Marine Le Pen of the National Front in next spring’s presidential election, the center-right Republicans chose Francois Fillon in a landslide.
While Fillon sees Margaret Thatcher as a role model in fiscal policy, he is a socially conservative Catholic who supports family values, wants to confront Islamist extremism, control immigration, restore France’s historic identity and end sanctions on Russia.
“Russia poses no threat to the West,” says Fillon. But if not, the question arises, why NATO? Why are U.S. troops in Europe?
As Le Pen is favored to win the first round of the presidential election and Fillon the second in May, closer Paris-Putin ties seem certain. Europeans themselves are pulling Russia back into Europe, and separating from the Americans.
Next Sunday, Italy holds a referendum on constitutional reforms backed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. If the referendum, trailing in the polls, fails, says Renzi, he will resign…. [read more]
lhwm notes: “America emerged from the Cold War, a quarter century ago, as the sole superpower. Yet, it seems clear that we are not today so dominant a nation as we were in 1989 and 1991.
We have great rivals and adversaries. We are deeper in debt. We are more divided. We’ve fought wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen that availed us nothing. What we had, we kicked away.
America is at a plastic moment in history.
And America needs nothing so much as reflective thought about a quarter century of failures — and fresh thinking about her future.”