It isn't that I don't value the democratic system; on the contrary, it's precisely because I value it that I don't want to taint it by endorsing with my vote the circus of inbred freaks that is the French political class.
I never vote, ever. Yet this past week, and for the first time ever, I found myself in a bit of a Cornelian dilemma.
For those of you who have more productive things to do than wabble in French Classical literature (fear not: most of the French don't, either), a Cornelian dilemma is a sort of no-win situation wrapped into a Pyrrhic victory. Named after Pierre Corneille (dubbed “the founder of French tragedy”), who first introduced an unsuspecting world to this hopeless moral issue in his play ‘Le Cid', it is “a choice between actions which will all have a detrimental effect on the chooser or on someone they care for.”—In this instance: me, myself, I, a few of my relatives and friends, and a large chunk of the Western world.
Quite a few people, actually.
Unlike Corneille's El Cid, my dilemma wasn't between banging my girlfriend or wasting her father (I bet you can tell that was written by a Frenchman, now) but rather between voting for someone who deserved to lose, and not doing my humble part to minimize the score of someone who did not deserve to win.
On one hand, Hollande's election pitch (the candidate's Profession de Foi, or “profession of faith” as it is called even, ironically, by those Frenchmen who claim that God is dead) reads like he and the Socialists have been living on another planet for the last 20 years. I mean, I knew the French Left was in a semi-fossilized state since the early 1970's (the French Communist Party was, after all, the last Stalinist party in Western Europe, long after the others ‘reformed' themselves) but I never knew the Socialists were so economically, socially, culturally and politically retarded in this glorious year of 2012.
Candidate Porcinet's profession of faith reads like the Ten Commandments of last century's People Prophets: punish those who succeed (until they move to Britain or Switzerland), plunder big businesses (in case they'd still harbor any intention to go for big employment), force or flatter and in last resort coerce and submit as much as possible to a State whose expansion you will feed through taxing everything that moves (and keeps moving, dixit le Gipper), while spending more than you have and borrowing whatever you can't steal.
Looking at the French Left these days, you can almost feel a North Korean-lite level of insanity at work: no matter that the money is running out, that the standards of living are falling steadily and will continue to do so, these guys want to carry on, nay, extend the very policies and practices that brought us in this sorry state of affairs in the first place.
The horrible truth about the party that is now at the helm in France is that they are, and I weight my words carefully, completely mental (though in truth, the previous one was only ever so slightly less bonkers), while the added horror stems from the fact that they've just been chosen by a slight majority of the voters.
Hollande did not deserve to win—unless you belong to the kind of people who, when asked “Who should we put in charge of the clattering train?” would answer “Why, Death, of course. Who else?” (for the record, that's 51.63 % of the French electorate)
On the other hand, Nicolas “Tricky Nick” Sarkozy did deserve to lose. Back in 2007, he fooled the better half of the voters by campaigning on a free(ish)-market / small(ish) government platform, before making a u-turn (okay, maybe just 170°) as soon as he was elected, aggravating both his friends on the Right and his enemies on the Left—who hate him for being at times (though admittedly not all the time) more effectively, and in some tragic way more efficiently, Left-wing than themselves. Cue his disgusting pandering to the Ecologists and hard left unions at the ‘Grenelles de l'Environment', including but not limited to, his warm introduction of Al Gore as “President Al Gore”.
And so there was no doubt in my mind that he couldn't win—that much has been crystal clear to me for quite some time (I mean, look, I last predicted the sacking of Sarko in September 2010, and everybody acts as if yesterday's results are the big shocking results? What the hell are these people reading? Le Fluffingtown Host?1)
On the third hand (that's the one the big French state was slipping in my pocket while I was foolishly debating the other two) there is one thing with which I can blindly entrust my fellow Frenchmen: they always have, and always will make the worst possible choices at the worst possible times—and this time again, they did.
So my ‘solution' out of this dilemma? Well, knowing that Sarkozy couldn't win, even with my vote, I felt desperate enough at the prospect of a Socialist plebiscite that I would give him my vote, thus clinging to the bittersweet consolation of knowing that in the end, I did my part to minimize Hollande's victory margin—no matter how useless this might have been.
Hence the photo of my voter's ID card above. Yeah, the caption should say “I voted for Sarko, and all I've got was this stupid date stamp on my card”2
Having said that, there is a sad irony in Hollande's victory: Socialism put us in our current ordeal, and as this train wreck is headed to its dreadful conclusion in the coming months, I find it only fair that Socialists be at the wheel when the disaster strikes.
They'll have a much harder time getting away with it, as they've had so far.
Note: if you are reading this on the frontpage, be advised that there's a couple of photos on the full page
NOTE: as a bonus, and since I now live under a regime whose best achievement is to spread misery equally, I'll share with you the appalling spectacle of the official Socialist party's victory bash, Place de la Bastille in Paris yesterday night. The name of the game is “Find the French flag” (yes, there is one)
Read Michel Gurfinkiel's "France: A Referendum on National Identity" on PJ Media, if you (still) wonder what this is all about.