Last year, reacting to the escalating turmoil of the Gilets Jaunes movement, Emmanuel Macron launched a campaign of Great Debates – country-spanning town meetings, if you will, led personally by the ‘who needs sleep?’ President. These were billed as invitations to the forgotten, especially those outside urban areas, to voice their ire and perhaps […]

After days of staggered voting, the results are in today for both France and Europe. With some surprises: – At 50.13% participation in France far exceeded expectations. Hooray! – ‘Rural’, a category assumed to be more Euro-skeptic, turned out more strongly than ‘urban.’ – That said, the pro-European center can be considered to have held […]

  Starting Next Month, How Will the World Spell Europe? For folks living on other continents, or in the farther eastern reaches of this vast Eurasian land mass, the upcoming EU elections may look as compelling as a snail race and as comprehensible as a long-form tax return. Won’t Europe hang together anyway, now that […]

Part 1 It is desperately unfashionable to spare a good word for President Emmanuel Macron. You may call him elitist, aloof, politically deaf and dumb, an imperious windbag or vacillating introvert, a conservative in progressive clothing or vice-versa, or all of the above. Just don’t give him any credit. The current global nationalist/populist movements have […]

‘What’s gone so wrong with France suddenly? What’s the story with the Yellow Vests?’ Outside of La Hexagone I’m pelted with such questions, as if coming from Paris confers some sort of special insight. It doesn’t. After five months of increasingly violent protest, no one, including the actors themselves, really knows where the roots of […]

Those talking heads who say they saw the insurrection coming? – in this amplitude, in this form? are lying. Or, at best, kidding themselves. A few facts, as the rain and the sanitation trucks collaborate to try to clean the trashed streets of Paris: Yesterday didn’t quite add up to the apocalypse that some, including […]

  Congratulations if you are already aware that the storming of the Bastille in July, 1789, was not the beginning of the French Republic. (Turns out that launch wasn’t until 1792, and it didn’t last long.) The storming of the nearly empty prison, by a crowd of less than a thousand, had mainly symbolic weight […]