THE BLOG

They're Driving Us Crazy (or, A Couple More Reasons Why I Love France)

01/12/2008 05:07 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

First, it was Voter ID: The idea of issuing official identity cards
that would be required in order to vote.

Now, it's officially-certified driving licenses, in order to board a
domestic flight.

What next? Why not tatoo a number on every legal citizen, beginning
at birth, so we know who belongs here and who doesn't.

(Of course, you would have to use a specially formulated ink, so that
it couldn't be forged by your local tatoo parlor.)

There are plenty of reasons to object to Voter ID cards. Besides the
basic question of constitutionality, there is the huge expense of setting
up such a system in every state, and there are real difficulties and
hurdles (and expense) for everyone trying to obtain the necessary proof'
of citizenship -- even for something as seemingly straighforward as a
birth certificate.

And there are even more reasons to object to the plan for new ID
driving licenses. The scheme would automatically exclude young people who
cannot yet drive; elderly and infirm people who can no longer drive; and
people who simply have no need to drive, or don't want to. Will they be
forced to pass a driving test anyway? Or simply be denied a valid ID?

How about the once-almighty U. S. passport? Shouldn't that be a
valid proof of identity? Well, most Americans don't have one, and will
never need one. So why expect them to pay $60 (and more) to get one?

There is another solution, and I shall bravely propose it: A national
identity card. Americans on the whole are appalled at the idea of such a
document, saying it's an infringement on one's life and liberty. But most
Europeans have carried identity cards for decades, and they are neither
dead nor enslaved. I've often argued with friends about the benefits of
such a system which, living in France, I find totally practical and
inoffensive. The card is renewable every ten years, and is updated
whenever you move. It serves as your passport when you travel through the
European Community. It is your proof of residence when you apply for a
job, for a bank account, for a marriage license, for medical care, for
university entrance, or for social security. It is simple, comprehensive,
and discreet.

But before I forget, here's another reason why I love France: Nicolas
Sarkozy. He is arrogant, impatient, self-serving, intolerant, and
vindictive. He botched two marriages, and is said to be an incorrigible
womanizer and a bad father. But he has fallen in love -- again! -- with a
dead-ringer for his second ex, and he is shamelessly flaunting his
romance. His compatriots -- even those who voted for him -- and the
members of his government are stunned and outraged.

Nicolas and Carla will probably be married next month, and there are
rumors already that she is pregnant. And they only met seven weeks ago!

So why do I like this man? Because I prefer, by far, a president who
makes love....not war.