The great error would be to believe that racism is merely a machine that has to be kept at bay. The great flaw, the fatal flaw, a flaw not only moral but political, would be to imagine that racism is nothing more than hate speech.
For months, if not years, people in France and abroad have been trying to prove that Marine Le Pen has not changed as much as she would have us believe. Now, in a mere 20 seconds, she herself has torn away the veil and shot herself in the foot.
These are just a few examples. Dozens more could be cited. I offer them to those of my readers who, for lack of information, run the risk of falling into the trap set by the crudest political marketing operation France has seen in recent years.
"The fact that women run for Mayor of Paris is a sign of the times. There's nothing women can't do. Even so, I long for the day when gender doesn't matter in politics. What matters is who you are, what kind of citizen you are and what you campaign for. "
Who, Colombani asks, wanted to kill off Le Monde at the dawn of the new millennium, when Colombani was in charge of France's newspaper of record? Whose interests was it offending? From what spring bubbled the hate that an unbroken line of French presidents felt for the paper?
As Europe's conservatives watch in dismay and even horror, the second big shoe is about to drop in French politics. Far-rightist Marine Le Pen appears set to emerge triumphant from the wreckage of France's defeated center-right.
The French president-elect might find an interesting lesson on socialist leadership in the far distance of fifth-century B.C. Europe, and specifically from the two men who dominated left-wing politics in the twilight of Athens' golden age.
As two countries in the EU, France and Greece, go to polls on Sunday, far-right or populist nationalist movements are on the rise on the continent even further, to the degree that they will soon seriously challenge the post-WWII order.
We don't need anymore confusion and anxiety in our already fragile society. It is time for this campaign to be over, to end an ugly chapter in which the party still in charge is ready to say, do, or protest whatever they want to win an election.
France is now at a crossroads: one road leads to economic and moral bankruptcy under François Hollande; the other leads to growth, jobs, competitiveness, greatness and the pride of being French. This is the France Nicolas Sarkozy is proposing.
France's presidential elections are only two weeks away. President Sarkozy, who was trailing Socialist challenger Francois Hollande just weeks ago, is now neck-and-neck with his leading rival. One suspects Sarkozy has either made a pact with the devil or should head straight to Monaco's casino.
It's true that Marine Le Pen spends a great deal of energy trying to de-demonize her party and convince people that it has changed. But it is nonetheless true that this "change" doesn't go so far as a clear repudiation of the antisemitic provocations her father was so fond of.