Photo: Flickr

The crashing sound you hear is not Western democracy falling apart; rather, it is the wave of populism and also nationalism breaking at last on the borders of the land of Napoleon. This week we may finally put down our Freedom Fries and cry: Vive le France.

Marine le Pen, came, and she saw—but she certainly did not triumph. The triumph, in the nation that brought us an Arch of the same name, went to the young and dashing Emmanuel Macron—a centrist, groomed for power, who rose to power, in a leftist nation, and beat a rightist. Macron’s flair for drama was honed under the tutelage of his high school drama teacher, who he later married, which was not a scandal in the laissez-faire nation known for smoking Gauloises and for a vital cafe culture centering on art and ideas. The spirt of Paris—the City of Lights—has now in many ways illuminated the entire West, with the light of enlightenment. A light which has not been extinguished, after all.

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Et tu, Donald Trump?

Here, on American shores, the taste was of humble pie. Lost was our standing as the world’s leader in freedom and democracy, washed away in the Trumpian tidal wave. The majority of us in this nation who did not vote to elect the orange-hued one as our leader were able to breathe a sigh of relief: The world has not gone crazy yet. Much like the original “Enlightenment” in Europe, there may now be another era of “Enlightenment” in Europe—one in which liberalism casts its long beam of light across a continent in order to dispel the shadows of nationalism that have grown longer, recently, given the various elections that have happened in the past year or two, in various nations.

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Donald Trump may like meatloaf, but the “meat” of his proposals leaves much to be desired.

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Take health care. Complicated? Of course. Only Donald Trump was shocked to learn that heath care is a complicated subject. Does the Republican Congressional health care bill pay due heed to the complexity of this issue? Experts say it does not. The reasons are myriad, and complicated, but suffice it to say that few of us will get through life without needing health care—and when the time comes that you need it, you will hope that it is provided to you. Without diving into the complex details, I’ll simply note that the complications that go with designing a health care law should be respected—and not disrespected, or disregarded. A complicated issue deserves a careful look. Sadly, Republicans in Congress have not given us that. And that is what we deserve, as Americans.

Health care was an issue that Hillary Clinton once tried to tackle, during her time as First Lady. Her crusade came to naught. When she ran for president last year, seeking to finish the job, her crusade in that case—to be elected president and make policies, including health care policy—also came to naught. If it is true that the ancient gods of Greece sit atop Mount Olympus meddling in human affairs, they surely must have had a glint in their eyes at the nature of the full circle that Hillary Clinton had journeyed, around, over the course of 20 years. A painful circle, yes, but a round one.

And we had better fix our health care system soon, because the stress of modern life will surely send more and more Americans running to the doctor. Take ISIS. Though popular in Middle Eastern countries, it is vitally important for us to stand up and declare: No, We Will Not Join ISIS. Furthermore, ISIS is wrong. Though it boasts great social media savvy, it is now more important than ever to talk to your teens as a mentor and impart the fact to them that ISIS is simply not good. Let’s not fall prey to the “on the one hand, on the other hand” dynamic here. This is an extraordinary situation. I’m sorry, but it’s really quite simple: ISIS is bad. Beating around the bush only lends them more legitimacy. It’s important for leaders in all fields to declare in a purely straightforward way: ISIS, no. We do not support you.

And this is why having the media is more important than ever.


Is it that hard to hire different people to write these?