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Politics in Paris

5-9-12MichelleObamaThis morning, as I was getting dressed for the day, I caught Connie Borde, Chair of Democrats Abroad France, speaking about the First Lady’s speech in an interview on France 24 and couldn’t wait to actually hear it for myself. So, as I write this, I am listening to Michelle Obama speaking at the Democratic National Convention last night that France 24 headlined as: “Michelle Obama electrifies party faithful.”

The report was that Michelle’s speech “drove 28,003 tweets-per-minute at its peak, nearly double the 14,289 mark reached by Mitt Romney‘s acceptance speech at the Republican convention last week.” (Michelle Obama’s speech) I’m not surprised. The audience at the convention went so nuts during her speech, that at one point they wouldn’t even let her go on they were cheering so! Regardless of whether one agrees with the Democratic platform or not, one cannot disagree that Madame the First Lady is one ‘helluva’ powerful speaker.

5-9-12 Hollande France24France 24, even though it’s France’s national news channel, provides a good viewpoint on American politics. It’s a better vision than CNN’s — in my opinion — as it has a more unbiased report with a European perspective. It’s been covering both the Republican and Democratic parties with real parity the last few months. You can watch it live in English from the Web site.

The French follow American politics closely — perhaps as closely as their own. I’ve been so entrenched in French politics since the election of François Hollande as President of France that I’d almost  forgotten about my own nation’s issues. They don’t seem to affect me quite so personally anymore…although they really do — they affect all of us, even the French.

This is not an opportunity to express a political opinion. We all have a right to our own opinions…although every now and then, a reader or two of Parler Paris has written to say they don’t think I have that right, even in my own Nouvellettre®. That’s when the eyebrows get raised in disbelief!

Regularly I dialog with some of you readers who are clearly on the opposing side as me and who share their points of view openly in an effort to convert me. What the other side has to say fascinates me, but rather than convert, simply confirms my own beliefs. That’s okay — it’s important to understand all points of view before forming an opinion for yourself.

As an observer, what is clear is a polarization on both sides of the Atlantic. France has gone more left while the U.S. has gone more right in their viewpoints on the capitalist vs the socialist systems. These swings to the far corners seem to benefit only the most prosperous in the U.S. and the poorest in France. Meanwhile, the middle class is suffering in both scenarios while the extremes are having a field day.

5-9-12 dem abroadWhat I see after living so many years on the other side is that balance of the two systems is the only thing that makes sense. You can’t have a happy tenant unless you have a happy landlord. You can’t have a happy patient if you don’t have a happy doctor. You can’t have a happy student if you don’t have a happy teacher. The list goes on and on and on and the only way to achieve that is to find a happy economic balance that does not overly tax the rich or overly give to the poor. As much as the socialists would like the playing field to be level, in reality it just isn’t — there have to be mountains to provide an incentive to climb for a view at the top. And as much as the capitalists think those on the top of the mountain should have the power because they have the view, they have to remember they didn’t get there without those on the bottom supporting the mountain and them.

If we could marry the best of our two systems, then we’d really have something closer to a utopia, don’t you think?

For those who want to participate and voice their opinions, visit the two parties’ France Web sites:

5-9-12 Rep AbroadDemocrats Abroad
Republican’s Abroad

And if you’re living overseas, then be sure to register to vote absentee: Vote From Abroad.

A la prochaine…

adrian by Phil Mash during HHI shootAdrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

Respond to Adrian

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5-9-12 HHI for PSP.S. Guess what!? A new House Hunters International episode is out! “Returning to Europe” Episode HHINT-4301H, airing October 8, 2012 at 10:30 PM e/p and 1:30 AM e/p:

Max was offered the job opportunity of a lifetime in Paris. The prospect of living in one of Europe’s most stylish and historic capitals was too much for Max and fashion and beauty journalist Susie to turn down. The hardest part of the move for the couple will be the language barrier as neither of them speaks French. Will this couple find their perfect Parisian paradise? Find out when House Hunters International explore the streets of Paris, France.

P.P.S. See you next Tuesday, September 11th, when tango teacher and dancer, Francisco Leiva, is teaches us how it takes “Two to Tango” at Parler Paris Après Midi! Visit Parler Paris Après Midi for more information.

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