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Arend Flick

In the Adams County Record of November 16, Betty Olson criticizes the French president for “sarcastically” denigrating President Trump for “putting America first, instead of joining his one-world order.” She goes on to remind us “France would be a part of Germany if it wasn’t for America.” Olson (and other modern-day Francophobes) needs to be reminded, however, that America would probably still be a part of Britain if it weren’t for France.  Most historians agree that France’s support for America during the Revolutionary War, not only in money and materiel but also in military leadership, made a decisive difference in the outcome of the conflict.  That is why American doughboys arriving in France in 1917 are said to have shouted, “Lafayette, we are here!” France certainly owes America a debt of gratitude for its role in liberating Europe from German occupation in World War II. (America also owes France a debt of gratitude for slowing the German advance and helping in myriad ways to ensure its ultimate failure.) Macron, however, was not in any way being sarcastic when he deplored, without mentioning Trump by name, the forms of ultra-nationalism that have once again taken hold in parts of Europe and now, regrettably, in the United States.  France has far more immediate experience dealing with the consequences of that kind of nationalism than we do, and he was expressing his heartfelt concern that the path we are now taking is fraught with peril.  It is a lesson President Trump and his supporters would do well at least to consider, if not to heed.




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