An American observer comments on French politics.
Not a big surprise. But this is a big surprise for me : Up for auction, JFK's diary reveals his startling take on Adolf Hitler. Hitler “had in him the stuff of which legends are made” and JFK predicted that “within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived.”No comment either.
Ever read 'Fatherland', Massillian?It's a beach read, but a good one.It's set in 1964, and Hitler will shortly be welcoming President Kennedy for a state visit. You think, oh right, in this alternate future he survived the assassination. Then at one point Kennedy is referred to as ”the Old Man”. Over the course of a few pages you figure out it's Joe Kennedy, who in the context of a Hitler victory was able to run for the presidency for himself. Old Man Kennedy was US ambassador in London in the late 30s. He was on the Nazi-facing end of the appeasement crowd, and his jew-hating was widely remarked upon. He was a dominating personality and his sons will have experienced that, along with everyone else.Gory details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_P._Kennedy_Sr.
@bert.Thank you, I didn know about "Fatherland". Talking about uchronia, I read of course"The man in the high castle" and "The plot against America" but these are fictions by writers, written long after 1945, they are very different from the spontaneous diary notes of an American educated 28 years old man in Germany in 1945 while Hitler's ashes were still smoking... I know there was strong antisemitism in America and among among the wealthy families (Henri Ford for one etc...). I read about that and I saw movies, yet what strikes me is that these unbelievable sentences were not written by someone who still could pretend he didn't know what was going on in nazi Germany because he lived 4 000 miles away from Berlin but were written by a young American (working for the W.R. Hearst press....) traveling in Germany with sir Winston Churchill in the summer of 1945 to the Potsdam conference !
Yes, indeed, bert, few Americans today know much about the Kennedy family. Today they are symbols of liberalism. From the Wikipedia article on Joe: "His views were becoming inconsistent and increasingly isolationist; British MP Josiah Wedgwood, 1st Baron Wedgwood, who had himself opposed the British Government's earlier appeasement policy, said of Kennedy:We have a rich man, untrained in diplomacy, unlearned in history and politics, who is a great publicity seeker and who apparently is ambitious to be the first Catholic president of the U.S."That sounds a bit like the Donald, doesn't it? As for Marine's flirtation with Putin, it barely merits ridicule.
To return to the origina l matter. Marine & Vladimir. I looked at the video and Putin's smirk. I wonder if this will be beneficial to M.L.P. It might prove counterproductive. On the one hand, she was received (briefly) by an important world leader, but on the other hand, this is Vladimir and I am not sure Vladimir is that popular among the F.N. voters. I am not sure the public opinion in France is favorable to a "rapprochement" with Putin's Russia as it is. It's a bit scary isn't it ? And I don't think the French nationalists-populists are even close to brave, they are always scared and act cowardly.
Massillian,Yes, Hitler was actually quite popular among much of America, especially the rich (who saw him as a bulwark against the left) and conservatives generally for whom Fascism and hatred of Jews held a genuine fascination. Support for Hitler and the Nazis was very open amongst American conservatives. The Nazis had a functional veto power on their depictions in Hollywood in spite of its supposedly "Jewish" leanings. Many American industrialists and leading bankers supported the Nazi regime and were happy to support the German war effort, sometimes even after the start of the war. Hitler's popularity with mainstream conservatives faded a bit after the Nuremberg Laws of September 1935, stripping German Jews of their citizenship, and the "Anschluss" or occupation of Austria on 12 March 1938. But the majority of rich people and "America First" conservatives continued to defend Hitler as worthy ally in the fight against the left generally and against President Roosevelt most particularly, even after Hitler's declaration of war forced them tone down that support. But on the subject of how Putin's support will play out in the election: MLP probably went to kiss Putin's ring more as a way of persuading him to step up his funding and covert actions on her behalf than as a way of persuading French to rally to the cause of the white Christian identity movement. This will play well with the FN's extreme-right white ethnonationalist shock troops but my guess is that it's largely an irrelevance for the majority of French voters that MLP needs to win over. As I've been arguing, the "blood and soil" insanity is probably quite distasteful but is accepted as part and parcel of Le Pen's promised economic reforms against the centrism and austerity that has destroyed so many lives. I believe that's Macon's greatest weakness and her most promising line of attack against him.
@MitchThank you Mitch. I was already a little familiar with the history antisemitism in the USA, what struck me one more time with the quotes from this JFK diary was the way theory, ideology and prejudice are so much more powerful than facts and reality (be it the ruins of nazi Germany in the summer of 45) and prevent you from facing it and use your brain and think !
Massillian,There's certainly a virulent strain of Antisemitism that's been ever present in American conservatism but I think conservatives here supported Hitler for basically the same reasons as their ideological brethren in Germany and England. Even in the middle of the war, it wasn't uncommon to find conservatives saying that it was a mistake to fight Germany and that we should make peace on terms that would be advantageous for Germany so that our countries could join with Hitler and the Germans in a war to destroy the SovietUnion. Even today you can still hear prominent conservatives like Pat Buchanan taking the line that the Allies should've supported Hitler because France and the other parts of Western Europe captured by the Nazis were insignificant in comparison to absolute necessity of accepting Hitler's leadership in an invasion of the Soviet Union. I think it was mainly the anti communism that was driving American support for Hitler---the fact that the Jews got their comeuppance was pretty much seen as lagniappe by conservatives.
J'espère que le rendez-vous entre Putin et Le Pen sera vu comme une "bourde". J'espère, j'espère....
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