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Levy On Sarkozy

Bernard-Henri LevyTNRnastiest write-upThe New York Times Book Reviewnew essay
[W]hy did I not vote for him? And why for the entire campaign, unlike most of my comrades in the ideological battles of the last 30 years, unlike most of my friends from the leftist anticommunist movement born during the 1970s, did I fight against this man who seems so likable?

I will explain elsewhere, in another way, when it is time. I will say, for example, how such and such a remark on national identity and how it must be preserved pushed me far away from him. Perhaps I will say, more precisely, that to be a Frenchman in the 21st century means to make a choice about certain major and seminal events, like Vichy, colonialism or May 1968. And I will look at the positions he took on these three questions and conclude that when he said that the Vichy government was not an integral participant in genocide, when he thundered that France should not be embarrassed by its "civilizing" work in Algeria, and when he vowed that if elected he would "liquidate the heritage of May 1968," which for 40 years has been a secret wound, a torment, sometimes the nightmare of the most radical reactionary right wing of this country, Nicolas Sarkozy cut himself off from men like me. The essential components were nevertheless already laid out in Sarkozy's books, which I admit not having carefully read when they first came out in France. I discover now that the software was already, shall we say, preinstalled.
The International Herald TribunehereIsaac Chotiner