Sunday, April 15, 2007

On The Precipice of Defeat(*)

Here she stands: before her, the abyss. Behind her, the forever closed door of Past Time.

Here she stands, in the clear, without any other shield than the strength of her heart and mind. Vulnerable to betrayal and low blows below the belt…if she allows them to harm her.

They are many, those who would smash Segolene Royal into a million tiny and bloody pieces, for daring to be the Socialist party’s candidate, for being the one the members of the party chose in a fair and democratic primary election. For being a woman with a credible chance of winning. For refusing to be influenced and ruled by all the old clans that rot the Socialist party’s heart away.

I do not particularly like Segolene Royal. In fact, I really resent some of the things she has openly spoken out for, or against. Still, she is the Socialist party’s candidate, and any member of that party who has the tiniest bit of honor should have the decency to at least shut his trap if he doesn’t like her (note the use of the male pronoun, it’s no accident). But it seems that honor isn’t a worthy enough character trait for some of the old guard in the Socialist party, for those of that old guard who’ve always dreamed of an alliance with the center-right, because their opinions do not lean on the left side to begin with.

Michel Rocard was a well-known variable in that equation. His call for an alliance comes as no surprise, and also carries very little credibility with it. But another variable has at last decided to reveal its true nature: Bernard Kouchner.

Mr Kouchner, one of the best liked figures of France, and best liked among the French citizens, and also one of the top members of Segolene Royal’s campaign team. His aura of French Doctor, and co-founder of Doctors Without Borders has leant him a lot of credibility, and has given him the image of someone who cares. Someone who is unselfish, and has a heart big enough to enfold all the pain and suffering in the world. But that image is a sham, a lure. I have known this for quite a while, having heard the gentleman expose his opinions on social and economic matters a while back.

Oh, Mr. Kouchner is a French Doctor, all right, but he’s also a member of the upper class gentry, and his heart doesn’t lean left. His opinions on social and economic matters are more than strongly rooted in the right side of the political field. When you analyze his stated opinions, if you’re honest, you quickly come to the conclusion that you do not know why Mr Kouchner is a member of the Socialist party. He doesn’t belong there. He should at the very least belong to the UDF of Mr Bayrou. Once you know this, this morning’s call for an alliance with Mr Bayrou made by Mr Kouchner comes as no surprise either.

It’s perfectly logical. It’s perfectly natural and fits with his rightwing opinions. What’s more surprising is that he decided to step out of the woods and show his true colors…or maybe not.

Segolene Royal stands on the precipice of defeat. François Bayrou stands a chance of being in the second run after eliminating her. So now is the one chance, the one opportunity to realize a wonderful coup: to knife her in the back, to betray everything and everyone to push forward his own personal agenda. And this is exactly what Mr Kouchner is doing.

What’s loyalty when compared to the opportunity to knife the Socialist party in the back and perhaps damage it for a long time if Bayrou defeats Royal? What’s honor compared to the opportunity of furthering one’s little selfish agenda?

I can already guess the name of one of Bayrou’s ministers, if ever he becomes the president of France. Congratulations, Mr Kouchner, for betraying your own and knifing them in the back. You are all that I expected you to be.

Segolene Royal stands on the precipice of defeat. If that sentence has the ring of something you remember hearing, then you know what that means, and what must follow. And you’re familiar with what must be the best shounen manga title to be published in many years: Bleach.

When Kurosaki Ichigo stands on the precipice of defeat, when blows come from everywhere at once from much too powerful enemies, when betrayal threatens to annihilate everything he stands for, then comes the moment of truth. Of gathering to the center of oneself, to light up the flames in one’s heart. And to go all out. To fight to the end.

And to win.

And this must apply to Segolene Royal, and all those whose heart leans left. Make no mistake. Do not let yourselves be blinded by the aura of someone who is nothing more than a rightwing opportunist with an image of humanitarian. Stand firm, and let your hearts be still. Be steady. The endgame is upon us.

With this post, I leave every reader to weigh their own hearts, and I go off-line for two weeks, hoping that Segolene Royal will prevail. Because, even though I do not like her, she is the Socialist party’s candidate, and my heart beats in the left side of my chest.

Never give up! Never surrender! (**)

(*) On the Precipice of Defeat is of course one of the most famous tracks of the Bleach Original Soundtrack, and played at key moments such as the ones I’ve described above.

(**) From a movie that’s among my favorite: Galaxy Quest.

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