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Posts Tagged ‘Nationalism’

No, I’m not talking about UFOs.

It’s time to discuss this anti-vaccination/misinformation trend, because it’s not just here in the US of A. I happened to notice this week on Twitter, that President Emmanuel Macron schooled the world on leadership. I will just say that he laid down the law on Covid 19 vaccines… those NOT vaccinated by a certain date in September will NOT be allowed to return to French schools, and will NOT receive a paycheck! And then he Tweeted:

“Bon 14 Juillet à toutes et à tous. Vive la République, vive la France!”

My first thought was, “We could never do that here.” But why, did I drink the Kool Aid?

Back in the 1950s, my Sacred Heart class had to line up and march upstairs to the auditorium – a place we would only visit for dance class. I remember learning to waltz with boys who kept us at a distance. But on this day, we had some pink liquid squirted down our throats. It was the first Polio vaccine and we were happy to get it. Our generation also has that weird smallpox spot on our arms. Our parents may not have been savvy scientists, but they listened to doctors. And there was no internet to spread lies and hate.

Maybe President Biden was right, Facebook IS killing people!

Vive la Difference! Today, about 40% of the French people are anti-vaxxers, as compared to 10 years ago when that number was 10%.

“France has seen several acts of violence and vandalism against lawmakers who supported the new vaccination rules.

Yet hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for the jabs after Mr Macron unveiled the plan last week.

His government is attempting to curb the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, which is causing a surge in hospital admissions.

More than 111,000 people have died with Covid in France during the pandemic, which has severely damaged the country’s economy.

Last week, a panel of scientists who advise the French government warned of a fourth wave in the coming months. Only a little over half of the population has received a first dose and less than 40% have had two shots.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57883397

And I thought only Americans could politicize a vaccine! You must understand, I am a complete Francophile. I love the French people, the French language, and of course the food. “Liberty Equality Fraternity” is the motto from the French Revolution. We Americans led the way for the French Revolution in 1789! France abolished their monarchy because they saw we Yanks could do just fine without one.

Still they skirt the line between freedom of expression and the broader community. The French people hate red tape and government interference, as we’ve seen by union members and farmers marching in Paris and closing down commerce. And they despise censorship, like the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist massacre. Their Muslim girls cannot wear a head scarf in school, nor can Jews wear a yarmulke. The French have drawn a line between religion and the state, a distinct red line. I must admit, I admire this differentiation.

So you may think I’m saying that nationalism in France is OK but not in America? No. Nationalism for any country can always lead to violence and unrest; the French have their own colonialism in Algeria and Vietnam to deal with, while we have our history of slavery and checkered immigration policy to consider.

How can we persuade or require social media companies to regulate their own misinformation campaigns? It’s easy. Just give Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg the go ahead… smart people can always fix the wayward tendencies of media moguls with rules and regulations and incentives. Go get ’em Pete!

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