Some reasons why they might be:
1. Sarkozy is widely portrayed in the press as a New Man, a bold, vigorous, decisive leader able to break France's attachment to its statist past. France could vote in effect to get rid of its best features - great public services like transportation and health care, and make its crappy features, like its university system and its rigid, top-down corporate world, even worse.
2. France's poor, though a much smaller piece of the pie than in the U.S., are often portrayed as violent, illiterate, Islamic fanatics who refuse to assimilate into France. Shades of Thatcher and Reagan, Sarkozy parades his contempt for the "scum" of the projects in place of meaningful accomplishments in reducing crime and increasing school achievement and employment. But these strong-man gestures please a lot of people in all countries.
3. France's business class is as irresponsible as that of the US and the UK, and incessantly demands lower taxes and easier firings rather than solutions to real social problems like racism, unqualified school grads, social polarization, and - the one we never talk about - clueless business elites who really have no idea how to make their companies excel internationally, and so fall back on milking their own public sectors.The slogan should be "Sarko le mediocre." This is a guy who never had a new idea in his life, who plays the race card and the deregulation card like the Anglo-Saxon right began doing thirty years ago. He would be the worst of both worlds, delivering cronyist neoliberalism in economics (France's biggest companies getting more favors, not getting more productive, and doing less and less for the country), and racialized dismantling of society, exploiting France's diminishing confidence in the value of its great public services and residual egalitarianism.
Is France on a death trip of its own?
- our own utterly decadent leaders, anatomized by Fr. Frank
- free market health care strikes again in America's death-trip zone, The South
- migrate to live under globalization
- finally a non-stupid piece on France in the New York Times
- American financial culture's made-up rules: are we smart enough to follow the story?
- shareholder votes on executive pay? One small step for reform.