John F. Kerry’s Self Hatred

One year after a carefully orchestrated French-Bashing campaign, the Republicans are now reaping a bounty crop of Anti-French sentiment and hope to use these prejudices to their political advantage.

The Republicans now use the word « French » in the most derogatory manner possible when referring to John F. Kerry. Lacking any sort of imagination, some members of the GOP have resorted to cheap shots about Kerry « looking[1] » and « sounding » French or opening a meeting with Tom Delay’s latest line: « Good morning ladies and gentlemen, or as John Kerry would say, bonjour ».Lately, the jibes and barbs have taken on a new slant and now focus on Kerry’s own roots. It is now common knowledge that Kerry’s grandmother was from Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, in Brittany. Another well known factoid is that John F. Kerry speaks fluent French, something the candidate has done his best to conceal when cameras are rolling in an obvious bid to avoid giving the Bush campaign more ammunition.

« Avant que le coq chante deux fois, tu m’auras renié trois fois. » Marc 14:30.

Kerry’s self-hatred has now become so obsessive, he has flatly turned down all interviews with the French Media. The French satirical newspaper, le Canard Enchaîné best summed up Kerry’s self-hatred with a cartoon featuring a humbled and embarrassed candidate denying any liaison with an intern, but admitting to having a French cousin.

On the other side of the Atlantic, many French citizens believe, albeit naively, that their newfound JFK will rid the White House of Bush’s French Bashing Neocons and replace them with an Atlantist even pro-French Administration. But when the last Floridian chad is counted next November, either way, they will probably be disappointed.

On this side of the pond, the crux of the matter for French-Americans and progressive Americans is that Kerry is showing a true sign of weakness by trying to avoid the Republican Dodge Ball. By continually hiding a part of his heritage on the advice of internal pollsters and consultants[2], Kerry is acting more like any other politician than a man of resolve or stamina.

By dancing to tune of French Bashing Republicans, John F. Kerry is empowering the hatemongering, spitefulness and arrogance of the same people who brought us ‘Freedom Fries’ and ‘Old Europe’.

But this not just Kerry’s problem, being French or of French heritage in America is considered as a shameful fact best kept secret. Those lucky enough to have shed their Charles Boyer accent sometimes repudiate their own roots in an effort to comply with the basic tenets of the melting pot schema, a policy designed to assimilate foreign cultures with minimal contamination.

To this date, the only overtly proud American of French heritage anywhere on the television dial seems to be John Stewart’s Stephen Colbert whose tagline is “That’s French, bitch.” Thanks Stephen.

Marc Saint-Aubin du Cormier

[1] « (A) Bush adviser said of Mr. Kerry, “He looks French.” » – Bush’s Aides Plan Late Campaign Sprint in ’04 – ADAM NAGOURNEY and RICHARD W. STEVENSON, The New York Times
« Haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat » – James Taranto, Wall Street Journal’s
« French-looking », « Jean Cheri » – Rush Limbaugh, Conservative Radio Host
« the French-looking senator » – Wesley Pruden, Washington Times editor-in-chief
« Before long they’ll be calling him Jacques Kerry » – unnamed “Republican strategist”, reported by Eleanor Clift in Newsweek.
« Kerry sounded awfully like America’s first French president » – Mark Steyn, March 21st 2004, Chicago Sun-Times columnist

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