OK, we Americans need to face it. The French were right. We were wrong. Yes, this is a provocation but there’s a lot of truth to it. Let’s go down the list:
The Iraq War: Yep, the French said there was no real reason, no weapons of mass destruction, no Al Queda—and they were right.
Neoliberal free market capitalism. Yep, the French wanted more regulation and less globalization and the US wanted no regulation and total globalization. The resulting financial/economic disaster shows—the French were right. National Champions? The US government is now picking corporations and banks it wants to survive. The French always did.
Global Warming/ Cap and Trade. Yes, the French were for it. US against. Now, the US is racing to catch up. So…the French were right.
Health Care. The US insurance-dominated system costs twice as much as France’s with poorer health outcomes. The French public/private health care system is a better model. Hey, doctors actually come to your house in France. Yep, the French were right.
Wine. The French always said wine was good for you. The US had to spend billions in scientific research to prove that wine is good for your heart. So…the French were right. I’m waiting for the results on cheese.
Food. The French have always been into local, seasonal food. Americans are just beginning to “get it.” France has always had artisanal cheeses, breads, pates, etc. Yep, Americans are just getting into it. So…the French were right.
Sure, the French still need lessons in making entrepreneurs who take risk (all the young French hotshots leave for New York and London). And the very idea of electing a black man to lead France is still shocking. France has a way to go in race relations.
But, all in all, Americans would do well to remember that we really do love French Fries. And we are all French now.