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Sarkozy: the moral value of America

Posted by Richard on November 8, 2007

French President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed a joint session of Congress yesterday, and he spoke passionately about why he loves America (emphasis added):

The United States and France remain true to the memory of their common history, true to the blood spilled by their children in common battles. But they are not true merely to the memory of what they accomplished together in the past. They remain true, first and foremost, to the same ideal, the same principles, the same values that have always united them.

The deliberations of your Congress are conducted under the double gaze of Washington and Lafayette. Lafayette, whose 250th birthday we are celebrating this year and who was the first foreign dignitary, in 1824, to address a joint session of Congress. What was it that brought these two men-so far apart in age and background-together, if not their faith in common values, the heritage of the Enlightenment, the same love for freedom and justice?

Upon first meeting Washington, Lafayette told him: "I have come here to learn, not to teach." It was this new spirit and youth of the Old World seeking out the wisdom of the New World that opened a new era for all of humanity.

From the very beginning, the American dream meant putting into practice the dreams of the Old World.

From the very beginning, the American dream meant proving to all mankind that freedom, justice, human rights and democracy were no utopia but were rather the most realistic policy there is and the most likely to improve the fate of each and every person.

America did not tell the millions of men and women who came from every country in the world and who-with their hands, their intelligence and their heart-built the greatest nation in the world: "Come, and everything will be given to you." She said: "Come, and the only limits to what you'll be able to achieve will be your own courage and your own talent." America embodies this extraordinary ability to grant each and every person a second chance.

Here, both the humblest and most illustrious citizens alike know that nothing is owed to them and that everything has to be earned. That's what constitutes the moral value of America. America did not teach men the idea of freedom; she taught them how to practice it. And she fought for this freedom whenever she felt it to be threatened somewhere in the world. It was by watching America grow that men and women understood that freedom was possible.

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6 Responses to “Sarkozy: the moral value of America”

  1. Bruno Delano said

    Another narrow victory for the favorite of corporate and wealthy elites, Sarkozy will increase the income disparity and implement the policies of the neo-cons. Social programs and global warming will take a back seat to advancing a more responsible agenda of government.

  2. Walter said

    Bruno, your comment implies government programs dealing with global warming or social programs are irresponsible. Is this a moment of clarity?

  3. rgcombs said

    I think Bruno took a look around and realized that my blog was woefully short of tired old socialist class warfare rants, so he wanted to help out. 😉

  4. Hathor said

    It is not short on socialist class warfare rants, it is just the other side.

  5. rgcombs said

    ”It is not short on socialist class warfare rants, it is just the other side.”

    Sorry, wrong! Read again the words of Sarkozy, which I heartily endorse: “Here, both ”’the humblest and most illustrious citizens alike”’ know that nothing is owed to them and that everything has to be earned. That’s what constitutes the moral value of America.

    I am ”not” the “other side” of class warfare. I deny that the socio-economic “classes” ”are at war.” I maintain that every one of us — even the least among us — benefit from the success of the best among us.

    I’m truly sorry that you’re so consumed by envy and resentment.

    As recently as 1996, I was in the bottom quintile (20%) of incomes; today, I’m in the top quintile. I know all too well that I could drop much lower again in the future. The “classes” that you think are so important are in fact constantly changing in membership and not very important at all.

    I don’t rant on behalf of “the other side,” I rant for the premise that this whole concept of “class warfare” (a socialist concept) is a bunch of crap. I’m sorry that you buy into this bull.

  6. Hathor said


    If you are not the other side, how can you “deny that the socio-economic “classes” are at war.”

    I wish I knew what you were talking about. So many words that you have put in the intent of my statement. My logic may have been presented wrong, but reread it again and tell me how I am envious and resentful in that statement. Like every human I am not perfect, I do envy other peoples health and sometimes resent the wrong that has been done to me. I do not easily turn the other cheek. I think that you are not truly saying what you want and you wish to humiliate me for reasons not related to this post.

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