Those darn French. Just when it looked like Americans would finally be able to see themselves as being on the same intellectual level as the French, those in Paris, Marseille, Lyon and the rest of wine country decided to hold on to their right to feel arrogantly superior for at least a few years more.
After deciding to reject the populist, often-racist message put forth by far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, the French then took to the streets across the country to take part in one of their favorite pastimes—sitting around in cafes and bars, drinking coffee and wine and gloating about how much better and smarter they are than the ‘stupid, fat Americans’ (their words).
The fact that the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron ended up winning the election didn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, in Le Pen, he was facing an opponent whose father was famous for his neo-Nazi views. Worse, father and daughter both share a tendency to publicly deny that the Holocaust ever happened (Le Pen, Sr. was eventually convicted for his crimes, while his daughter might soon be facing trial for hers after the European Parliament revoked her immunity just as they did with her father).
Leading up to this past Sunday’s elections, the polls showed that Macron held a quite sizable lead over Marine Le Pen and her far-right Front National party. However, we’ve all seen just how reliable polls can be after many polls predicted both that Britain would remain in the EU and that Hillary Clinton would be the next President of the United States.
For this reason, a collective sigh of relief was breathed all across France on Monday morning when the French woke up to have their suspicions of superiority confirmed once again. In fact, while the majority of the country was undoubtedly happy that Le Pen wouldn’t be their next president, it seemed an even higher percentage were simply pleased that they proved themselves incapable of making as stupid of a mistake as the Americans.
That being said, many of those questioned over the results also noted that it wasn’t all that hard for the French to feel smarter than their allies across the Atlantic. The reason being that Americans seem to just keep setting the bar lower and lower with every passing year. Still, there were a few years there when France was actually worried that its moral and intellectual superiority might soon end after the U.S. elected Barack Obama. Of course, that already seems like decades ago, as by electing reality TV star Donald Trump, Americans immediately showed that much of what the rest of the world thinks about them is indeed true.
Still, it’s not all doom and gloom for those in the United States. After all, the majority of Americans probably don’t know or care that France just had an election or that they are having a huge laugh at our expense. Still, we better not tell Donald Trump, just to be safe.