Mission Civilisatrice in Mexico

Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico

Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico

Mission Civilisatrice in Mexico

Thomas O. Meehan on a missed opportunity

Cinco de Mayo is a day celebrated in the US by the Mexican diaspora. Cinco de Mayo is also lustily celebrated here by my other countrymen, who would gladly celebrate the black hole of Calcutta if it involved heavy drinking and the wearing of funny hats. The day in question commemorates the Mexican victory on May 5th 1862 over an invading French army at the Battle of Puebla. With American help, the Mexicans eventually ejected the French and executed the French-imposed Emperor, Maximilian I, arguably their last good leader and the best chance that Mexico had for something approximating good government.

Had Mexico been ruled by France she would not be the Indo-Hispanic, dysfunctional kleptocracy that she is today. She would be a more elegant and European country, somewhat corrupt perhaps, but in a more complex, Gallic way. Imagine the wines of Mexico as crafted by French vintners! Imagine… But it is pointless to speculate on what French influence and statecraft could have accomplished in Mexico.

And it seems that the French, in electing Macron, are themselves now rejecting French governance. Madame Le Pen is apparently far too French to be elected to the Presidency of France. In the final debate between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, it was striking how weak and fatuous Macron’s arguments were. His conflation of EU interests with those of the French nation was transparently dishonest. He came within a hair’s breadth of declaring that traditional French culture was an unacceptable impediment to social stability. He even described Le Pen’s plan to bring Islamist terrorists to book as “An incitement to civil war.”

The French are only gradually coming to trust themselves with their own destiny. Until they do, they will stand alongside the Mexicans celebrating their escape from the glory that was France.

Manet, Execution de Maximilian I (detail)

Manet, Execution de Maximilian I (detail)

THOMAS O. MEEHAN is a freelance writer and a former government Senior Research Analyst and Inspector. He lives in Bucks County PAOriginally posted by Thomas on his blog ODYSSEUS ON THE ROCKS 

 

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