Monday, June 21, 2010

De Gaullemania

The indomitable Charles de Gaulle.
In troubled economic times, and with politicians enjoying handsome perks at taxpayers’ expense, reaching for de Gaulle may also be a way for the French to invoke a model of integrity and modesty. Even as president, de Gaulle paid his gas and electricity bills himself. In 1958, unveiling an austerity programme, he announced: “Without an effort to regain control, without the sacrifice it requires and the hope it entails, we will remain a country that lags behind, swinging continually between drama and mediocrity.”


Julygirl said...

Yes, those wartime leaders look better by the day compared with what we have had over the past couple of decades.

lara77 said...

Charles de Gaulle had something that French politicians miss today; class. I can only think of Giscard d'Estaing who came pretty close in his carriage and demeanor. DeGaulle took his position as President seriously; without the tabloid stories we hear of politicians today. I also know from his writings that he was a monarchist at heart and wished France could return to its ancient heritage. I think the French disappointed him and he felt in his heart they were never worthy of France. He was always fascinating and a man who will go down in history as one of the greatest in French history.

May said...

I am pretty sure that De Gaulle supported Belgium's unfortunate king, Léopold III, at a time when he was shamefully wronged and defamed by other Allied leaders. A definite mark in De Gaulle's favor, in my view.