Jacques Chirac: An Impressive Leader, and Open Letter to Nicolas Sarkozy

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Many of you who know me personally know my position on French politics. I have been a critic for a long time, having my opinion reinforced after spending time in Germany. I take issue with many of the policies France has passed in their political career. But that all changed as I started following President Chirac's influence in the recent years.

What really changed my opinion of France and it's politics was President Chirac's insistence that France lead the peacekeeping mission to Lebanon. In a very sensitive situation, France was willing to devote the necessary resources to lead the UN mission. In my mind, this is a breakthrough that should propel France back into the world stage as a leading country to be respected.

From that point, and with the instance Chirac has given to world security, I have a new, growing respect for the country that assisted the United States in their Independence, and then leave the US to handle the rest of the Viet-Nam war.

With the out-going speech of Chirac, I would like to add the following open letter to incoming President Nicholas Sarkozy:

President Sarkozy,

As I am sure you are aware, your country is in a unique position. Your proposed economic reforms are encouraging, and will most likely build up your country into the economic powerhouse it once was. Your reform of welfare systems is brilliant, and could become a powerful labor asset if executed correctly. Based on the policies that I have read about, here are some humble suggestions that you may find encouraging:

Regarding The Economy
Tax cuts are often looked upon by governments as a disaster. But the additional revenue that is then spent within the economy is the best way to bring a country out of a huge economic slump. When this policy was enacted by Ronald Reagan in the United States, the country's economy grew exponentially. I applaud you for the same thinking, and I'm sure your people will as well. Everyone likes having more money to spend.

One thing I would warn you against is encouraging a debtor society. I would recommend educational programs designed to help your countrymen save as well as spend. While the economy may not grow as quickly, it will save your country when the economy eventually takes a down turn (as every economy does eventually). If the people have savings, they are more secure, and therefore less likely to panic during an economic slump.

Regarding Welfare
One of the best benefits and welfare programs in the world is located within the LDS Church's Welfare Square. The program not only encourages people to work for the welfare they receive (hence keeping their self-esteem from plummeting), but it provides educational facilities for worker training. That way the worker is no longer dependent on the welfare system, and instead is encouraged to get out there and work on their own.

Will there be people that will still try to work the system? Of course, you will get that no matter what system is put in place. While I am sure you already have your plans set, I would still like to extend a welcome for you to visit Salt Lake City, Utah to see the LDS Church Welfare system at work. I think you would be quite impressed.

Regarding Crime
Socrates lamented the call of his friend Crito to escape Athens when Athens had sentenced him to death. Socrates then proceeded to question him on various points of morality, eventually coming to the conclusion that should he disobey the will of the State, the State then has every right to deny him the citizenship for which he claimed. As he loved his country and countrymen, he could not accept the possibility of leaving Athens to save his life when they had condemned him to death.

Along that same thought, those that choose to break the laws should be brought to justice. Justice is necessary to keep a society coherent, and thereby keeps the society strong. Once justice becomes perverted by those that use it for their own purposes, the structure of society becomes equally perverted, and begins to break down.

That being said, mercy is always a virtue, and should be considered when evidence points to a truly repentant person. I am not a judge, and as such do not have to make these distinctions, and I am grateful for it. I do not envy your task in Crime reform, but commend you for the effort.

This is an issue that the US has yet to come to terms with, as with many other countries across the globe. Because of the Global nature of the economy, more immigration issues have come to the fore-front. As such, I hope that you approach your immigration policies with understanding, compassion, and a desire to strengthen the nation, and not divide it.

One story I heard about migrant workers in Spain focused on the desire to use mothers from various countries, with the expectation that the mothers are more likely to return to their children. I'm sure you have heard of this story, and perhaps have something similar in mind. I commend you for taking on such a pioneering issue.

The Environment
Despite the movement of the US Government, many in the US believe that environmental reform is necessary for the future of our planet. I commend your push for higher taxes on pollution-producing entities. I would also recommend that you encourage domestic development of alternative energy as well. Also, the plan to increase bike riding within Paris is inspired. I hope it is greeted with a great success!

I am sure you have a number of other positions that you wish to bring forward within the next year. My sincere desire is that you look to President Chirac when considering foreign policy. I do not expect anyone to fall in line with the US on international issues, but I do hope that all nations will have a desire to secure a safer, and therefore more prosperous, world for all to live in.

I wish you luck, and best wishes from the United States of America.