Idiologue 1: Bonjour. I just ate a croissant with Jean-Pierre in Chambéry, an ordinary Frenchman who’s just trying to get by. He told me of his impatience with Americans like me, coming to his country but never seeming to fit in. I told him he was right, that we’re better than that. So we enrolled immediately in the IFALPES language school and put our children in French schools. I’m sorry for America and all of our past and current failures. Please forgive and socialize me. Here are some extra taxes.
Ideologue 2: Hi. I just drank a $600 bottle of 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bryant Family Vineyard in Napa with Gilles, an extraordinary Frenchman who’s making le monde come to him. He grew up in a backward village in the Savoie valley on a small, inefficient farm. When he came of age, he sold off some of the land that had been in his family for generations, invested in the stock market, and used his profits to mechanize and enlarge the family vineyard so now he eats at real restaurants (MacDo – McDonald’s–when he’s in a hurry, which is usually, bless his heart), and shops at a supermarket that imports most of its food from willingly low-paid workers in former French colonies. I told him the first thing we should do in Chambéry is start charging people to visit that huge cross on top of mount Nivolet, and tear down some of the less picturesque castles nearby. Office space is what we need.
Id 1:* While some people can’t see beyond their American blinders, I think the 2-hour lunch and 35-hour work week make people happier and healthier. So what if they’re not assimilated into the global economy that’s melting the Arctic and killing authentic cultures. And why are you drinking California wine in France?
Id 2: The only reason you could get to France in the first place is because of a jet resulting from American free market capitalism. And competition from California wines is just going to motivate Gilles to make better products more quickly and cheaply – everyone wins in the end. Just look at France’s socialist health care system: Wait and wait and wait until you’re probably already dead.
Id 1: The only thing Gilles’ going to do if he follows your ideas is cut corners, mechanize the process so people lose jobs, and produce cheaper, inferior wine. And about health care: Our family lived in a beautiful, ancient, quaint neighborhood in Chambéry with 67 stone steps up to our apartment. When my back went out, a French nurse came to that apartment EVERY DAY to give me a shot to relieve the pain. When’s the last time you got a house call from a medical professional in the U.S.? And it was free!
Id 2: Free, schmee. French children are going to grow up and have to pay the debt you and their parents put them in. At least America is a God-fearing place, which France hasn’t been for centuries, if ever. How many Jesus followers have you found?
Id 1: A church called Siloé in Chambéry welcomed us warmly, inviting us into their homes, teaching from Scripture, praying for us, caring for the poor. These Bible believers were mostly members of the Green Party – they care about God’s creation. It’s true that many French people are culturally Catholic rather than relating directly to God, but it’s the same in Bible-belt Texas: Comedians making jokes about being drunk and getting lucky on Saturday night and then trying to stay awake during a church service Sunday morning.
Id 2: You’ve been brain-washed by your French atheist socialist friends, and you’re going to go down the financial and historical tubes with them. So drink your “authentic” wine and eat as many croissants as you can while they still exist. And stay in France if it’s such a great place – I bet you even forged your U.S. birth certificate. I’m going to get some Freedom Fries.
Id 1: You’re myopic, racist, greedy and intolerant. Je m’en vais!