A regular blog reader dropped us a note yesterday to ask if anyone else noted the irony in the protests here and in France this week. The images of the rioting French juxtaposed against images of rallying American immigrants was just too much for them, and they were probably right. It is indeed a tale of two countries, each with their own unique histories and hopes. We are a nation of immigrants, while France has clearly not assimilated its immigrant population. But for them, the good news was that it wasn’t the immigrants protesting this time, it was a general strike and the under-26 set, protesting new laws that would make anyone under the age of 26 basically employable at will (horrors!) for the first two years of work. They protested for more government restrictions while our immigrant population protested for more opportunity and hope.
It’s been said that its American optimism that’s so unique and that gives us such a special place in the world, as compared to pessimism and cynicism in other countries. We saw that on the world stage this week. Regardless of where you stand on the immigration issue, while the debate rages, we must remember that we are still the country of hope.
May it be ever thus.
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