Republicans vs. Trump: What Would the French Do?

THE FRENCH HAVE CHANGED THE MAKEUP OF THEIR POLITICAL PARTIES AND FORMED ALLIANCES AMONG ENEMIES MANY TIMES. DEMOCRATS SHOULD MERGE WITH ANTI-TRUMP REPUBLICANS TODAY AND CLINTON SHOULD OFFER THE VEEP SPOT TO RYAN. THAT’LL TEACH THE TEA PARTY THE MEANING OF MAJORITY RULE.

By Steve Silkin

WHILE EXAMINING the past week in U.S. politics, I realized that many people in both major parties are ready for a dramatic, monumental overhaul. Most people think a change of the proportion I’m suggesting can’t be done. But look at France.

The French do not get mired down in their history, even though they’re so proud of it. They have had five constitutions, unencumbered by any phobias about tearing one up and starting over. Then doing it again—and again. (As in: “Mon dieu, the last one was bad, but this one is even worse.” Plus, after the Nov. 13 Islamic terrorist attacks, they went into a back room and rewrote two paragraphs of the current one. The changes were ratified a few days later. The little controversy that erupted over that died out within a week.)

French political parties have formed, split, merged, unmerged, died and come back to life more times than I can count during the past 40 years. On the right, Jacques Chirac and Valery Giscard d’Estaing split into the RPR and the UDF in 1976. Francois Mitterrand in 1981 co-opted the Communists by merging them into his Socialist government. The country had been riddled by strikes. He named Communist ministers to the departments where the labor unrest was most crippling—transportation, health care, industry. Who were they going to strike against? Themselves?

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