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“Oui, on peut!”French wants Obama Back
Written by Sarah Angelina Kim | Published. 2018.03.21 17:18 | Count : 325

Obama posters were plastered on the familiar streets of Paris. The posters had a picture of Obama’s face juxtaposed to a French flag with a famous quote “Oui, on peut!” meaning “Yes, we can!” in English. The message of the poster is supporting the retired US president, Barack Obama, to be the next French president.

At first, people would ignore the poster, or some would actually laugh, which is supposed to be the point of the poster. The creators of these posters were four friends, French civilians, who were unhappy with both French candidates (on the election of 2017). They admitted that it was supposed to be a joke. However, this group even went as far as creating a website called “Obama2017.fr” where they sought the signatures of French civilians to sign a petition to bring Obama as their next president candidate. Surprisingly, they got about 49,764 signatures so far, and were hoping to gain 1 million signatures by March 15. There are dual meanings to this movement. One shows the aversion toward Donald Trump, the current US president, and the other is a warning to French citizens to be careful when they are voting for a candidate.

Donald Duck Blows A Trumpet In France

Donald Trump’s victory on the 2017 American Presidential Election was quite a shock to everybody, planting a little seed of fear inside many countries around the world. A lot of countries decided to keep that feeling, however, private. However, the one country that was not afraid  to show this sentiment was probably France. According to the Suffolk University poll, 82% of French citizens reported that they disliked Trump more than any other politicians. He even beat Vladimir Putin (72% of French citizens dislike him).In fact, when President Trump attended the Bastille Day Rally, the French citizens erupted with protests, attacking the police force by throwing glass bottles, shouting ‘make the planet great again.’ Why are the French citizens so sensitive and active about a politician of another country? In order to find the link to why the French dislike Trump so much, we must remember what happened on the 14th July of 1789.

On the 14th July of 1789, the French Revolution took place, an event that holds one of the keys to the nature of French politics. If we recall the reason why the French decided to put their rulers down, it was because the French thought they should get rid of nobles who are unable to lead their country to prosperity and happiness. Not respecting the rights of the people was a crime serious enough to put a leader on a guillotine. Some people might disagree but for many French people, Trump is not following the values of the Human Rights.

For example, when the election of 2016 began, Donald Trump gave a speech that many French people thought was so absurd and offensive that they did not know how to react. For a while, many citizens of foreign countries thought that Americans would surely not elect such a man. However, as time passed, they realized that they thought wrong; Donald Trump was elected president, which caused a wave of shock to nearly drown all the foreign politicians out there. As he took office, Donald Trump’s actions seemed more and more immature to the eyes of some. He ignores or seems to lack a grasp of gravity of environmental issues. In fact, on June 1, 2017, Trump has announced that the US will withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Leaving with a speech saying, “...[W]hy foreign lobbyists should wish to keep our beautiful country tied up and bound down...I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris”. The decision that Trump made was a big blow to many foreign politicians (and Environmentalist). Not only was Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement disappointing, his speech probably gave a greater mark of offense to the French, since he was implying that the French government was supporting the “foreign lobbyists” against the interests of the United States. In regards to this issue, I conducted an interview with a French citizen.

[A picture of me and a French woman (my grandmother) who was visiting Korea. Interviewed © Sarah Angelina Kim] 

Have you heard about Barack Obama’s growing popularity (wanting Barack Obama to become president) in France?
Is there a movement where people want Barack Obama to be the president? I didn’t know that, because I thought that people were happy for Macron for now. I guess some people just can’t be satisfied.

Do you believe that this movement is worth trying or are you against it? Why?
It seems very difficult for a foreigner to become president of France. In France, we welcomed and used some of Obama’s political ideas, just ideas. I also think Obama copied some of things that we’ve been promoting, so we miss him, but Macron is doing a great job…Like he has good ideas for the climate change, and he has good ideas for changes in the world, so for now I am not for this movement.

What is your opinion about president Trump?
He scares me because he is unpredictable and he is very… Very- He doesn’t want to help other countries social issues but only his own country’s social issues. For the French, he seems so unreal. He’s only a man of business but has no humanity for others. He needs other countries for his economy to work but he is doing the opposite.

Based on this limited interview with one Parisian, the movement seems to be sort of a fun episode or a joke that got unexpectedly public attention.

 

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2017/may/04/barack-obama-backs

http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-france-putin-xi-jinping-angela-mer kel-unfavorable-le-pen-macron-594643

https://www.thoughtco.com/how-napoleon-became-emperor-1221916

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/01/donald-trump-confir
ms-us-will-quit-paris-climate-deal

 

 







Sarah Angelina Kim
8th grade
Seoul Foreign School

Sarah Angelina Kim  student_reporter@dherald.com

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