What the Fall of DSK Means to Me

I was amazed when I found out on the night I came back to Ketchikan that French political figure Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York for attempted rape and other charges. For one thing, I had only really learned about the man a few months before, in my French class, when he had come up in the context of being one of the frontrunners for being the presidential candidate of the Parti socialiste. At the time, I brought him up in a class discussion as being one of many examples - from all political sides - of scandal and corruption-wracked politics in France. All the same, I thought the man might very likely end up being the next President of France - but not now.

To me, the fall of DSK means two things: 1. Just like in many countries, French politics is a bit of a cesspool, and 2. the primary election for the Parti socialiste (PS), which will take place next fall while I'm in France, is going to be really interesting. I don't feel like talking much about point one, but regarding point two, I think that's it's critical for an inspirational leader to step up for the PS soon. Those currently in the race to run against incumbent president Sarkozy are simply unappealing. In fact, it's just like how the upcoming US election looks right now - the incumbent really doesn't seem to be facing a serious challenger yet. The most solid opposition candidate for the French candidacy at this point is Marine Le Pen, femme fatale of the anti-immigrant far-right Front National. (Here she is talking about DSK's demise, essentially saying that his arrest wasn't much of a surprise to her and that he's definitely out of contention for the presidency.)

I think that whomever the PS chooses stands a good chance of defeating Sarkozy, and I'd like to see that happen. However, such a result is hardly inevitable, and France needs to see an inspiring, uncorrupt leader arise - and one who doesn't rape people, either.