Should Pres. Trump Celebrate Bastille Day With the French?
The Trumps are in France at the invitation of the new French President to celebrate Bastille Day and commemorate the 100-year-anniversary of World War I.
The French Revolution is nothing to celebrate. It should be condemned with the strongest possible language. The storming of the Bastille was a catalyst for what became known as the Reign of Terror. “French society underwent an epic transformation as feudal, aristocratic and religious privileges evaporated under a sustained assault from left-wing political groups and the masses on the streets.” How bad was it?
Internally, popular sentiments radicalized the Revolution significantly, culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins and virtual dictatorship by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror from 1793 until 1794 during which between 16,000 and 40,000 people were killed.
Did you get that? Between 16,000 and 40,000 French citizens were killed for a better France. Consider the following:
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Ordered by the king [Louis XVI] to surrender, more than 600 Swiss guards were savagely murdered. The mobs ripped them to shreds and mutilated their corpses. “Women, lost to all sense of shame,” said one surviving witness, “were committing the most indecent mutilations on the dead bodies from which they tore pieces of flesh and carried them off in triumph.” Children played kickball with the guards’ heads. Every living thing in the Tuileries [royal palace in Paris] was butchered or thrown from the windows by the hooligans. Women were raped before being hacked to death.
The Jacobin club . . . demanded that the piles of rotting, defiled corpses surrounding the Tuileries be left to putrefy in the street for days afterward as a warning to the people of the power of the extreme left.
This bestial attack, it was later decreed, would be celebrated every year as “the festival of the unity and indivisibility of the republic.” It would be as if families across America delighted in the annual TV special “A Manson Family Christmas.”1
As revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat declared, “Let the blood of the traitors flow! That is the only way to save the country.” Sounds like some anti-Trumpers from the Democrat Party.
There have been three Paris Islamic terrorist attacks since January 2015. If I had been leading these Islamic terrorist attacks, I would have surrendered, demanded a trial, and used the French Revolution as my defense.
Bastille Day is a national holiday that led to the deaths of 300,000 people. It is often compared to America’s War for Independence. Festivities and official ceremonies are held all over France. It is also celebrated in Belgium, Hungary, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and in more than 50 cities across the United States.
If the French celebrate beheadings and other such atrocities, then why would it be wrong for Islamic terrorists to follow their example to get what they want? John Kerry described the French Revolution as democracy in action. Bloody revolutions must be a good thing if they are celebrated with such fervor and delight.
The murdering mobs that attacked the nearly empty Bastille (at the time of the siege there were only seven non-political prisoners confined there) believed their actions were for a better France, similar to what today’s political revolutionaries and Islamic terrorists have in mind. How is what the French revolutionaries did different from what the Islamic revolutionaries are doing and some Leftists are advocating? It was anti-Trumper Kathy Griffin who held up the head of a decapitated Donald Trump. Decapitations took place at a regular pace in revolutionary France. Madame Guillotine was very busy.
- Ann Coulter, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2011), 107. [↩]