Friday, February 16, 2024

Offsite Post: ‘Will Jeff Landry Repeat the Mistake of Charles de Gaulle?’


AG Jeff Landry made his final appeal to Louisiana’s voters on Oct. 12th in the campaign for governor (which he subsequently won on Oct. 14th).  In short, it could be summed up as ‘Louisiana ought to be great.’  In his own words:


I am ready to lead us forward towards a brighter and more prosperous future; but as I said from day one: I am not running for Governor — we are. So this Saturday, I ask you to participate, not for me but for yourself, your family, and your future with this land. Vote for us. Vote for Louisiana, and make our greatest known. 

We fully supported Mr. Landry for governor, believing that he has the right mix of experience and temperament, the right view of State sovereignty vis-à-vis the federal government, etc., to bring some beneficial changes to Louisiana.  However, his words in this last appeal of his leave us concerned, for we have seen nearly this same kind of campaign unfold amongst our cousins in France under Charles de Gaulle.

Now, General de Gaulle was an extraordinarily gifted leader.  He nearly single-handedly kept the nation of France alive at times during WWII.  After the end of the war, France lay prostrate, exhausted and dispirited.  And again de Gaulle raised her up.  He entered politics with the aim of making France a renowned country once again, politically stable, economically prosperous, and a prominent player in world politics.  And he achieved a measure of success in those things – influential in Africa, rejecting complete subordination to NATO, protecting French interests in a European commonwealth – as well as giving France a new constitution that stabilized her political life and a reinvigorated economy.

But once de Gaulle retired from politics, most of his achievements unraveled quite rapidly.  Socialism/Leftism became the dominant ideology in the succeeding decades, remaining so today, with all its caustic attendants – open borders, hatred of the native culture, an oppressively large government, etc.

When political leaders fail to raise the eyes of their peoples above the horizon of the earth, they doom them to precisely the kind of materialistic nihilism that France has fallen into.  Politics is not an end in itself.  Politics, like everything else, is a waysign, pointing us to the ultimate reality, to God.  When we turn our eyes from Him, exchanging the infinite, uncreated God for some limited, created thing as the ultimate good, we bring trouble upon ourselves.

Gen. de Gaulle had a wonderful opportunity, given his many talents, to rouse his people to true greatness, that is, to Christian holiness.  But he failed to do so, and France has suffered much because of his failure.  AG Landry, if he is not careful, is poised to repeat the mistake of de Gaulle.  His final appeal is bereft of any mention of God, Christ, Church, etc.; it is concerned only with a worldly kind of greatness.  But worldly greatness satisfies people for only a short time; then the spiritual hunger for something deeper awakens, and if it does not find Christ, people will try to satisfy it in all kinds of ways, many of them harmful – cults, drugs, crime, alcohol, suicide, overeating, endless social media use, etc.

Louisiana is already experiencing many of these.  Less crime, more economic opportunity, and better education will help to a degree, but not for long.  Louisianans desperately need to be reacquainted with the exhilarating quest for holiness, and, once again, it is a French kinsman who provides a helpful illustration for us, St. Martin of Tours (+397 A.D.), the Patron Saint of France.  Even a brief look at his life will show us the kinds of meaningful encounters that await those who seek after God sincerely and using the right means (prayer, fasting, the Divine Liturgy, etc.):

 . . .

The rest is at


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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