29 March 2017

Translation of B. Hamon's 'solemn appeal to citizens', made today.  This is clearly a response to Manuel Valls, Hamon's Socialist primary opponent, endorsing Macron, although Valls is not mentioned specifically here.  Warning: Some of Hamon's sentences are epic, and a little hard to follow in English.

Dear fellow citizens:  this morning, what is to my eyes the most serious matter to our country, but also to politics in the noble sense of the word -- that democracy has suffered yet another major blow.  It has already been humiliated, yes, humiliated, and needs nothing of the undignified behavior and practices we've seen since the beginning of the presidential campaign. 

To my eyes -- and this is the most important thing, at a moment when the authoritarian extreme right and palling around with dictatorships have become trivialized* -- yes, democracy is the apple of our eye, which must be respected at all times, great and small, of political life.  Words given and words signed before the people should be scrupulously adhered to.  This is what I've always done, and it's because of that that I've never accepted -- indeed, I've fought against -- 49-3.**

So I turn towards the citizens of the left, towards all the strengths of civil society, to make a solemn appeal.  I ask you to get involved.^  I ask you to take action against whatever lends itself to this morbid game, and I ask you at the same time to turn the page on this old politics, to turn your backs to these politicians, who no longer believe in anything, who go where the wind blows, scorning all convictions.

There is thus no longer, to my eyes, any excuse, any pretext -- the instigators, the spokespersons, the theoreticians of the decisions that have done so much harm to the left, on the forfeiture of nationality or the labor law, have found, or are beginning to find, refuge in Emmanuel Macron's camp.  There's no longer any excuse, any pretext:  the Left, to win, must come together, and I appeal for it to do so now.

I've already gathered around me a large family of the Left, and of ecological parties.  I appeal henceforth to all voters:  those who are engaged in struggles against injustice; I appeal to social-democrats intimately attached to social progress and democracy; but also, the Communist Party, communists, and Pierre [not sure of last name]; the insoumis and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, to unite their forces with mine.  Everyone knows that with my platform, turned towards the Sixth Republic, towards the ecological transition, towards labor, towards increasing purchasing power, towards the re-foundation of Europe;  everyone knows that with my transformative and serious platform, I have a central position in the Left and that I am the only one able to join together different electorates, from radicals to the most moderate.  I am today the only one that can deliver victory, that can create the conditions for a parliamentary majority of the Left, than can govern and transform. 

The question is thus not one of voting as fleeing, of voting as protest, of voting to eliminate***.  The question is absolutely one of victory at our fingertips, won by a victory coalition of the entire Left.  Conscious of my responsibilities, I'm making this solemn, forceful, and fraternal address so that we might not leave [5] the forces of demolition, the forces of destruction, the forces of money to preside over the destiny of our country.  There's too much to lose for French women and men.  Let's create hope for ourselves, and let's give France the democratic politics of social justice that it needs.  Long live the Republic, and long live France.


**Article of the French Constitution
^Je vous demande de réagir
***vote refuge, vote de témoignage, vote d'élimination
5.  Pour que nous ne laissions pas -- There's power in the subjunctive, but you'd never know it from modern English.

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