October 29, 2016
How would Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump fare if given the price test? I doubt that either has done much in the way of shopping recently. If Mrs. Clinton were able to answer, it would be because of her formidable thoroughness of preparation rather than by actual personal acquaintance with prices. Mr. Trump would say that he was so successful a businessman that he never went shopping for himself, that shopping is for failures, and that if you vote for him, you soon won”t have to go shopping either.
Be that as it may, M. CopÃ© has not been altogether fortunate on his pronouncements on pain au chocolat. It is a subject he would do well in future to avoid. Back in 2012, he alleged that there was a case of a youth who had his pain au chocolat snatched from his hand by Muslims, who told him that “you don”t eat during Ramadan.”
Naturally an outcry followed, complete with accusations of racism, an outcry that was most notable for the indifference shown by those who took part in it as to whether such an incident had occurred or not, and whether, supposing that it had occurred, it was isolated or part of a general pattern. Had M. CopÃ© made it up, imagined it? No one was in the least interested.
In reply to his critics, M. CopÃ© referred to “the bien pensant left which gives lessons without ever looking at what is happening on the ground,” a reproach no doubt well merited, except that it seems to extend across the whole spectrum of the political class. Certainly I do not remember a time when, across the whole of the Western world, there has been so great a feeling that politicians speak for no one but themselves, a feeling that is not necessarily well-founded in fact, and that may be based upon an illusion about a better past, but which itself has become an important political fact.
The moral of M. CopÃ©’s story is that he who lives by pain au chocolat dies by pain au chocolat.