A Atlantic Monthly de Maio está comemorando o bicentenário do nascimento de Alexis de Tocqueville com uma reportagem de outro francês e suas impressões sobre os Estados Unidos: In the Footsteps of Tocqueville, por Bernard-Henri Lévy (tradução de Charlotte Mandell).
Lévy fala sobre sobre a surpresa de um europeu ao ver o abandono de cidades como Buffalo e Detroit (“They Shoot Cities, Don’t They?”), o sistema carcerário, comportamento nas estradas, religião, patriostismo, Bush (“The Revenge of the Little Man”), ideologias e muito mais.
He can’t manage to say “stem cells” without making a mistake. Stumbles over numbers and acronyms. He has in his expression, in his eyes that are too close together, that faint look of panic that dyslexic children have when they think they’re going to make a mistake and will be scolded for it, but they can’t stop once they’ve started. Takes on a fake tough-guy look when he broaches the subject of Iraq. When he utters the word “America” or “army,” he stops short—or, rather, stiffens, as if at the sound of an invisible bugle. (…)
(…) There are men—Bill Clinton, for example—you feel were born to be president. Others—John Kennedy—who were formed, trained, for the office. He is the opposite: born to lose; raised above all not to win. And for this change of direction, this late-blooming grace that hasn’t even had time to imprint itself on his face, no one has any real explanation—except him, when he talks about “grace,” actually. And being born again.
Para não assinantes, a Atlantic disponibiliza uma discussão entre Lévy e David Brooks: America in Foreign Eyes.