Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
It is quite easy to relegate the most miserable among us to the “no redeeming qualities” bucket. Chucky Schumer? Nancy Pelosi? Joe Biden? Hunter Biden? All of the Bidens? To be fair, not one of them has ever revealed a moment that did not point to their disgusting nature. And then, you read something about a world historical figure of considerable disrepute that overruns your defenses like Germans at the Maginot line and, before you know it, you begin to question how life led you to such a place – like a narrator for a bad mime company.
Charles de Gaulle is much maligned as the narcissistic leader of the French resistance during WWII. I will leave it to historians to fully express his shortcomings. But I present the following excerpt (author unclear) without interruption:
“General Charles De Gaulle is well known throughout modern history as the leader of the Free French Forces. What is not as well known is that his youngest daughter Anne (January 1, 1928 – February 6, 1948) had Down syndrome.
Although public perception of the time was that children born with Down syndrome were a result of their parent’s alcoholism, venereal disease or overall degeneracy, the De Gaulles rejected this notion, choosing instead to raise Anne like their other two children. Their personal life became very private and Anne was raised at home, not in an institution (as was common practice at the time). It has been said often that Anne was Charles’ favorite child. Described as a man who ranged from cocky to stoic by nature, he was a different person around Anne, reportedly describing her as “My joy”. He is said to have read stories and sang songs to her and showed an affection that he rarely showed others, even those in his own household. Anne was raised to feel no less or different than anyone else.
After the war, Charles and his wife Yvonne founded the Fondation Anne de Gaulle, a home for disabled girls, many of which had intellectual impairments. In 1948, Anne succumbed to pneumonia, a month after her 20th birthday and died in her father’s arms. Upon her death, he is said to have remarked “Maintenant, elle est comme les autres.” (“Now, she is like the others.”). He carried a portrait of Anne with him at all times; he claimed that her portrait saved his life by stopping a bullet in an assassination attempt in 1962. When Charles died, he was buried beside his beloved Anne.“
As the parent of a mentally handicapped young son, this brought tears to my eyes. All a parent like myself ever dreams of is that their angel might one day be comme les autres. And in a moment, all is forgiven. At least by me.Published in