France and the French
I've been to France twice, and I love it. I love the French language and the musical way it is spoken. It's almost like a song. The parts of the country I've seen are beautiful and Paris is like a dream. I went there from Barcelona, which is charming and delightful, but Paris is the big leagues, the Yankees compared with your minor league team.
As for the French, I've had nothing but superficial contacts with them, but they have all been courteous. My advantage, or handicap depending on the way you see it, is my ability to get lost or inability not to get lost. This makes for a lot of interactions with the natives. I always try to speak French to those I meet, and everyone has been kind and nice. After I leave, they may be splitting their sides, but they don't laugh in my face. Certainly nobody persecuted me for being American.
I like to go into a shop and be acknowledged with "bonjour, madame." A woman of a certain age does not like to be called, miss, honey, or dear. Madame is respectful and dignified.
As for their politicians, politics, or political views--not their strong point. Not now, not ever. But I can cut a little slack for the people who built Notre Dame.