French Voters Reject Fascist Presidential Candidate, Third National Defeat For Marine Le Pen As Emmanuel Macron Scores Wide Margin Of Victory


As one of the walkers on the Madison isthmus reminded me this afternoon as I planted roses, and we talked of the French presidential election, there were still four in 10 voters who cast a ballot for a fascist candidate. As one who worries about democracy not only in our nation but in countries around the globe, she did not need to remind me. I told her it was the older voters in France who well recall their history and then correctly cast their ballot for Emmanuel Macron.

And saved their country from the ruinous racism, white nationalism, and xenophobia of Marine Le Pen.

There was no way to successfully soft-pedal or sell Le Pen’s blows against Muslims or her tirades against Algerians. One can not rift about inflation one minute and then next pour scalding rhetoric upon Muslim women and their headscarves and not have reasoned voters go what the hell is wrong with her?

There was no hairstyle or consultant-driven outfits that could wash away Le Pens’ overt and constant racism.

Or her admiration for Russian President Putin.

French voters did not forget that Le Pen repeated her support for Putin’s assault on Crimea and her opposition to the EU sanctions at that time in response to the annexation. It was a mere 38 days after Russia invaded Ukraine that Le Pen stated, that Putin “could become an ally of France again” if the war ends.

If the hate-mongering from Le Pen was not enough to deeply draw concern, the threats she posed to NATO policy and the unity of the European Union surely would have done so. Why the far-right finds it a natural fit to cozy with Putin is one reason they must be viewed with suspicion when on the ballot. As voters proved today in France.

The close ties that Macron has established between France and the rest of Western Europe and the United States are the hallmark of what constitutes a solid working relationship. Now consider the angry populism and white nationalistic bombast from Le Pen, and ask yourself what would have befallen France and Europe had she operated from the presidential office? Putin would have won a second war without even needing to have fired one missile westward.

Macron has five years to now focus on a leadership role in the EU, with the absence of Germany’s outsized role of Angela Merkel. He can now press forward with his “More Europe” perspective and agenda.

As the woman who talked with me in the sunshine said of today’s election, Le Pen may have plenty of supporters, but the collective wisdom of the majority of mainstream French voters simply would not allow for a fascist to become the next French president.

Thank you to the majority of French voters for your concern for democracy.

And so it goes.

2 thoughts on “French Voters Reject Fascist Presidential Candidate, Third National Defeat For Marine Le Pen As Emmanuel Macron Scores Wide Margin Of Victory

  1. helena froidevaux

    A great article, Grégory.

    Le Pen soft-pedaled her campaign as the lady who loves her cats but couldn’t hide her shaky grip on international matters nor economic subtilities. If she had been elected (no chance), the European Bank would have raised its interest rates on our debt, businesses would have fled and people would be sleeping in cardboard boxes in the streets in a matter of months. She also physically can’t take the grinding pace that Macron is known for – he, like Napoléon, sleeps few hours over 24. She is naturally lazy they say.

    The Constitution wouldn’t allow banning Muslim headscarves in outside spaces. She jumped on that as about 65% of the population is for women not wearing religious signs in the open space but put up with it and don’t ever give them any trouble. I hope it’s just a thing as tatoos or piercing and the younger set will give up the idea there is something wrong about hair being seen. I personally feel it’s a shame and very non-civic to go around in that headgear thus setting oneself apart from the highly secular place France has become. For the French, a religious statement is in highly bad taste. It’s a subject rarely evoked in polite conversation. I have friends from North Africa or whose ancestors came from there who are upset about this practice and say the Coran has never obliged women to get up in this fashion . This stuff cuts people off from mainstream society. I worry more about antisemitism and physical and verbal attacks on citizens of Jewish origin. A reality whose excuse is the Palestinian cause – something we don’t know that much about really in my opinion and certainly not to be imported here. Both LePen and Mélenchon have antisemites in their ranks although they would deny it of course. There are a lot of strange people who are thrown together in these extremes many not to be trusted in an elected office.

    My question remains how does a fairly educated population get taken in remains a mystère.

    1. How fairly educated people are taken in by the political rouges of our time is a question that nations around the globe need to think about more fully. It is troubling that democratic ideals get trashed so easily by the far-right. But we also must keep the faith as on the same day Le Pen was defeated, so to was Jansa in Slovenia. That populist Trump-like autocrat-to-be harangued against press freedoms and championed illiberal actions while in office. We must stay vigilant against these far-right types worldwide.

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