The divide is not between the left and right anymore but between patriots and globalists – Marine Le Pen
The news here at home has been so engaging that one (or at least this one) is tempted to ignore events in the rest of the world. However, with the first round of the French presidential elections approaching, with hopes raised by Trump’s victory in the US and Brexit’s in the UK, with Marine Le Pen and the FN running stronger than ever, our attention inevitably turns to France.
It seems clear at this point that Marine will win the first round and will probably confront – and lose to – centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron in the second. Still, hope springs eternal and there are frequent references to Trump’s improbable victory in discussions of the elections. Thus, for example:
The counties that voted for Trump have the same sociological profiles as districts voting for Marine Le Pen — deindustrialized, rather lost, very socially vulnerable…. Paris and Lyon vote for the left, because they’re wealthy. Guys from Hayange vote for the far right, because they feel forgotten. The only one who’s taking up their cause is Marine Le Pen. – Stéphane Wahnich quoted in How Leftists Learned to Love Le Pen – Foreign Policy.
And if anything will allow Marine to repeat the Trump miracle, it will be outbreaks like the rioting which began early this month in the almost entirely immigrant banlieues (and which brought back memories of the massive disorders of 2005), although apparently some of the usual ultra-left types apparently got into the act as well. Combined with the memory of 2015 and 2016’s numerous Islamist terrorist attacks, such disorders will doubtlessly swell the ranks of FN supporters, just as the cycle of violence and disorder seen in this country in the years since Fergusson undoubtedly pushed some (probably significant) number of whites into the Trump camp.
(And, yes, it would be a bit cynical to say “worse is better,” but at least such events have the virtue of opening the eyes of some to things as they really are.)
Note: In looking around the web for more on the rioting I came across an excellent blog – GalliaWatch – devoted to covering events in France. The author – Tiberge – seems to be a conservative Catholic who is generally (but not blindly) sympathetic to the FN. I suspect that I will be relying on her a lot over the coming months for her invaluable coverage of French developments.