The French Presidential Run-Off: What the Media Have Overlooked

Marine Le Pen, the French presidential candidate for the National Front (FN) party, speaks boldly of economic protectionism, stronger borders, leaving the Eurozone and returning to a national currency. Characterized by popular media outlets as the “non-winnable” candidate, or worse, a fascist, Le Pen continues forward towards the run-off on May 7 between herself and pro-EU centrist, Emmanuel Macron.

Yet her vision for a better France began much earlier. In December 2015, following the National Front party’s failure to win any of the 13 French regions, Marine Le Pen, as leader of the party, used the opportunity to paint a new vision for France. She stated:

Now the gap is not between the Left and the Right, but between globalists and patriots. The globalists are acting for the dilution of France and its people in a huge worldwide magma. The patriots hope that the nation constitutes the most protective space for the French. That means for everyone among you.

As Le Pen and Macron enter the run-off, one puzzling media play has occurred, namely the supposed non-viability of Le Pen’s campaign. The media refuses to recognize the fact that out of four candidates, Le Pen finished so closely with Macron that it required a run-off (a roughly 3% difference to be exact). If she had been “trailing behind” as the media has reported, she wouldn’t even be in the race at this point.

Why do media elites fail to recognize her as a viable candidate? Perhaps because they don’t want her to be a viable candidate. If Ms. Le Pen actually does what she says she will do, it is a win for the people of France, but not for the elitist globalist ecosystem spanning the EU. Power to the people means taking the power away from those who benefit from the globalist ecosystem.

As Greg Ip wrote in The Wall Street Journal earlier this year:

The new nationalist surge has startled establishment parties in part because they don’t see globalism as an ideology. But globalism is an ideology and its struggle with nationalism will shape the coming era much as the struggle between conservatives and liberals has shaped the last.

What many globalists fail to see is the fact that 1) globalism is an ideology and 2) this ideology has and will continue to fail. Why? Because globalism, the notion that countries should be dissolved into centralized global governing units, runs counter to human nature.

As cliché as it sounds, humans are made for community…local community. Humans are made for self-preservation, self-rule and self-reliance. Participation in these activities gives us a sense of dignity, value and worth. It gives us a feeling of ownership and promotes self-expression, art and beauty. It is, essentially speaking, liberty.

Even the French Revolution, though admittedly flawed in numerous respects, was based on three ideals: liberty, equality and fraternity. These ideals spoke to a France that ran its own show…not managed a show for another.

Yet beyond debating the mere abstractions of globalism and nationalism, the French voters have also dealt with the harrowing realities of terrorism, violence and the senseless murders of their fellow citizens by Islamic extremists. The most notable are listed below:

  • Paris: November 13, 2015 — 130 victims murdered 368 injured by shooting and grenade attacks.
  • Nice: July 14, 2016 — 86 victims murdered, 434 injured by vehicle ramming.
  • Normandy: July 26, 2016 — 86-year-old priest stabbed to death by two terrorists.

And most recently, on April 20, an Islamist fired at police officers on the Champs-Elysees.

For a country slightly smaller than the state of Texas, this has become an epidemic of grief, fear and anxiety for the people of France.

Interestingly enough, German chancellor Angela Merkel and outgoing French president Francois Hollande, both of whom have had serious Islamic terrorist attacks occur under their leadership, have endorsed Macron. For the French citizens who are more interested in keeping their country safe than in failed social experiments of utopian globalism, these endorsements may act, simultaneously, as a nail in Macron’s coffin and a feather in Le Pen’s cap.

Ironically, the most glaring oversight by the media has been the very thing that defined the United States’ 2016 presidential election: gender. No one seems to mention that Marine Le Pen is, in fact, a woman. No one seems to be lauding her for breaking any glass ceilings or being a hero to young girls or representing the disenfranchised women of the world.

Yet, Le Pen is leveraging the alleged impossibility of her candidacy as velocity for her campaign. She said recently, “Brexit was impossible. Donald Trump’s election was impossible, yet both have now become reality. My election to the presidency has been dubbed impossible for months. Now it is up to the people to make it possible.”

As with the referendum on Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, the citizens of France now hold within their voting power the opportunity for more of the same economic and political insecurity with Macron, or perhaps a better, safer and more prosperous future with Le Pen.

Yet within their own elitist echo chamber, the media cannot fathom that the people — regular people; voting people — are a force with which to be reckoned. That, however, is perhaps why they continue to be wrong. Hopefully the people of France will show the media how wrong they are again.

Originally published on Patriot Post, May 4, 2017

photo credit: rawpixel.com/bigstock

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