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Monday, May 08, 2017 

It's sad, but Le Pen lost and Macron won, because of voter apathy

The French election results are in, and unfortunately, Marine Le Pen lost while Emmanuel Macron won. Probably nobody expected this, but apparently, while there were surely plenty of leftists who didn't bother to vote, neither did many conservatives, most likely because they didn't trust any elected officials to make the changes needed to make the country safe again. As Joseph Klein notes, however, that doesn't mean populism is going away there:
The two top finishers in the first round election for the French presidency faced each other again in the presidential runoff on May 7th. Emmanuel Macron, a pro-European Union former banker and member of the current Socialist French President Francois Hollande’s cabinet, handily beat the insurgent anti-globalist candidate, Marine Le Pen. Mr. Macron’s margin of victory was approximately 30 percent. According to initial estimates, he garnered between 65.5 percent and 66.1 percent of the votes cast. Ms. Le Pen captured between 33.9 percent and 34.5 percent of the vote. Globalists in Europe and the United States are breathing a sigh in relief. They are convinced that Ms. Le Pen’s landslide defeat has definitively rolled back the rising tide of populism and nationalism evidenced by the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory last year. They may be reading too much into these election results, however.

Mr. Macron did so well in part because of the candidate he was running against. Ms. Le Pen ran ahead of the rest of the field in the first round of the election two weeks ago, but never managed to broaden her appeal much beyond her core constituency.

Ms. Le Pen entered the race bearing the heavy baggage of her party’s anti-Semitic, xenophobic past. She tried mightily to move the National Front party she led beyond the racist, Holocaust-denying message her father had enunciated as the party’s founder. Her platform focused instead on a France-first, economic populist message that caught on with some voters disaffected with the political establishment. However, Ms. Le Pen could not entirely shake the negative image many French voters still held of the National Front party.

Ms. Le Pen also ran a flawed campaign. She squandered the opportunity afforded by the face-to-face debate with Mr. Macron to expand her base with a positive message, in counterpoint to Mr. Macron’s proposed globalist programs. Instead, she chose to go relentlessly negative. Polls taken after the debate showed her as the clear loser. “The debate was fatal for her,” an operator of a popular pro-Le Pen twitter account remarked.

However, although Mr. Macron soundly beat his populist challenger, the underlying populist anger is still there, in France and in Europe as a whole. The anger is fed by a combination of economic dislocation and anti-immigrant sentiment.
I'd also note that this result probably shouldn't come off too surprising, given that Geert Wilders, despite his party growing in the Dutch election, didn't manage to make first place. The leftards and socialists in Europe have been doing their damndest to keep anybody with more rational leanings out of power, and unfortunately, even the French conservatives like Francois Fillon may not have done enough to convince.

Whatever the election result, I should hope all who believe in freedom will be willing to join the army and/or act as war correspondents when World War Three erupts for real, because, as I'd noted earlier, if France and several other European countries fall, it'll be bad for the USA and Israel. Iran's already perfect proof of the next world war looming around the corner, and no matter what you think of Europeans by and large, that doesn't mean we should just sit by quietly while darkness is bound to happen. Point: even if Jews weren't the prime target during WW2, does that mean the Allies shouldn't have taken on Germany? Of course not. Remember, during WW1, the Armenians were a leading target of the Ottoman Empire in its waning days, one of the main reasons why going to war against Germany and Turkey at the time was justified too. There are sensible Europeans out there worth fighting for, and anybody who turns their backs and allows Europe to be turned into a potential breeding ground for a modern Caliphate - not to mention a nuclear arms development center like Iran's - will be failing their dedication to human values.

What can be done is to encourage concerned Europeans to do what Geert Wilders once did, and speak before Congress. That's but one way to make a difference, because if the USA can provide a positive influence, then clearly, that's an important place to confer with anybody and everybody who can help.

Update: one of Hot Air's writers tells why he thinks the French were in a lose-lose situation. And here's more info on how many abstained.

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