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American Righties are distraught over Macron’s win and Lefties are relieved. Both are wrong. In my view, it was a mistake to analogize or allegorize this French election into the Trump/Brexit story as everyone was doing. There is no such easy overlap. I think those two things are something uniquely Anglo-American; something taking shape in the Anglosphere that only has hints around the world. First, as Daniel Hannan recently wrote:
Let’s get one thing clear at the outset. Marine Le Pen is not “far Right”. She is not, in any meaningful sense, Right-wing at all. She wants wealth taxes, higher social spending, limited working hours, worker control of companies, tariffs. The garrulous agitator is Right-wing only in the BBC sense of “baddie” – a designation which the corporation applies to everyone from the revolutionary ayatollahs in Iran to the Stalinist nostalgics in Russia.
Marine Le Pen is a National Socialist. I’m not calling her a Nazi, it’s just the most accurate description of her program. From an American perspective, she is a decidedly left-wing candidate. It was her views on immigration and culture that necessitated her labeling as a “baddie” and thus right-wing. Second, Reuters says of the new French President:
Macron will now face huge challenges as he attempts to enact his domestic agenda of cutting state spending, easing labour laws, boosting education in deprived areas and extending new protections to the self-employed… Furthermore, his economic agenda, particularly plans to weaken labour regulations to fight stubbornly high unemployment, are likely to face fierce resistance from trade unions and his leftist opponents.
Is this what passes for Leftism now? Methinks not. Macron’s position on immigration and culture aren’t great, but it looks to me that the French voted with their wallets. They seem to be in the mood for some economic liberalization above all. A passing first glance at the results also indicates that the urban areas outvoted the suburban and the rural, and according to The Economist, Le Pen might have done a lot better if France had a US-style electoral college.
But, I also take the point that too much immigration and Islamization makes all these issues moot, and that was the reason to vote for Le Pen. Basically Ann Coulter’s argument for Trump. I’m sympathetic to that.
Had we all bothered to really look at what every candidate was about, US conservatives would’ve been rooting for Fillon. Hélas, he was too damn ennuyeux. François who? As fun as it sounds I can’t join my fellow Righties today in the OMG FRNACE IZ OVEERRR!!1!! chorus. I’m doing my best Gallic Shrug thinking “we’ll see.”Published in