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The presidential elections have come and gone in France. Legislative elections will come soon. I’ve made some dark remarks on events, but sparsely — I think it’s too early to talk about it in detail. Few now speaking seem to take the situation in France seriously enough. To me, it seems obvious that suffering and humiliations will multiply in France. I have seen much excellent coverage of the elections; I recommend John O’Sullivan in National Review. For people less concerned with the elections and more concerned with what’s happening in France, I recommend an essay by Chris Caldwell on French critics of the French governing classes. The best author to read is the wise Pierre Manent in a journal I recommend, American Affairs.
But our own @Claire Berlinski, whom I admire so much, said “Macron vanquished Le Pen.” The depth of futility in that statement — the desperate fantasy of that sentiment — the unbending silence it invokes — was too much for me. I decided to write against everything that stands for, what Manent calls “the fanaticism of the center.” I will warn of the coming disaster like the prophets did in previous ages.
The facts of the election
Let me begin in the American way, by stating the facts of the matter. Emmanuel Macron won some 20.7 million votes and defeated Marine Le Pen, who won 10.6 million. It was a 66-34 election. The LePen name, as well as the Front National party, are poisoned in France. To round out the voting, I’ll add that 4 million votes were blank or null. Add up the tallies, and that’s about 35.5 million votes total, or a turnout of 74.5%, in a country with a population of about 65 million.