I would like to take a moment to congratulate France on their election results. After a run-off between the decisevely fascist Marine Le Pen and the pro-EU, pro-immigration independent Emmanuel Macron, Macron is the new President of France after a crushing victory.
Many of us were worried for the future of France given Le Pen’s frightening popularity. The isolationist, ultra-right wing populism streak infecting the western world was ominous for France. However, very fortunately, France did not follow in Britain and the US’s footsteps.
Most of the credit, of course, goes to the French people. However, I think that they were also fortunate when it came to their timing. Had their elections not happened after Brexit and the US’s Presidential campaign, there might have been even more apathy directed towards this run-off, and Le Pen might have had a better shot at winning. Another contributing factor, I think, was the presence of another establishment outsider, another option to vote against the status quo who was not a foaming-at-the-mouth racist.
I think that, more than a streak of racism and bigotry, we are in the midst of a streak of deep frustration with the current ruling parties, the establishment, and the embedded circle-jerk corruption. This anger and resentment is what propelled Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump. For this reason, I think that a US Presidential election between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders would have ended very differently indeed. Sadly, we will never know what would have happened in that case.
Either way, I am glad that France went in a different direction. While Emmanuel Macron is young, inexperienced and had little track record for one to judge him against, his inclusive rhetoric at least makes me confident that he was a better choice compared to Le Pen. I wish him the best of luck, and let’s hope that France will bring forth the positive change that is so desperately needed right now.