It was an election that pitted a challenge versus a tired status quo, opportunism versus seizing rising public moods in both France, Europe and the wider west, it was about patriotism versus globalism.
In each of these categories the former won. The embodiment of this victory is Emmanuel Macron, but that’s all he is: an embodiment.
To paraphrase T. S. Eliot, Macron is a hollow man, a stuffed man….a headpiece filled with straw.
Eliot’s poem ends with a ominous prophecy,
“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper”.
And so ends any attempt by France to re-cast itself from its uncomfortable position as a post-colonial power on which the sun set some time ago, into a regional leader of a new movement for pragmatism and peace.
Countries now matter how large, can fall from power.
The west, including France laughed at Russia in the 1990s. Many thought Russia was done for. The great Empire of the Tsars and the mighty Soviet Union was reduced into a cheap Dollar store auction where national dignity was sold to the highest bidding scoundrel.
Russia’s refusal to be destroyed defied these odds and many historical trends. Due to Russia’s immensity and her fighting spirit, she was broken but not dead. Russia rose like a phoenix in the 2000s and is still rising.
Only Ataturk’s Turkish Republic comes close to mirroring the resurrection of a world power that had been broken and even that was not as epic a task as restoring Russian power.
France was a different story in any case. The distance of time between her years of power and the present day were far longer than the gap between the illegal break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the first election of Vladimir Putin in the year 2000.
But Marine Le Pen could have restored some dignity and purpose to the French Fifth Republic.
Alas, it is not to be. France has been sold down the river to oblivion upon which it has been floating for a long time.
A woman who could have changed this has lost out to a man who is barely worthy of the name.