Few trends are ever truly global and even within fairly compact global regions, many political differences remain. There is no one-size fits all solution, nor a one-size fits all style of analysis from perceived regional let alone global trends.
The current political trends in France are case and point. The United States embraced the anti-globalist right in the form of Donald Trump and Britain which voted for Brexit and will likely soon have a left-wing Prime Minister in the figure of Jeremy Corbyn, a man who has rejected the globalist neo-liberal tendencies that once dominated all major UK parties.
Philippines which in 2016 elected President Rodrigo Duterte, also embraced a figure with tough conservative anti-crime credentials combined with a pro-multi-polar/anti-imperialist foreign policy stance.
Closer to France, recent Dutch Parliamentary elections saw a victory for the centre-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy which came ahead of the populist Party of Freedom, mainly due to adopting many of the Freedom Party’s policies, at least rhetorically.
In France things are different. After Emmanual Macron won a Presidential campaign as a vague, opportunistic centrist whose only real policies were being pro-war, anti-Russia and deeply insulting to his closest rival Marine Le Pen.
Now his party has won a super-majority in the Assemblée nationale, the parliament of France, with Le Pen’s party coming in at a very distant sixth.
In this sense, France which has a viable anti-globalist right in Marine Le Pen as well as a once surging traditional left led by Jean-Luc Melenchon’s Unsubmissive France, has rejected both and opted for the kinds of policies which much of the west thinks are now totally discredited.
How did this happen?
1. Marine Le Pen’s Brand
Marine Le Pen’s Front national was founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen who for all of his political life, advocated for reactionary policies that confounded many in France who rejected the Vichy experience of the 1940s.
Jean-Marie Le Pen briefly surged in the 2002 Presidential elections, but this was mainly due to the fact that he was up against Jacques Chirac, an incumbent who was bound to win one way or another. Because of this, many voted for Le Pen the elder, not because they agreed with his policies but because they wanted to give the unshakeable establishment a bloody nose.
By contrast, the more modern anti-globalist conservative candidates of very recent years have cultivated a more modern approach. Whereas Jean-Marine Le Pen more or less wanted to ‘Make France Vichy Again’, the younger crop of anti-globalists simply want to retain most modern experiences of nationhood while rejecting globalist trade policies and post-modern open border policies, in addition to rolling back the once unstoppable trend of cultural-Marxist anti-traditional social policies.
Even successful left-wing candidates are winning in parts of the west because they are traditional socialists not cultural Marxists and even if they are, they have to hide the cultural Marxism very astutely behind traditional bread and butter socialism. Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn is a clear case study in this respect.
Marine Le Pen is a young woman with the ideas of young conservative movements throughout the west, but her party name is inexorably attached to the legacy of her own father, a man whose views remain too old fashioned for many voters in France.
Le Pen has done much to reinvent her party, but she may well need to reinvent her party name. Her own family name may well continue to be more of a detriment than anything else.
2. French MSM
Unlike its counterparts in the US, UK and elsewhere in Europe, French mainstream media continues to have a substantial influence on French public opinion.
This is largely due to the fact that English is not spoken well in France compared to many other European countries. The alt-media movement has largely been led in the west by English speaking countries. Because of this, even many successful international alt-media outlets end up presenting their content in English whether the outlet’s place of origin is Russia, Iran or Lebanon, let alone the copious alt-media content from the United States and to a lesser but still strong extent, Britain. Australia which might be far from both the US and UK geographically is also an alt-media hot-spot. It is the birthplace of Julian Assange after all.
This has left French audiences more beholden to the misinformation of their own MSM than those who voted for Trump, Geert Wilders, Brexit or Jeremy Corbyn, just to name four unrelated political movements, united only by the fact that English language alt-media covered them with great detail and from many perspectives.
In France, the tailor made establishment candidate was backed by the establishment and so he won both as President and as the leader of France’s biggest new parliamentary party.
3. Post-Presidential Election Apathy
With French parliamentary elections held just over a month after the final round of voting in the Presidential election, many voters may simply be tired of elections. They had to vote in two rounds of a Presidential election and now a few weeks later have to again vote for parliament.
This meant that the campaign for parliamentary elections was abrupt and couldn’t realistically differ much from the Presidential elections.
With the Macron Presidency still so young, the so-called honeymoon period that almost all newly elected leaders receive, is still very much in play. Macron just won an election a few weeks ago, many just thought that he might as well win another before the public get familiar with his actual record as president.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.