The French are always very emotional about presidential elections
The presence of Marine Le Pen facing Emmanuel Macron opened a Pandora’s box.
The first round of the campaign was mainly focused on « les affaires », the second round by contrast is focused on preventing the ‘new Hitler’ and its Panzer divisions taking over France. Social media is flooded with posts and testimonies of WWII survivors, families of deported civilians, warnings to young generations of the danger of the Nazism.
Refusing to vote for Macron or advocating abstention automatically makes you a Waffen SS member in the eyes of French mainstream media.
It matters not that all the polls shows that Macron will have a comfortable victory, the establishment wants a total crushing victory for their candidate. The mainstream media are digging every old story concerning the shady past of members and former members of the Front National, mainly associated to Jean-Marie Le Pen. Mostly they are true, and show the absolute necessity of Marine Le Pen to clean the past and build a new party.
Public manipulation is part of the political game, but the press and the media were until recently had at least an element of balance, have now forsaken such things. Even social media, the last rampart, fell for the trap, amplifying the wave of hysteric. The Facebook generation, not very well known for its political culture, found a voice. In Macron they found a pseudo-working class hero, the last shield against a phoney ‘Nazi’ boogie (wo)man.
Macron jumped in the game with enthusiasm, visited the martyr city of Oradour sur Glanes, put flowers on the deportation wall, and more flowers on the grave of a young Moroccan killed by skinheads 20 years ago.
This is hypocrisy of the French establishment at its best. The Ukrainian skinheads and neo-nazis are acceptable to people like Macron, yet others are not. It’s pure opportunism.
Macron will win the elections. This will not be a jump in the unknown, but a jump on the highway that Hollande built over the last 5 years and which is heading right into a wall.
For le Front National, after the pitiful debate of the 3rd of May, it will be time to take a leap of faith into modernity, get rid of its shady past and those associated with it and rebuild the wider, wiser patriotic movement that France needs. Where Marine Le Pen clearly won the argument during the debate was her foreign policy and the security of the French people in front of the menace of radical Islamism. It is a good place to start.