My Le Pen moment occurred in the Fall of ’84 when I was spending my semester abroad for my major (IR, Pomona College) in the small but beautiful town of Aix-en-Provence, France. I lived with a family just outside of Aix, so I would bike to class most days. I got into the habit of riding around town, playing the tourist on the weekends. One weekend my friend and I tried to ride around Mont Sainte Victoire (yes, Cezanne’s) but only got as far as Saint Antonin. That’s where the road ended. No Tour de Victoire for us, sadly. Once I visited the nearby town of Tholonet. It has a nice Chateau (sans moat, as most French chateaux are).
As I was making my way through town on my way back “home” on another Sunday, I happened upon a group of about 50 men carrying signs and clamoring. It was a demonstration for Jean Marie Le Pen, “enfant terrible’ and leader of his political party, Le Front National (FN). Current French presidential candidate, Marine, is his daughter ( not to be confused with his granddaughter, and her niece, Marion, deputée in the Assemblée Nationale for the Département de Vaucluse-which, coincidently, is the next département north of Aix’s, Bouches-du-Rhone). Aix is famous for the road in the center of town called “le Cours Mirabeau”, named after one of the early leaders of the French Revolution, Honoré de Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, which runs north-south. Cours Sextius, named after the Roman consul, Sextius Calvinus, who founded Aix in 123 B.C., runs east-west on the south of town. I had of course heard of Le Pen. The , as we now call it, Fake News Media, always described him as a “racist’, “extreme” and “right-wing” politician who was against more (mostly) muslim immigration into France. When I returned to class the next day, I asked one of my instructors about Le Pen. “He’s a bad man.” was all he said.
Come 2017…the speculation is that Marine Le Pen might just well become not just France’s next Presidente, but also it’s first female one (brisante le “plafond de verre”!). The fact that not one pro-woman-marching, pro-wage equity, pro-hijab wearing “feminist” will even mention this, let alone, support this remarkable “glass ceiling breaking” event is no surprise to us on the Right. In Europe, as here in the US, the Media attracts those left-of-center, thus making it’s Press just as biased as our own ( a couple of pundits refer to it as the “5th estate”, conflating “Fouth Estate” and “Fifth Column”- an apt appellation). The Front National has always been described as an “extreme, right-wing”, and “racist”, whereas, Le Parti Socialiste (PS) and Le Parti Comuniste (PC), along with the new party, En Marche (EM), nor any of their candidates, are EVER referred to as “extrémistes” nor “extrême gauchistes”-far left-wing extremists. ( The same occurred in our recent election cycle where Socialist-turned-Democrat,Bernie Sanders, was never described as “extreme”, “extremist”, nor even “leftist”. The closest thing to a pejorative was the innocuous, “left-leaning’, and sometimes, “progressive”.
The French parliamentary system allows for any party gaining 5% of the electorate a seat in the lower house, L’Assamblée Nationale. The presidential electoral system usually has two rounds. If a candidate fails to get a majority (as is usually the case), a second round is held between the first two leading candidates. These will be held on April 23rd and May 7nd, respectfully. The leading candidates, François Fillon of Les Republicains (LR), Emmanuel Macron of En Marche (EM), and, Marine Le Pen are running neck–to-neck according to the polls. Benõit Hamon of Le Parti Socialiste (PS) is a distant forth. However, polling for the 2nd round has Le Pen defeating her nearest challenger, Macron. This, surprising to many, result due to the current president, François Hollande’s (PS) very unpopular tenure at L’Elysée (France’s “White House” on the Champs Elysée in Paris). The economic stagnation that France’s economy has experienced- much like Barrack Obama’s non-recovery recovery- is mostly why his successor, Hamon. Is unlikely to get past round one. Macron is Hollande’s ex-PS Minister of the Economy, Industry, and Digital Affairs (!). He resigned in April 2016 and founded En Marche (Forward- a slogan used by all the flavors of socialism: Bolsheviks, Nazis, and Fascists. He didn’t fall far from the tree). Fillon won a stunning victory in Les Republicain’s primary over former president Nicolas Sarkosy, yet he’s not as strong a candidate as Sarkosy. He has also suffered due to a scandal involving his wife, Penelope, who is said to have been paid with government money for a sinecure in Fillon’s office. Le Pen is leading in the 2nd round polls which project Macron to be her opponent, but, as we know, polls can be wrong.
The same revolutionary change in the media- the advent of the inner-web and the “new media” It has spawned- is partly responsible for Le Pen’s incredible rise to challenger status. In 2012, Le Pen ran for president but only got 17% in the 1st round, however, the FN did win 2 seats in the Assemblée, one of which went to her niece, Marion. In 2015 the FN won 24% of the vote for the French contingency in the EU parliament. Again, Le Pen is labeled a racist, extremist, anti-immigrant, and an islamophobe- just as Trump was. The astonishing victories of the ‘populists” in the “Brexit” vote, the “Say No” Columbian vote, and of course the Trump victory- which were all predicted to be losing causes by the media- have greatly fueled speculation that France is ready to elect it’s own firebrand “populiste”. The loss of Geert Wilders in Netherland’s recent election on March 15th, might just be the exception to the “populism on the roll” rule. Add to this the elephant in the room-the Islamic invasion of Europe and the increasing acts of terror and violence perpetrated by Muslims against non-Muslims in Europe.The horrendous CarJihad attack along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and the more brutal massacre in Bataclan and other parts of Paris may be the factor that gets Le Pen into the Elyssée palace. Where the FN cause was once primarily anti-immigrant, or anti-Muslim immigration, it is now equally anti-Islamic invasion and terror and anti-EU Soviet type of governmental coercion and control. Still, one cannot underestimate how much the factor of the Islamic troubles in France resonates in the psyche of the average Frenchman and woman. Muslims make up about 10% of the French population, but within certain metropolitan areas they make up the majority and have displaced great swatches of the local population. In fact, many have noted the spectacular lack of women in Muslim areas participating in everyday activities, like shopping, going to work, and visiting neighbors and going about the neighborhood. It’s a man’s world. Women are largely pregnant, hijabed,… and in the kitchen. They have largely – apart from learning to speak French- refused to assimilate to France’s secular civil society. The daily verbal harassment and both physical and sexual assaults against non-Muslim women, not to mention the attacks on men and the increasing incidence of murder in many parts of the country (remember the beheading of the parish priest in of all places, Rouen- where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by the British in 1431) plus the recent continuing turmoil and rioting in Paris, especially in Saint Denis ( it’s cathedral is the resting place of the French Kings and Queens, including the Frankish king, Charles Martel, who in 732 defeated the Muslim invaders from Spain at the Battle of Poitiers. He must certainly be spinning in his grave). Half of the French Armée de Terre is said to be deployed in many major cities- mostly in Paris, where they recently encased the iconic Tour Eiffel in plexiglass because of the threat of terrorism. It is hard to imagine that the birthplace of the Enlightenment and Rousseauian liberalism is now forced to watch as a hoard of 7th century barbarians have their way with Marianne ( our equivalent of Lady Liberty, or on the male side, Uncle Sam). in order to not offend the sensibilities of Muslims, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed to the average citizen. That it’s a subjugation being done with the willing complicity of the leftist elite and political elite of both sides.
Will Le Pen win? It’s very possible that she may. Despite the bump on the roll that populism had been on, Geert Wilder’s party did well enough to become the second largest party in the Netherland’s parliament. In Ecuador, on February 18th, the leftist candidate, Lenin Moreno (!) just failed to win the presidency by .6%. There the rules state that if the leading candidate gets 40% but the next leading one is more than 10% behind, the former is the winner. Moreno got 39.4% to the rightist candidate Guillermo Lasso’s 28.1%. The 2nd round voting takes place on April 2nd. What is certain is that if Le Pen fails to “Make France Great Again”, the last chance for France to help Europe stem the tide of the Hijrah, the immigratory (or demographic) Jihad will have failed and by the time the next French elections come about ( every 7 years), Europe will be on it’s way to becoming part of the Caliphate, with the possibility of spending another 700 years under Muslim rule as it has in the past. If this should happen, the US would no longer have a NATO partnership and may very well have to align itself with (gasp) Russia to try to contain the House of Islam before it conquers the entire world. Bonne Chance, Marine…and to us all.