On Sunday, 7 May 2017, the French people elected Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential elections. He defeated his opponent, National Front leader Marine Le Pen, with 66% of the vote, a powerful rebuke of populist nationalism.
Or so it would seem. While I had high hopes that Marine Le Pen would, in true Trumpian fashion, defy the odds and defeat Macron, the leader of the newly minted On the Move! party, I knew her victory would be a long-shot. France is drowning in a Lotus Land of generous government benefits and socialistic policies. Marine Le Pen was no Rand Paul on economic issues–she promised to slap tariff barriers on trade and to pursue several big government, interventionist policies–but her positions on cultural, even civilizational, questions made all other questions of secondary concern.
Paris alone has endured six terror attacks in three years–and still voted for Macron by an approximately 80-point spread. Even more frightening is the apparent willingness of the French government and people to import radical Islamism in the form of unassimilable “refugees” who cluster together into cloistered, impoverished banlieues–hotbeds for radicalization.
The French election wasn’t about economic nationalism or even the place of France in the European Union (although that is an important consideration). It was about France’s willingness to insist upon the value of its culture, and its willingness to fight to preserve itself as uniquely French.
Sadly, I’m not surprised the French chose a slow-but-hastening cultural suicide. Outside of Le Pen and her followers, they’ve lost their will to fight. That’s a terrifying sign for Western civilization, but there may be a silver lining: France’s weakness could be unique to France. Other European nations, like Hungary, could have some civilizational backbone. Alternatively, a few years under Macron could get so bad that French voters are ready for Le Pen in a few years.
The outcome of the French election is disheartening but predictable. Let us hope national conservatives in other European nations, facing a rising tide of radicalism and mass migration, can learn from France’s capitulation.
This post was submitted by Tyler James Cook.