And breathe. Emmanuel Macron crushed Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential elections by 66.1% to 33.9%. But that is no cause for celebration. Le Pen’s rebranded fascism was found beguiling enough for a third of voters, which is double what daddy got when he broke through to the run off in 2002. Amid the schmaltzy celebrations and feting of Macron as a centrist hero up there with Blair and Obama, serious questions need posing and answers found if this is to be the peak of the French far right’s advance.
Unfortunately, the shiny new president is clueless and uninterested in the dynamics driving Le Pen’s support. While a Macron win was and would always be preferable to a fascist victory, he will not solve France’s problems. He’s hell bent on exacerbating them. As we have seen with the collapsed of the Socialists and the abysmal performance of Francois Hollande, their humiliation in this election and likely wipe out in the parliamentary elections next month is a calamity of their own making. Continue reading