24 April 2017
Looks like politics is not something that requires experience after all. Or at least one does not necessarily have to hold elected office for winning votes and getting elected. Look at Trump. And next up: Emmanuel Macron, the Presidential candidate of the current French election. Not a bad proposition. Both are not first choice of established parties, with Macron having established his party, En Marche! (On the Move!), only recently. And of course, Trump was never the choice of the Republicans, this despite his selection of candidate from the party.
But the similarities sort of stop there. Because it is Macron’s opponent of Front National Party, Marine Le Pen, who sounds like Trump. And she has been accused of connections with Russia as well, with her getting approval from Putin (this may not have happened with Trump). Plus, both have sort of isolationist policies in their agenda. For Trump, it was “America First” while for Le Pen, it is “France first”. Both say no to regional and other forms of cooperation; for Trump it was to do against NATO and NAFTA as well as the multilateral trade agreements, while for Ms. Le Pen it is against EU.
The list of similarity is more. Both vehemently oppose immigration. And the way they both talk in their extremist way, with their rhetoric of deportation and of increasing police monitoring, of nationality and nationalism – Le Pen’s party, formed by her father in 1972 is considered as xenophobic party – it is no wonder that the scenario of Le Pen getting elected has been likened to Brexit III (with Trump being Brexit II) – the scenario where populist movement win over the more sombre sounding and more logical argument, and where despite their chances being slim (or non-existent), they emerge victorious. With similar agenda and outlook towards events, it is no wonder that the mainstream media treat Le Pen as with Trump – and this is not in positive light.
And today, when Macron and Le Pen have got votes to carry them forward to a showdown, established parties have lost. This is not necessarily gloomy because as with the US election, other choices were not good enough; one opponent thought to have chance of winning, François Fillon of The Republicans Party was embroiled in case of corruption involving his wife. He was the one with the most political experience, having served as the Prime Minister of of France from 2007 to 2012 under President Nicolas Sarkozy. And this can be seen with the case of Hillary Clinton in the US presidential race, and how reports of her action during her tenure as Secretary of State derailed her campaign (although she considers other factors, including being a female, to have compounded for the loss).