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France: Will 'La Morosite' Win the Vote?
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I watched the final French presidential debate last Thursday night with fascination and even a measure of admiration. France has some very intelligent, well-educated politicians. They are fine until they get into office but then must begin pleasing France’s fractious voters.

And they must deal with the rising tide of jihadist violence in France, as witnessed by the shooting of police officers on the Champs Elysée on Thursday. This could help far right candidate Marine Le Pen.

One is reminded of Charles De Gaulle who asked how anyone could run a nation that had 246 different varieties of cheese. France’s outgoing president, poor Francois Hollande, could not even deal with a single camembert. He leaves office with a less than 4% approval rating.

There are eleven aspirants in the presidential race though only four are considered serious candidates: former Prime Minister Francois Fillon; newcomer Emanuel Macron; firebrand leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon; and far right National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

My favorite is none of the above. He’s a towering, craggy-faced character named Jean Lasalle from the Pyrenees mountains on the border with Spain with a delightfully thick accent that harks back to the southern Provencal language. He’s as authentic as they come, a real human being who might be able to tame France’s bully-boy unions. Alas, Lasalle’s chances appear slim.

By contrast to the rough-hewn Lasalle is the leading candidate, Emmanuel Macron. Just who Macron really is remains a puzzle. He came from an academic background, worked for the mighty Rothschild banking empire, then as an economic advisor and minister to President Holland. At 39 years old, Macron is blandly attractive, youthful, and so far untainted by scandal except for the oddity of being married to his former schoolteacher two decades his senior.

Macron claims to be a middle way between old antagonists of left and right. He calls for gentle reforms and revitalization of the European Union. Women like him. What he stands for is unclear. His deep links to the Rothschild’s make many uncomfortable. To others, he’s too smooth and full of bromides. Still, the polls say that Macron will win both this Sunday’s vote and the second round on 7 May.

Former Prime Minister Francois Fillon was the front-runner until severely damaged by accusations he had lined his pockets with government money and put his wife Penelope and children on the government payroll.

It was sad indeed to see this straight-arrow conservative candidate undone by what looked like sleaze. Fillon would have made a capable prime minister.

Next, Madame Marine Le Pen. She has been trying to distance herself from pugnacious National Front founder and her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen. The old boy has been given the bum’s rush from his party for daring to say that the Jewish Holocaust was a mere ‘detail’ of history. I spent a long time interviewing Papa Le Pen in his home outside Paris. He is not a fascist, as critics charge, but an old-style supporter of the 1940’s Vichy government of Marshal Pétain.

Marine Le Pen is no charmer, to be sure. She is rough, tough and often nasty. She wants Muslims out of France, a pullout from the EU and NATO, and a return to the old French franc. Like President Trump, she is popular in working class, high unemployment, low education areas. Le Pen has become the champion of downcast French suffering from what they call, ‘la morosité’ (moroseness).

Finally, the last of the leading candidates, Jean-Luc Mélenchon. He’s an old time leftist full of loopy Marxist schemes about actually reducing France’s already short work week, reducing the retirement age, and taxing the pants of people who make more than 400,000 euros a year. Mélenchon wants out of NATO, revised relations with the EU, rejects being ordered around by the United States, and wants to ditch the euro.

Mélenchon may be an old-style firebrand but he’s very popular with youth and, of course, the left. He’s completely upstaged the lackluster Socialist candidate, Benoît Hamon and has soared in the polls. What French like about Mélenchon is his wit, sense of humor, and sharp debating skills. He appears authentic, platitude-free and bursting with what the French call ‘élan.’ Mélenchon is always fun to watch.

Polls say that Marine Le Pen and Macron will win this weekend’s first round. Macron is then favored to crush Le Pen in the 7 May vote. But France is now in a dither over the possibility of a win by Mélenchon this Sunday. That would leave him facing off against le Pen: the far right versus the far left. Interesting, bien sûre, but the prospect is giving France’s stock market, banks and investors a big scare.

If either were to win on 7 May, France might quit the euro and European Union – a much graver event than Britain’s Brexit. The fate of the EU is hanging in the balance. Bankers are praying that the silky-smooth Monsieur Macron will save them from the vengeful heirs of Karl Marx and Marshal Pétain.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: European Right, France 
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  1. Melenchon sounds fine, actually. Hope he wins.

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  2. So Margolis’ favoured candidate is someone called Jean Lasalle. Margolis favours him because he is ” a real human being who might be able to tame France’s bully-boy unions.”
    So that’s it, France’s No 1 Problem is it’s “bully boy ” unions.
    Only an idiot or a liar would claim that.

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  3. It is inaccurate to refer to Marine Le Pen as “far right.” The Front National is ethnonationalist, but it’s economic policies are to the left of the present socialist government.

    If Marine Le Pen is not the president, Jean Luc Mellenchon is the next best choice. If France is to be misgoverned, it should be entertaining, and his positions on withdrawing from NATO and the euro are at least on track.

    I wonder if the CIA would seek to intervene with a “color revolution” if either Le Pen or Mellenchon become president.

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  4. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    France’s problem is most definitely NOT “unions”. It is with the millions of unassimilable hostile Muslims and Africans who shouldn’t be there. Of course Eric Margolis would never admit to this.

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  5. After following closely the 2017 French presidential campaign, I am still amazed to see that very little substance on what is at stake and on what each candidate is proposing is being presented by the media.
    These elections are of particular importance as they are in the words of Marine Le Pen, Francois Asselineau, and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan “un enjeu de civilization” or in English “an issue for civilization.” In other words, unless one of these candidates becomes President of France on May 7th, the wild globalization forces currently at work will destroy France to the point of no return!
    Economically and financially speaking, France is an equalitarian country which means that the French people resent the constant flaunting of money, the super consumerism, the despicable cleavage between the have and the have-not.
    Regarding the heinous acts of terror conducted on the French soil, it is fair to remember that this country has a long history of colonialism with modern interests in the Middle-East and Africa. This lust for resources and power has led it to participate in several offensive wars in Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Chad, Mali and other African countries. For centuries, France has drooled over Syria and Damascus particularly. So, the jihad done by some radical Islamists is nothing but blowback for the destabilization, destruction, and abuses caused by the French foreign policy on these populations.
    Out of the 11 candidates, the French Establishment put its stamp of approval on five only: Emmanuel Macron, Francois Fillon, Jean-Luc Melenchon, and Benoit Hamon but it has to tolerate Marine Le Pen because her Front National Party is the first Party of France. I find it extremely unfortunate and disheartening that so little media exposure was given to the six “lesser” candidates (Jacques Cheminade, Nathalie Arthaud, Philippe Poutou, Jean La Salle, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, and Francois Asselineau) who all deserved a lot more attention:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_presidential_election,_2017

    Emmanuel Macron is a manufactured product of the global establishment. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he went to work for the Rothschild et Cie Bank, then was propelled to the level of economic advisor and Minister of the Economy under Francois Hollande. He quit the Socialist Party to create his own party “En Marche” to distance himself, at least in appearance, from a pathetic outgoing President who groomed him to succeed him at the Elysee.
    Francois Fillon is also a product of the global establishment with close ties to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Wahabis/Salafists groups. He was Nicolas Sarkozy’s loyal Prime Minister who never questioned his President. Fillon is not a victim of a sleaze campaign but a liar. He based his campaign on transparency and on being the clean candidate. From the get-go, his campaign revealed lies and deceptions and, to make matter worse, some court injunctions that almost terminated his campaign.
    Marine Le Pen represents the French Far-Right and, thus, is a patriot and sovereignist who has valid yet sometimes radical ideas. Though she can be rough and tough, she is a solid candidate. It has been absolutely shocking to observe the viciousness with which the media treated her and her people. She wavered a little bit from her initial tough stance on Frexit and seems to plan on renegotiating the EU treaties and get out of NATO. In my opinion, she made several mistakes that could cost her the presidency; the first one was to stay too close to her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen who was linked to the Marechal Petain and the Vichy Government during WWII and then was involved in the Algerian War. For some unknown reasons, she also brought back to light some less than glorious chapters of recent French History refusing to admit those shameful war acts against Jews, etc. and, thus, promoting a “my country right or wrong” which in these cases was wrong! It will be very hard for her to make it to the Elysee with such a “historical” baggage.
    Jean-Luc Melenchon has been in politics for decades and has some great ideas. He is a good orator with a strong sense of humor. He represents the French Far-Left/soft Communist Party. Like Marine Le Pen, he would renegotiate the EU treaties and leave NATO but would, most probably, not initiate a Frexit. His socio-economic-political ideas have drawn the attention of a growing number of voters and he could very well be one of the two candidates present at the 2nd and decisive round.
    Benoit Hamon is the only true Socialist of the group and follows the socialist platform to the letter. He is pro EU, pro war, pro social programs but the most important issue for his campaign is that the French people are literally sick and tired of anything that is socialist and that reminds them of the horrible quinquennat of Francois Hollande.
    I am personally very impressed by Francois Asselineau. He is extremely intelligent, great orator, knows his stuff in depth and understands what he is talking about: the articles of the French Constitution, the articles of the European Constitution, the History of France, the dangers of remaining in the Euro on which he gave a presentation in 2012 titled The Tragedy of the Euro – see link below -

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  6. Margolis hates anyone who doesn’t believe that Islam is the greatest religion ever and that Muslims are the salt of the earth, so it’s no surprise that he’s no fan of LaPen. Western nations are expected to inundate themselves with Muslim immigrants and refugees lest they draw his ire.

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  7. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “They must deal with the rising tide of Jihadist violence in France”…

    Yet Mr. Margolis offers no suggestions or ideas on HOW to deal with it. The obvious soliution is to stop allowing ANY Muslims to come to Europe and try to arrange for the repatriation of those already there.

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  8. “Just who Macron really is remains a puzzle. He came from an academic background, worked for the mighty Rothschild banking empire.”

    There’s no puzzle. He’s working for the Rothschild globalists, as you yourself said.

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  9. A thirty-nine year old President with a 64-year old wife.

    I can’t wait for the fun to begin.

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