Europe just breathed a sigh of relief
In an election that was Emmanuel Marcon’s for the taking, fears that Marine Le Pen might defy the odds proved unfounded. Opinion polls that had predicted a Marcon win by some 23-26 points, were validated. The specter of a return to the European fascism of the past receded.
The race that could have changed the course of Europe forever came to a happy conclusion after all.
Le Pen’s defeat comes just two days after former U.S. President Barack Obama took the unusual step of endorsing Marcon. It’s also little over a day after Marcon’s En Marche! (Onwards!) party was hit with what officials described as a:
“Massive and coordinated hacking attack.”
Campaign files were released to social media just as Macron and Le Pen officially concluded campaigning. The act of sabotage — unprecedented in a French election — bears all the hallmarks of Russian interference.
Marcon’s victory will be seen as something of a blow to President Donald Trump who — in spite of Le Pen’s connection to the antisemitic right — spoke of her in glowing terms. Last week, he told the Associated Press that whilst he was not explicitly endorsing her, he did feel that she was:
“…The strongest on borders and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”
The President also went on to claim that:
“Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders, will do well in the election.”
His predictions seem to have come to naught even if his motivation for endorsing her appears suspicious.
Le Pen, who attended a secret meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan last January, has also been linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Indeed, evidence that he has been funding her political ambitions threatened to delegitimize her entire campaign. That such attacks on democratic legitimacy may have backfired in France is an encouraging sign, to say the least.
A United Europe
The E.U, shaken by Brexit, is now on much firmer footing.
Marine Le Pen’s threat to free France from the “tyrannies” of globalization, Islamic fundamentalism, and the European Union is now as hollow as Trump’s predictions. Coupled with the Netherlands’ rejection of Dutch racist Geert Wilders, the EU can now proceed with renewed vigor.
That the election is a victory for the robust political education that most French students enjoy cannot have gone unnoticed. Armed with such knowledge, the French have not only recognized the facile sophistry of nationalism for what it is.
They have rejected it in its entirety.
If you think the U.S. presidential debates were bad. you should see how vicious they get in France.