The results of the first round of French elections are out and Jean-Marie Le Pen has ostensibly been defeated. Yet, the man who finished first, did so by stealing Le Pen’s ideas and reselling them along with a much better image and a mighty apparatus to advertise them.
Nicolas Sarkozy did not push Le Pen aside by undermining his fascist ideas, but instead by normalizing, legitimizing and advertising them, bringing them to the open and placing them on the list of his propositions.
In the aftermath of his presidential defeat today, Le Pen announced,
“Nous avons gagné la bataille des idées, la nation et le patriotisme, l’immigration et l’insécurité ont été mis au coeur de la campagne par des adversaires qui, hier encore, écartaient ces notions d’un air dégoûté”
“We have won the battle of ideas, the nation and patriotism; immigration and insecurity were placed at the heart of the [presidential] campaign by some adversaries who, not a long time ago, would push these notions aside with disgust.”
He is clearly referring to Sarkozy and he’s right. Sarkozy’s victory, given the kind of ideas he represented during his campaign, would be yet another clue that brutal fascism and dark utilitarianism are on their way back to plague “the West,” and with it “the Rest.”
I had said before and say again that the man who represented hope, optimism, change and future for France was Francois Bayrou. His failure to win presidency is accompanied by his success to increase the number of his voters over 3 times and thereby emerge as a mighty political force in France. His relative success shows that the unfortunate process that is slowly undermining the ideas that Western nations used to represent is reversible.
Bayrou should not support either of the candidates, since that would undermine the incredible momentum he and his party have gained in brushing aside all political gibberish and standing for what’s right. But it would perhaps be wise for him to indirectly support Segolene Royal by speaking of some of her ideas (or at least emphasizing the ones he likes) and thereby make sure France doesn’t become an enslaved member of the new brand of Anglo-Americanism.
Let’s hope Segolene Royal will win the second round of French presidential elections.