picture from GETTY

PARIS, FRANCE – The French presidential run-off is scheduled for Sunday, May 7, and the world may see the election of the first woman president of the Fifth Republic. However,many polls have already predicted that Emmanuel Macron, the young, inexperienced former Minister of Economy under Francois Hollande, would win by a landslide (60% to 40%). This is reminiscent of the presidential election between Hillary Clinton (who by the way recently blamed her defeat on Russia, FBI Director Comey, and sexism) and Donald Trump, whom many pundits and television talking heads predicted would lose by a landslide. The American polls as a predictor of the outcome of the American presidential election were dead wrong, way off the mark, and so are the French polls.


The vast majority of French citizens, (65% – blue collar workers) consider globalization a serious threat to France’s economic well-being. Support for the European Union has plummeted year after year, especially this year following the Brexit vote. These public sentiments aside, most French pundits are not paying attention to the details of the first round of elections where nearly sixty-five percent of blue collar workers supported either Ms. Le Pen or Jean-Luc Melenchon, a firebrand leftist nationalist with a particular disdain for capitalists. These three, including lesser known candidates, received nearly 50% of the votes. Emmanuel Macron won by less than 25% of the votes. There are 75% of the population who do not trust the globalist Macron whom they believe would take France further into globalization.  Nevertheless, French pundits and television talking heads all over France are predicting a Macron’s victory.   French like the Americans want a president who would put France first, a president who cares about their economic problems.


In an Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (Macron’s Pyrrhic Win? Thursday, May 4, 2017), Francesco Ronchi, a lecturer in Political Science at the Institut D’etudes Politiques de Paris, predicted that Mr. Macron would win on Sunday.  Ronchi even took the liberty to advise Mr. Macron of the kind of reforms he can seek once in office. Mr. Ronchi wrote “Mr. Macron’s victory would by no means be an accident of history. A large majority of French voters supports democratic renewal and the rejuvenation of French Politics, which the young, former economy minister touts.  But he also benefits from revulsion against Ms. Le Pen’s National Front, even among voters who agree with many of her views.”  This reminds me of an Op-ed in the New York Times that described what kind of president Hillary Clinton would be and what her first 100 days would be like, and how she was so much more qualified and smarter than Donald Trump. It reminds me also of the vitriolic towards Donald Trump what many considered as incitement of hates-  except that Hillary Clinton lost decisively, to the chagrin of liberal media expert predictors who ignored all the signs of discontent among the electorates and Hillary shortcomings.


Emmanuel Macron is not Hillary Clinton. He is young, inexperience, and a globalist at heart. He is part of the Davos international crew that believes that globalism is the way of the future. Except that, many French blue collar workers who had seen their jobs disappeared or who had simply been replaced by newly arrived immigrants, are not to enthuse about supporting someone who wants to bring more of the same. It is true, however, that Macron’s new political party – En Marche may have provided some voters the impetus to vote for something new (the new shiny object syndrome) during the first round of the election. But that new shiny object may not be so shiny on Sunday when voters have an opportunity to consider what is at stake.  


Like Americans, the French are tired of the established political system and yearning for new leadership that focuses on their economic plight. However, Macron does not seem to be the type of leader that could provide the rejuvenation of French politics or its economy. If elected president, Macron, would at the first opportunity cede more of France’s sovereignty to Brussels – He would not curb the free movement of workers from Central and Eastern Europe. He will not fight to protect French workers from newly arrived immigrants; he would not fight Brussels to prevent it from recognizing China as a market economy, opening the French market to unfair Chinese competition because Macron is a true globalist who believes in international agencies ruling from afar. 


Le Pen, on the other hand, would do all the above, and most people would agree that Ms. Le Pen has been consistent in her nationalism. She cares about what happened in France, and for that Omega, endorses Ms. Le Pen for President of France.


Omega Editorial Board

Print Friendly, PDF & Email