The French election – nationalism is not a dirty word.


Editor’s note: This article was published at a few days ago, but it is telling today in the wake of Macron’s win.

Via Tim Newman a post by Francis Turner on the second round of the French presidential election. The article is typical of what I am seeing across conservative commentary on the election; apparently both choices are equally awful. That Macron will be a disaster goes without saying. But it is the antipathy towards Le Pen from conservatives outside France that I find somewhat depressing. Turner has this to say about Le Pen:

“Ms Le Pen is, fundamentally, a nativist. Many of her statements sound remarkably similar to ones made by British figures like Nigel Farage. She wants to limit immigration to France, she wants to halt the erosion of French culture by foreign influences, primarily Islamic ones but also Hollywood, and she wants France to control it’s own destiny and thus leave the Euro and the EU. She has been particularly outspoken on what she sees as the pernicious influence of Islam on France and the way that the French state has ceded areas of its cities to control by immigrants from primarily Islamic cultures.”

So far so good it seems. But then Turner falls into the same trap that everyone else on the Right is making when observing the French state of affairs. The economy.

“If that was all then I’d have no hesitation in recommending her, unfortunately it isn’t. She’s also extremely protectionist and wants to massively expand the French state rather than raise money through privatization.”

I have a few points to make here. First of all, this election is about three things – immigration, immigration, and immigration. Economics is downstream of culture and if you can’t get the culture right then you won’t have any economics; good, bad, or otherwise. Turner doesn’t mention it but Le Pen apparently wants to retain France’s extremely generous public service numbers and perks. A lot of other commentators have complained about this which leads to my next point:

Le Pen can only win if she does in fact say that she will not touch France’s generous social welfare and public service systems. She is counting on those people who would vote for Satan himself as long as he promised to keep these intact, as well as dealing with France’s immigration and cultural issues. If I were running for this election I would be using exactly the same tactics as Le Pen and holding the same policy lines in these matters. All that counts is getting elected and stopping the Islamification of France. She needs every vote she can get because so much is stacked against her.

After she gets elected we’ll see exactly what her real thoughts are on these matters. I doubt that it is as she is portraying.

But even if these are her exact policy positions, what are you guys expecting? You don’t just want the Left to lose. You only want to win if your candidate is absolutely perfect on every policy matter. This is just ridiculous and it is why these people still don’t get Donald Trump. Culture is all that counts at this point and on culture Le Pen is as good as it gets and better than we could ever have expected.

Turner himself admits that electing Macron will continue France’s slow decline but then espouses to vote for him anyway! France has to take its medicine. And the longer it puts it off the nastier it will be. Either France elects Le Pen now or they will elect someone who has a real chance of being on the extreme edge in five years time.

“She wants to reverse large chunks of recent globalization, especially the global trade in agricultural produce, and to strongly encourage local consumption of foodstuff.”

When are these people going to realise that the new ground is now globalists versus nationalists? Macron is a globalist, Le Pen is a nationalist. It’s one or the other. The old rules don’t count anymore because the Left broke them while the Right sat back and did nothing. Nationalism is not a dirty word. But stick civic in front of it and it turns into the biggest pile of steaming dung imaginable. That is the fight in which we now find ourselves.

This article was originally published at where Adam Piggott publishes regularly and brilliantly. You can purchase Adam’s books here.

Photo by quinn.anya