What with England’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump, many observers have predicted that a new wave of Trump-like nationalism, rejection of immigration, and economic populism would dominate the global landscape.
Has that happened? Well, no and yes. . . .
Photo of Marine Le Pen by Emmanuel d’Aubignosc (Emmanuel d’Aubignosc) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Well, German chancellor Angela Merkel has roundly defeated her insurgents.With the French, the record is mixed. The top vote-getters of the recent French presidential race–who will face-off in a runoff election on May 7–were Marine Le Pen, with her Frexit plan and opposition to Muslim immigration, and centrist Emmanuel Macron.
Macron wants to strengthen French ties to the European Union. And yet he too ran as an anti-establishment candidate, without the support of any major political party. In fact, the candidates of all of the major political parties–including especially those on the left–went down to defeat.
Macron got the most votes and is the predicted winner, since the other parties are rallying around him in an effort to stop the far-right Le Pen.
That would mean that the status quo would continue with the EU and generous immigration policies. And yet, his victory would also mean that France too is rejecting conventional politicians.