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France learns from U.S. mistakes in recent election

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The French presidential elections just concluded, with two main candidates having risen to the forefront: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. Macron is a member of En Marche! The centrist party he created himself before attempting to run for election. Le Pen is the “former” president of the National Front party, a party known for its bigoted, racist foreign policy planks. It is a right wing nationalist party that represents the majority of the issues occurring in the political world today.

The National Front party was founded by Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who is so far right and extremist that eventually Le Pen kicked him out of his own party. Though it seems that was more just for appearance, as Le Pen ran on a platform eerily similar to the one her father ran when he made his grab for the presidency back in 2002.

Though her platform was much more toned-down. While Le Pen Sr. had such beliefs as that the holocaust didn’t happen, Le Pen simply wants to completely shut down the borders of France to any immigrants, and build a 6,000 strong border police force.

Why that is a problem: France is a long time member of the European Union (EU), which has stipulations a country must follow if they want to be a part of it. These include such things as using the euro, and allowing the free movement of people from other countries in the EU in and out of France. The country agrees to these, and they get the benefits of belonging to a large trade union, as well as lower taxes on imported and exported goods, etc.

This is why Brexit was, and still is, a huge deal. By backing out of the European Union, Britain is showing that it cares about nationalism more than money. Which is a dangerous mindset. The idea of “these immigrants, stealing our jobs and blowing up our country” leads to such things as genocide. It’s a popularization of hatred towards other human beings. Turning the immigrants, the people, into “them.” An enemy that is somehow going to ruin the lives of the people already living in the country; even though it’s been consistently proven that immigrants (and refugees) are not responsible for the majority of terrorist attacks, and tend to improve the economies of the countries they move into.

However when Macron made this point during the debate on May 3rd, he lost a point, the only point he lost to Le Pen. Simply because his statement of fact was perceived by the moderators as “against France”, when it’s simply not against the immigrants who are just trying to find a sustainable living.

Le Pen ran for president of France on an extremely bigoted and racist platform, an overabundance of nationalism has never led to something good (see: WW2). It’s the American election all over again, except this one ended a little bit differently. Macron won with a fair majority, 66.1% to Le Pen’s 33.9%. France has shown the world that the extremists don’t always win, giving renewed hope to those against the current political climate of intolerance and hatred. Thank you, citizens of France.

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