14 April 2022

I was wrong about Marine Le Pen

France's nativist presidential candidate Marine Le Pen yesterday stated her opposition to sending any more weapons to Ukraine, and appeared far too eager for a reconciliation with Putin's gangster-regime as soon as the war is over.  She also wants to withdraw from NATO's military command, undermining military cooperation with other democracies.  Such a rupture would be a huge prize for Putin, especially since France is one of the West's three major military powers (along with the US and UK).

Europe's nations desperately need leaders who will re-assert their national identity and sovereignty, but as the post-Brexit UK shows, it is possible to do this while still practicing close cooperation with other democracies, including most recently vigorous support for Ukraine.  The Western world in general needs leaders who will listen to working-class people's concerns instead of lecturing and scolding them for having "wrong" opinions on issues like immigration, as the political establishment reflexively does.  The establishment's arrogance and blindness have driven alarming numbers of voters into the arms of dangerous figures like Trump and Farage.  But a major country turning its back on other democracies to kowtow to Putin would be even more dangerous.  Moreover, French voters evidently don't want this.  Le Pen's rival nativist candidate Eric Zemmour saw his support collapse because he remained supportive of Putin even after the Ukraine invasion began; hopefully those same voters will note the implications of Le Pen's own statements yesterday.

More news from the Ukraine war:

As Russia's offensive in Donbas gets under way, the US is sending a massive new shipment of heavy weapons.

Russia's failure to capture Kyiv was an epic defeat.

The invasion is foundering on the un-glamorous but critical issue of truck maintenance.

Putin's ignorance, arrogance, and isolation led him into this disastrous mistake.  Apparently he doesn't even use the internet.

Dissent and opposition to Putin's rule are spreading in Russia.

Finland and Sweden are moving rapidly ahead with discussions on joining NATO, the starkest example of Putin's invasion bringing consequences exactly opposite to what he wanted.

Women raped in Ukraine who escape to Poland can't get abortions there because of the country's strict Catholic-Church-inspired laws against the procedure.

In compiling my Ukraine war posts and links, I've specifically avoided anything that relates or compares the Ukraine situation to US domestic politics.  This isn't about us.  But when Russia's own state-controlled media are openly talking about punishing the US by supporting Trump for president again (more details here), they're rather forcing my hand.  Get ready for more 2016-style election meddling, if Putin is still in power in 2024.  Some Russian commentators also enthuse about Tulsi Gabbard as a running mate for Trump, even calling her a "Russian agent".  With an endorsement like that, how could she lose?


Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Le Pen is a clear and present danger to democracy. The fact that she's advanced in the race is a red flag that the French have to recognize. It also speaks volumes about the radicalization of so many people. Her being a candidate for president in the third most powerful nation in the world is terrifying.


14 April, 2022 05:06  
Blogger SickoRicko said...

What a mess the world is in now.

14 April, 2022 11:19  
Blogger Mike said...

Hopefully, the French people aren't as stupid as Marine Le Pen.

14 April, 2022 12:21  
Blogger Kay said...

Oh no...... Tulsi was from Hawaii and we were so glad to be rid of her. She is as self-serving and egotistical as Trump.

14 April, 2022 12:26  
Anonymous Leroy said...

"The Western world in general needs leaders who will listen to working-class people's concerns"

The Democrats received the majority of the working-class vote in 2016. The Republicans received the majority of the white working-class vote. Does skin color have anything to do with it? [HINT: When cities were required to desegregate facilities, most Southern communities just closed their public swimming pools and filled them in with dirt or cement.]

"issues like immigration"

The French population has been welcoming to immigrants and refugees from Ukraine. It has not been nearly as welcoming to those from former colonies like Algeria and Mali and Syria and Vietnam. I can't think of any reason for this difference white now.

14 April, 2022 16:56  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

I think it is so hard for us to realize just how much of conservative thinking is the result of a literal death wish. There is a real hunger on the right for going down in a burst of flames. And this is only furthered by a sick religion that tells them that afterward, they are going to be the select, living lives of ecstasy. They just can't see that this hunger for self destruction is...well...self destructive. They just don't care, if they can just take the rest of us down with them.

14 April, 2022 20:29  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Sixpence: It will be interesting to see if her polling changes now that she's said these things about Ukraine. It would fit the same pattern as Zemmour.

Ricko: For most of history it was worse, but we do still have problems.

Mike: We'll see. The second round of voting is about ten days away.

Kay: I can't figure out why Gabbard identifies as a Democrat -- or what her base of support is, if she really has one.

Leroy: The Democrats received the majority

Even if that's true, minorities (especially Hispanics) are rapidly shifting to the Republicans, and in any case I'm mainly talking about Europe here.

The rest of your comment just exemplifies that attitude of lecturing and scolding (and immediately responding to everything with insinuations of racism) which is why the left increasingly loses elections, and increasingly deserves to.

Green: That's probably true in the US. In Europe, religion is much less of a factor, even on the right -- which is a big part of why conservative parties over there aren't as crazy as our Republicans.

14 April, 2022 22:22  
Blogger ZapPow said...

It is possible that Marine Le Pen will be elected, it is probable that she will not. It must be said that the detestation of Macron reaches very high levels, and that many are ready to vote Le Pen just to get rid of Macron, to teach him a good lesson. It is a strange reasoning I find, to vote for a fascist to punish the one who, having pretended to block the far right, has finally adopted many of its fights and policies, orchestrating with the complicity of the media in the hands of billionaires the presence of the far right in the second round of the election, hoping to repeat the trick of 2017. Le Pen will continue Macron's neo-liberal economic policy, and will worsen his social, anti-Muslim and anti-migrant policy. One intellectual has said, and it is quite relevant, that the choice is between the fascist and the fascizer.
I suspect that abstention will reach unprecedented levels, with many refusing to choose between the plague Macron and the cholera Le Pen.

17 April, 2022 13:54  
Blogger yellowdoggranny said...

besides the fact that the Ukraine's are kicking ass my best news is Allen and Tanya are safe in Regina Canada...thank the Goddess.

18 April, 2022 09:56  
Blogger Daal said...

as if Trump wasn't bad enough...

18 April, 2022 17:17  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

ZapPow: One would expect mainstream politicians to have a better feel for the electorate. It's bizarre that they're so awful and out of touch that the only way they can get re-elected is to have someone completely unacceptable as the only alternative.

Granny: Yes, that's fortunate. I wouldn't envy anyone being trapped in Ukraine.

Daal: His chances here in 2024 are probably better than Le Pen's next week, unfortunately.

18 April, 2022 21:41  
Blogger ZapPow said...

An interesting article about the situation in France:

19 April, 2022 08:29  

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