Monday, May 8, 2017

White nationalism lost in France yesterday, and it lost big.

Marine Le Pen, the far-right presidential candidate, won only 34 percent of votes in her two-way race against Emmanuel Macron, who will soon be France’s president. Roger Cohen calls Macron’s victory “an important demonstration that reason and coherence still matter in politics.” Nate Silver notes that Macron outperformed the pre-election polls by more than either Brexit or Donald Trump did.
Yet Macron’s victory is also a depressing reminder of the state of conservative politics in the United States. In France, the center-right and center-left united to oppose Le Pen’s extremism. (Le Pen went so far as to lie about the Holocaust during her campaign, Julia Ioffe reminds us.)
The United States also had an extremist presidential candidate — one who mocked the disabled, retweeted neo-Nazis, called Mexicans rapists, promised to ban Muslims from the country and bragged about molesting women. He won the presidency, thanks to overwhelming support from the Republican Party.
Not only that, but several prominent Republicans, including Trump, then publicly rooted for a Le Pen win in France. Steve King and Dana Rohrabacher, two members of Congress, visited Le Pen during the campaign to discuss, in King’s words, their “shared values.”
Matthew Yglesias had perhaps the pithiest summary yesterday: “You see in Trump vs Le Pen once again that authoritarian nationalist movements only win with the support of the establishment right.”
The full Opinion report from The Times follows, including the Editorial Board on Macron’s task, and Boualem Sansal, in French and English, on the altered state of France.

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