In 2002 when the Jean-Marie Le Pen surprised everyone with a first round win, there was a uniting of the clans in the North of France, which came to be called the Republican Front, to elect Jacques Chirac and keep Front National out of the Élysée Palace. That hasn’t happened this time and the attempt has been chaotic and hilarious as Melanchon supporters and Fillon hangers-on fail to stand five minutes of each other’s company.
In an interview with the BBC Marine Le Pen declared the winds of change are blowing in her direction, Trump and Brexit, Wilders strong showing in the Dutch elections, and 15 years of failed EU referendums make her case well. Failed economic and immigration policies have turned a continent full of once great nations, into a basket case far less than the sum of its parts. The EU is dying, all that remains to be decided is if it will be an orderly breakup, or a chaotic devolution and possible war.
The EU didn’t just need Macron to win, they needed him to win in a landslide. Without France’s complete cooperation the EU is really just the German empire I often joke that it is. What the result of the election means is that Macron’s task is not supporting and building on the EU dream, but appeasing the French Nationalists who want out.
And the election was no landslide. Only 65% of people voted and only 65% of people voted for Macron. 30 million people support Macron’s pro-EU agenda, with 11 million people actively opposing it and 4 million casting a protest vote. That’s not the overwhelming victory of Jacques Chirac putting down the hard right, that’s the last stand of a besieged political class.
Nigel Farage predicts a Front National president in 2022, and he could very well be correct. A new paradigm begins today. The Overton Window is now a pro-EU ruling class versus a deeply dissatisfied populace. All the failings of Macron, every compromise, every let-down, will be used as evidence against the EU itself the next time around. The EU needs some big wins, and with a terrible track record and few opportunities on the horizon, it’s hard to see how they even could, let alone likely would, actually turn the trend around.
Even the New York Times, in the midst of snark and stupidity, manages to stumble on nuggets of wisdom in their self-imposed miasma of blind unreason. The nationalists have been chipping away at the globalists for decades, and now the failures of globalism mean their hard work is paying off. They’re still too small to win but now too large to be ignored.
The globalists have been in constant fire-fighting mode since Brexit, and Le Pen making it to the second round in France is just one more fire they’ve had to put out before moving on to the next one. Teresa May’s surprise election next month has them already on the back foot, with no developed narrative to lull a resurgent Britain back to sleep. Right across Europe nationalist and anti-Islamist parties grow in strength and gain legitimacy. In the Middle East two decades of failure have led to a choice between the fascist Ba’athists and the Islamist extremists, no matter who wins the globalists lose.
Macron mouthpieces have tried to spin his victory as a successful revolution, but this is simply not reality. It is the temporary quashing of a revolution, a band-aid on a chest wound but the patient is still bleeding to death. The EU is no longer in the position of being the “obvious” choice. The message being sent is the alternative of a return to the nation-state as the foundation of the global order; it’s not just possible it’s inevitable.
The globalist dream is over, one way or another their grip on power is coming to an end. The choice that every Western country must make, the choice that every Western voter must make, is whether the end of globalism is orderly or chaotic. Reading through the mainstream and left-wing press the signs are not good for an orderly return to a world of independent nation-states.