By: Diana Abraham
Emmanuel Macron, a youthful former investment banker, won the French presidential election this past Sunday. His rival was the nationalist, Marine Le Pen who is the former president of the French National Front, a far-right political party in France. Macron is the founder of the social-liberal political party, En Marche!, Macron considered En March! To be a progressive movement in which both the left and the right are unified. Nonetheless, the 66.1% of French citizens who voted for Macron, seem to be very different from the remaining 33.9% who voted for Le Pen.
Le Pen wants to take France out of the European Union, the Schengen Area and Eurozone. Also, her party feels opposition toward free migration, and has a zero tolerance approach to law and order issues. The party was founded in 1972 in an attempt to unify various French nationalist movements of the ‘70s. The founder was Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine Le Pen’s father. She inherited his party and his same opinions and beliefs on government issues; as well as, the consequences of his strikingly oppressive statements.
Due to the profoundly disgusting history of the National Front, which includes anti-Semitism, racism and Nazi nostalgia the party was not that successful. Aymerica Chauprade, once Ms. Le Pen’s principal adviser on foreign affairs until a falling out, said “they [the party] are anti-Semites, nostalgic for the Third Reich, violently anticapitalist, with a hatred for democracy.” Throughout her campaign, Marine Le Pen has tried to “Un-Demonize” her party, trying to clean the face of her party. However, the history and ancestry of the French National Front is forever engrained in its public image.
And so, Macron’s promising appeal towards France’s economic, social, and political issues have certainly prevailed in this election. In the upcoming years we will see how Macron’s platform to loosen labor rules and make France more competitive globally and deepen ties with the EU will reinforce a global financial market in France. Le Pen’s attempt at the presidency is an uncanny similarity to Donald J. Trump’s run in terms the populist ideals they both shared, as well as, the negative stigma in their parties; so, her campaign is a significant indicator that the conservative wave that flooded through the White House may have found its way to Europe.