Vive La France! Jamais Marine! (Viva Comey?) Skip to content

Vive La France! Jamais Marine! (Viva Comey?)

2 min read

Just as J. Edgar Comey helped Trump edge Clinton last November, the head G-man evidently loomed large in Marine Le Pen’s drubbing in the French presidential election.

Donald Trump tilted toward the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant Le Pen, candidate of the far-right-wing National Front, which has been compared to France’s collaborationist, anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi Vichy rulers in World War II.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron buried her in a landslide. (My choice, Socialist Party candidate  Benoît Hamon, got clobbered in the first round of voting. After he lost, outgoing Socialist French President François Hollande endorsed Macron, declaring, “The extreme right would divide France, stigmatize part of our citizens because of their origin or their religion.”)

Mary Papenfuss of the Huffington Post wrote:

The anti-Le Pen catchphrase making the rounds in the country is ‘ne vous Trumpez pas’ ― a play on the French phrase ‘ne vous trompez pas,’ meaning ‘make no mistake.’ Ads featuring the phrase and an image of Trump’s face with Le Pen’s hairdo have appeared on the streets of France.

President Trump didn’t formally endorse Le Pen. But he told the Associated Press last month that she is the “strongest on borders and the strongest on what’s been going on in France,” Papenfuss added.

President Obama endorsed Macron in a recorded message to French voters. A French group circulated a petition urging Obama to run for president of France. They even put up Obama-for-President posters. That Gallic gag must have galled Trump.

American liberals and European centrists and leftists worried that Brexit and Trump’s election presaged a reactionary resurgence across the Western world.

But in Austria in December, hard-right populist Norbert Hofer lost another presidential bid. Ex-Nazis helped found Hofer’s Freedom Party in 1955.

In March, Dutch voters denied a parliamentary majority to the ultra-conservative Party for Freedom, led by Geert Wilders.

Hofer was dubbed “Austria’s Donald Trump” and Wilders, “the Dutch Trump.”

So by electing Trump, did the New World, however unwittingly, stem the far-right-wing tide in the Old?

[bctt tweet=”So by electing Trump, did the New World, however unwittingly, stem the far-right-wing tide in the Old?” username=””]

“Even before he was formally nominated, Trump was deeply unpopular in Europe,” wrote David A. Graham in The AtlanticHe continued, “A June 2016 Pew poll found just 9 percent of Europeans had confidence in the Republican. With a few more months to evaluate him, they’ve hardly changed their minds. A YouGov/Handelsblatt poll at the beginning of the year found that sizable majorities in several European countries expected Trump to be a poor president; in France, the only country where a majority did not feel that way, a plurality did. A November poll found rising approval of the EU across the board, another sign of the pendulum potentially beginning to swing back.”

I couldn’t be happier that the Austrians said nein, the Dutch nee and the French no to their Trumps.

But while Macron fans whoop it up, I’d appreciate une minute of silence, s’il vous plaît, from our oldest allies in recognition that we’re still stuck with the object of their disaffection—and mine–the Yankee George Wallace who gives a new meaning to “the White House.”

I cast my ballot for Hillary early on Nov. 8 and expected to play “Happy Days are Here Again” on my computer not too late into the evening.

Now I just cranked up Le Marseilles.

Allons! enfants
de la Patrie!
Le jour de gloire
est arrivé!

The strains of France’s national anthem stirred mon coeur even though I’ve long forgotten almost all the French I struggled to learn in college 45 years ago.

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