Monday, April 24, 2017

What the press is not saying

Emmanuel Macron v Marine Le Pen: who are they and what are their policies?

Marine Le Pen is a French nationalist, a throwback who rejects the eclipse of both the ideal of nationalism and the pre-eminence of the nation-state in Europe.

And she is a pro-labor, pro-welfare state nationalist.

Were it not for her nationalism, or were the year 1940, she would serve well as a moderate French socialist.

But given the chance she would undo the EU, undermine NATO, close France to immigrants and refugees, and perhaps hand certain countries back to Russia with a shrug.

Macron is a standard issue center-right politician who rejects nationalism and whose patriotism is not a rejection of the growing significance of the European Union.

Given the chance, he would harm the position of the French working class.

But he would support the EU and NATO, and be less hostile to immigration and refugees.

France is the only country in Europe where nationalist, populist parties are not also opposed to the welfare and regulatory state and enemies of working people.

What outcome would be better for America?

The defeat of Le Pen.

A post-nationalist, united Europe is better for us as regards global security and as regards its effects on our domestic politics.

We don't need anybody pouring gasoline on the fires of tribalism and identity politics.

We need to strengthen, not fray, the ties that bind together the American people.

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