Is Macron the EU’s Last Best Hope?

By Pat Buchanan

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Is Macron the EU's Last Best Hope?
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -( For the French establishment, Sunday's presidential election came close to a near-death experience. As the Duke of Wellington said of Waterloo, it was a “damn near-run thing.”

Neither candidate of the two major parties that have ruled France since Charles De Gaulle even made it into the runoff, an astonishing repudiation of France's national elite.

Marine Le Pen of the National Front ran second with 21.5 percent of the vote. Emmanuel Macron of the new party En Marche! won 23.8 percent.

Macron is a heavy favorite on May 7. The Republicans' Francois Fillon, who got 20 percent, and the Socialists' Benoit Hamon, who got less than 7 percent, both have urged their supporters to save France by backing Macron.

Ominously for U.S. ties, 61 percent of French voters chose Le Pen, Fillon or radical Socialist Jean-Luc Melenchon.

All favor looser ties to America and repairing relations with Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Le Pen has a mountain to climb to win, but she is clearly the favorite of the president of Russia, and perhaps of the president of the United States. Last week, Donald Trump volunteered:

“She's the strongest on borders, and she's the strongest on what's been going on in France. … Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders, will do well in the election.”

As an indicator of historic trends in France, Le Pen seems likely to win twice the 18 percent her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, won in 2002, when he lost in the runoff to Jacques Chirac.

The campaign between now and May 7, however, could make the Trump-Clinton race look like an altarpiece of democratic decorum.

Not only are the differences between the candidates stark, Le Pen has every incentive to attack to solidify her base and lay down a predicate for the future failure of a Macron government.

And Macron is vulnerable. He won because he is fresh, young, 39, and appealed to French youth as the anti-Le Pen. A personification of Robert Redford in “The Candidate.”

But he has no established party behind him to take over the government, and he is an ex-Rothschild banker in a populist environment where bankers are as welcome as hedge-fund managers at a Bernie Sanders rally.

He is a pro-EU, open-borders transnationalist who welcomes new immigrants and suggests that acts of Islamist terrorism may be the price France must pay for a multiethnic and multicultural society.

Macron was for a year economic minister to President Francois Hollande who has presided over a 10 percent unemployment rate and a growth rate that is among the most anemic in the entire European Union.

He is offering corporate tax cuts and a reduction in the size of a government that consumes 56 percent of GDP, and presents himself as the “president of patriots to face the threat of nationalists.”

His campaign is as much “us vs. them” as Le Pen's.

And elite enthusiasm for Macron seems less rooted in any anticipation of future greatness than in the desperate hope he can save the French establishment from the dreaded prospect of Marine.

But if Macron is the present, who owns the future?

Across Europe, as in France, center-left and center-right parties that have been on the scene since World War II appear to be emptying out like dying churches. The enthusiasm and energy seem to be in the new parties of left and right, of secessionism and nationalism.

The problem for those who believe the populist movements of Europe have passed their apogee, with losses in Holland, Austria and, soon, France, that the fever has broken, is that the causes of the discontent that spawned these parties are growing stronger.

What are those causes?

A growing desire by peoples everywhere to reclaim their national sovereignty and identity, and remain who they are. And the threats to ethnic and national identity are not receding, but growing.

The tide of refugees from the Middle East and Africa has not abated. Weekly, we read of hundreds drowning in sunken boats that tried to reach Europe. Thousands make it. But the assimilation of Third World peoples in Europe is not proceeding. It seems to have halted.

Second-generation Muslims who have lived all their lives in Europe are turning up among the suicide bombers and terrorists.

Fifteen years ago, al-Qaida seemed confined to Afghanistan. Now it is all over the Middle East, as is ISIS, and calls for Islamists in Europe to murder Europeans inundate social media.

As the numbers of native-born Europeans begin to fall, with their anemic fertility rates, will the aging Europeans become more magnanimous toward destitute newcomers who do not speak the national language or assimilate into the national culture, but consume its benefits?

If a referendum were held across Europe today, asking whether the mass migrations from the former colonies of Africa and the Middle East have on balance made Europe a happier and better place to live in in recent decades, what would that secret ballot reveal?

Does Macron really represent the future of France, or is he perhaps one of the last men of yesterday?


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 14 thoughts on “Is Macron the EU’s Last Best Hope?

    1. “Gil”, which is one of a few pseudonyms used by people who work for the anti-gun Violence Policy Center, never offer constructive solutions to problems or analysis of the the problem and why it exists. Their comments are issued solely to inflame, never to provoke insightful discussion. This is done to try and bring out the worst response they can from us. I’ve suggested before and I’ll do it again, ignore everything they say, don’t reply, make them irrelevant. If you must, simply reply “VPC troll”.

        1. Obfuscation and diversion, the hallmark of those who wish to throw out red herrings rather than address the points made. Normally I don’t engage VPC members unless it’s on stage in a formal debate but I want all to see the strategy employed by them.

          Note that “Gil” failed to reply to any points I previously made and instead tried to shift the conversation to two hot button topics (race & religion) and do it in an accusatory form hoping to draw me in. Nice try but It only works on those who don’t know better. I’ve been doing this far longer than you’ve mostly been alive. Ask Mike Beard if he remembers being debated on Capitol Hill and having his lunch handed to him. It’s been that long. You really need to adopt a different tactic.

            1. No, just me. Why you may ask, well, this is one of those cases where you folks have been going nuts for about three months now trying to figure out exactly how I know and who’s telling me. Remember about 20 or so years ago when there was a mole inside one of the major gun organizations and she wrote an “expose” article for a magazine? That works both ways except this time no ones coming out and writing articles.

          1. Ol’ Pat’s books are about the U.S. going down the drain when in the 1960’s White Christian men were no longer in power and everyone let women and minorities run things.

        2. Moronic troll spew from the usual mindless source of such idiocy. It’s mother TRULY regrets not having made it to the Planned Baby killers before it was born; Of course there would have been NO BRAIN for them to donate.

      1. Gil, you need a revision of that brain surgery enhancement from Dr. Carson, AGAIN. The Reality aspect is slipping a bit. And Buchanan may be old but he HAS been around. For quite some time. I apppreciate his perspectives. Almost always, as demonstrated here-they are SPOT on.

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