Vive La République! France Elects Macron, Rejects Putin Puppet Le Pen

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Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron nearly doubled the vote for his right wing opponent Marine LePen in today’s presidential election as French voters decisively rejected the ambitious political schemes of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

A fortune in Russian money and a last-minute dump of documents hacked from Macron’s campaign could not lift Le Pen above 35 percent of the vote. If anything, Cyrillic text and metadata found on the stolen material has dispelled any remaining denial in the West that Putin is interfering in domestic politics to promote his vision of a new, Moscow-centered global order.

Social media erupted in cheers as the official results were posted. Exit polls had shown Le Pen trailing badly in her bid to become the first fascist tool to preside over a French government since the Nazi occupation of World War II.

Macron’s victory means that at least one nuclear-armed member of the United Nations Security Council remains free of Putin’s grasp and control. It’s also a stinging defeat for the ethnic nationalism Putin has promoted in American and European societies and a serious blow to his efforts to divide and conquer Europe through electoral politics.

Since Donald Trump carried the Electoral College with Russian help, Austria and the Netherlands have rejected right wing candidates with Russian backing, so Macron’s victory is a hopeful sign that western democracies are rejecting Putin’s shenanigans.

Furthermore, Macron’s victory sets back the efforts of Steve Bannon and right wing billionaires to break down the European social welfare systems that shame America’s conservative politicians and assert a new global order of unfettered hedge fund capitalism in their place.

To that end, Bannon and Putin have focused their strategy on promoting divisions among their political opponents — for example, by pushing a narrative in which the Democratic National Committee “stole” the primary race from Bernie Sanders through the use of hacked emails presented in false light.

In France, leftist leader Jean-Luc Melenchon raised the hopes of Le Pen’s National Front by refusing to endorse Macron against her, but polls show that Melenchon’s voters understood the stakes anyway.

Tellingly, the American right is keening in disappointment over the results. Supporters of Donald Trump in the United States were instrumental in making social media news about the hacked documents trend during the last 24 hours before the vote, when French law prohibits mass media from election coverage. Today, they are tweeting “sour grapes,” such as memes complaining that Macron will “Islamicize” France.

Meanwhile, ecstatic American liberals are playing on the “freedom fries” idiocy of Republicans who attacked France for not participating in George W. Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq.

“I will defend Europe; it is our civilization which is at stake,” Emmanuel Macron told a huge crowd in Paris. “I will work to rebuild ties between Europe and its citizens.” Indeed, as a man without a real party, Macron’s first challenge is to govern with a parliament that has no majority responsive to his leadership.

Marine Le Pen, now enduring criticism from her own father, has said she will rebrand the National Front as an opposition party that pits “patriots” against “globalists.” Which is ironic, since her party will still be financed and promoted from Moscow.


Featured image via Ecole polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay Flickr under Creative Commons license

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