Marine Le Pen storms the barricades in 2017 French revolution
By Kathleen Millar – The Hill
Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.
Marine Le Pen is trying to do more than win France’s May 7 presidential election – she’s leading a revolution, tilting a political axis that has traveled, ideologically, from left to right, from the economic bottom to the big-money top.
This means Le Pen, who says she’s fighting for France and its tri-colored “have-nots,” and Emmanuel Macron, never without his “show-me-the-money” T-shirt, are slugging it out for every vote.
Marx must be spinning in his Highgate grave.
In Paris, Macron is doubling down with an admission, designed to woo EU skeptics, that, yes, the European Union “needs improvements.” He’s spitting out “like father, like daughter” accusations to persuade the uncommitted left Le Pen is virulently anti-Semitic.
And Macron’s latest big reveal, that Le Pen plagiarized 1.5 seconds of language (call it “the Melania play”) coined by former rival Fran ois Fallon in an hour and a-half speech she recently delivered seems more of a Hail Mary pass than a calculated ploy.
All of it points to Macron’s fear that, even as he is ahead in the polls, his support from the well-heeled status quo and his former chums in big banking may not be enough to push the 39-year-old “yes man” for a global free market over the top.
Vive la Marine.
I was in Paris on May 29, 2005, when the French people rejected the first “EU Constitution,” a wild attempt by the architects of a grandly platonic blueprint to convince the signers of the original EU-making Maastricht Treaty – which was then, as it is now, about the money – that putting the cart before the horse might make everyone involved move away from national identities and toward the conviction that “the European Union” was a real place, a supranational state, as opposed to just another important-looking piece of paper.
Mais n n.
The push to abandon nationalism – a French accordion-player told me he was reluctant, afraid really, to play the French national anthem that afternoon – had so angered the average Parisian that by 9 p.m., when it became obvious no constitution was in the offing, the diners sharing my table at Chartier were on fire for libert , as was everyone in the Halle Freyssinet, the large train station turned working man’s bistro.
I saw history bind together hundreds of French citizens in the large room, their shouts ricocheting off the brass luggage racks still hanging overhead, a rebuff, according to les Fran ais, to another German juggernaut in globalist garb.
Think of the global free market economy as a kind of financial Vichy – no, wait, wrong.
When the Germans allowed the southern part of France “self-rule,” citizens were at least allowed to keep their culture, their language, and quite a bit of what even the Nazis admitted made the French so very different from, well, them.
Globalism spawned the idea of a European Union distracted from war by collective self-interest, and we’re all told and believe, with Angela Merkel as the poster-child for the project, that’s a good thing.
But the collision of this utopian ideology and the need of poorer, mostly southern, European nations with unstable currencies to counter what they envisioned as a newly unified economic powerhouse controlled by the Bundesbank, as well as Germany’s unapologetic protectionist trade policies and its (still) unstoppable flood of exports, triggered panic across Europe’s economic landscape.
With no blueprint for political unification or cultural integration, the early members of the fledgling European Union – remember, just a treaty, never a place – suddenly seized upon the idea of a common currency that would allow sybaritic and not always fiscally responsible counties, like Portugal, Spain, Italy and later Greece, to jump onto the rising tide of a united Germany, whose savings-based economy (as opposed to everyone else’s debt-based systems) might not lift all ships equally but might save its more economically derelict neighbors from drowning.
The creation of the euro has been the raison d’etre behind the campaign to create a supranational state with policies, regulations and even judicial power resting with un-elected officials and an autocratic bureaucracy in Brussels, a city my former United Nations boss told me in 2005 would one day be “Europe’s Washington, D.C.”
What Europe needs, Macron says – and politicians across the west agree – is improved consumer demand.
Question: Who doesn’t remember the global economic meltdown of 2008, the trillions in tax dollars spent to prop up banks, and the hundreds of millions lost to minority and “specialty” lenders who scotch-taped “Closed” and “Out of Business” to their front doors as soon as they received their government checks?
Who doesn’t remember the frontal assault on pension and retirement funds, the sudden, soaring unemployment, the gut-wrenching devaluation of real estate and everything else?
2008 was the year the world discovered the global financial market was in it for itself, directing only roughly a quarter of the revenue financial institutions cull from investors and other stakeholders into R&D or into lending or debt-support for independent businesses (the Disney version of capitalism) – and using the rest to enrich itself.
It was the year globalism blew its cover, and we began to understand that removing borders to the movement of people, goods and trade translates into a “free-kill zone” for big banks, unregulated hunting grounds for corporations in search of zero-cost labor, the dislocation of populations who require more money to stay alive than they can send back up to the top, and, finally, the elimination of any identity except “consumer” for the citizens of not just France or the UK but the United States as well.
Le Pen’s campaign is a finger in the eye to the political establishment, the global money-guys currently fixed on financial deregulation everywhere, the elimination of Dodd-Frank in the U.S., and a relentless campaign in France to put an empty, eccentric suit like Macron in charge.
The French are different, says Marine.
And for her and all the nationalists ready and waiting to break into the Marseillaise, that could be the good news.
Kathleen Millar is a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security and has been a senior writer, spokesperson and speech writer for the director-general of the United Nations in Vienna and for the executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime; for former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), for Cabinet secretaries at the Departments of Transportation, Labor, Treasury and for top-tier officials in the executive office of the president during both Republican and Democratic administrations.