In the upcoming French presidential election, Marine Le Pen will likely face off against main contender François Fillon, a center-right free market reformer. François Fillon is the true conservative, a candidate who is proposing economically sound reforms, is distrustful of government, and appeals to common human decency.
Marine Le Pen instead wants to prevent free movement of goods and people, plans to withdraw from trade pacts, and is fixated with increasing state control of the economy. Her policy proposals ironically echo those of the French Communist Party of the 1950s and 1960s. French conservatives should therefore remember what conservatism means, and French liberals ought to unite with the center-right for the greater national good — just as they did in 2002 when they voted to stop Le Pen’s father.
The French economy has many structural problems that threaten both future French prosperity and the survival of the Euro currency and European Union. French voters have a rare chance to address some of those long-standing issues with a dose of basic economics and fiscal realism. The alternative would be the twin dangers posed by Le Pen’s National Front: an ethnic and economic nationalism that would threaten civil liberties and worsen the economy rather than restore it.
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