Le Pen’s National Front is living off the same media coverage advantages that Donald Trump profited off in the Republican primaries.
The French presidential election has been taking on speed in recent weeks: former Minister of the Economy Emmanuel Macron is running as an independent, Thatcher-admiring François Fillon won the Republican primary, former president Nicolas Sarkozy left French politics after losing his primary, and incumbent president François Hollande announced he will not stand for re-election in 2017 as Prime Minister Manuel Valls resigned in order to prepare his own presidential bid.
Meanwhile, France’s National Front is working hard to ensure that Marine Le Pen qualifies for the second round presidential vote in April 2017. Le Pen’s platform is that of hard-line protectionism: taxing imports and subsidizing the local economy, leaving the European Union, and bringing back the French Franc as a currency.
The National Front also suggests lowering the retirement age to 60, changing the election law to proportional representation (which would favor themselves), limitingimmigration to only 10,000 people a year, deporting not only illegal immigrants but also all foreigners who have committed a crime, and indicated that children of foreign criminals should not benefit from the education system. This policy of “national priority” paired with a hard-left economic policy is nothing short of actual national socialism. The far-right party has complained that unfair coverage by the “establishment” and “left-wing” media is undermining their efforts.
Today’s Young Voices Podcast features Young Voices Executive Director Casey Given and YV Senior Advocate Máté Hajba on Hungary’s rising illiberal populism and its similarities to Trump’s proposed strongman policies.
Populists are on the rise in the United States. A year ago, the thought of Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders having any degree of success at the voting booths would elicit laughs at parties in Washington.
Trump placed second in the Iowa caucus and Sanders nearly tied Hillary Clinton in votes. Outright populists, left or right, might actually win the presidency. The last time that happened was Woodrow Wilson’s reelection in 1916.
For the last century Americans have been insulated from the populist waves that rocked the world. America never saw socialism of the sort that ruled nearly every other country on Earth at some point in the 20th century.
Rand Paul is no longer a viable presidential candidate.
The man has faltered at every turn, despite inheriting one of the most powerful anti-establishment donor and activist networks built in the modern era. Long seen as harbinger of a “Libertarian Moment,” as the New York Times famously called it, he has run only to find barely a populist leg to stand on.
There has not been, nor will there ever be, any kind of libertarian populism in our lifetimes. This is the premise of my former boss Jerry Taylor’s piece, published over at Fox News on Friday.