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French Poll: Far-Right Extremist Could Win First Round of 2012 Presidential Election

An internet poll in France has found more support for a far-right, nationalist candidate in next year’s Presidential election than for either the incumbent or a likely Socialist contender. According to the BBC, Marine Le Pen of the xenophobic National Front party leads President Nicolas Sarkozy and potential Socialist candidate Martine Aubry by a margin of two percentage points. It’s not a huge lead, but the poll results have shocked the French public. The survey, conducted by the prestigious newspaper Le Parisien, found 23% of the 1,618 respondents would vote for Le Pen. If such a result were to become reality, Le Pen would automatically qualify for the second round run-off against one of the mainstream candidates.

Marine’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, stunned France when he came in second in the first round of the 2002 Presidential election. He was crushed by incumbent Jacques Chirac in the second round. Le Pen is a racist hothead who founded the National Front in 1972. He was a five-time Presidential candidate whose rabidly xenophobic and racist views earned him a fiercely loyal but ultimately limited following. His daughter Marine, aged 42, comes off as a kinder, gentler Le Pen, but those who have followed her career in the European Parliament are quick to point out that while she has wisely abandoned her father’s anti-Semitism, she shares many of his xenophobic, anti-Islamic views.

Still, her folksy, conservative charm (sound familiar?) and France’s continuing economic woes have got many French voters– especially in the National Front’s traditional southern strongholds– giving Le Pen their serious consideration. The mainstream French political establishment is taking notice. But will they be able to fend off the challenge she represents?

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6 Comments

  1. JacquesMarch 9, 2011 at 3:42 amReply

    “Le Pen is a racist hothead”

    He is not. He’s just trying to defend his country and people against the attacks of globalization, from massive African immigration to deindustrialization through the relocation of production in China. The problem with leftists of your kind is that they have no real sense of responsibility. While they posture as solving the problems of the world and being moral examples, their real stakes are restricted to their navel, as they try to get a nice image of themselves, without any care for actual people and situations. Protecting one’s people is the first moral imperative, you know.

    • Brett WilkinsMarch 9, 2011 at 9:55 amReplyAuthor

      Touché, Jacques… although I cannot help but notice that where I live we are dealing with globalization, massive immigration (albeit from Latin America), and de-industrialization through relocation of production to China (aren’t we ALL dealing with this?) But instead of reactionary, discriminatory policies, we have chosen to embrace the world. We have a “sanctuary city” government policy towards immigrants, welcoming everyone regardless of legal status, in the belief that there is no such thing as an “illegal immigrant” because there is no such thing as an illegal human being. Instead of whining about the loss of jobs to China and looking back on our glory days, à la France, we look to the future. We’re home to the most innovative region on the face of the earth, where most of the world’s technological breakthroughs occur. We work in cooperation with China– we design, they build. I am talking, of course, about the San Francisco Bay Area. I suspect Le Pen and her ilk can learn a thing or two about what it means to be a human being from us. Protecting the EARTH and your FELLOW MAN, regardless of race, religion or natural origin is the first moral imperative, you know.

  2. JacquesMarch 9, 2011 at 10:26 amReply

    “But instead of reactionary, discriminatory policies, we have chosen to embrace the world.”

    You surely have, but then you have been driving this globalization thing. Are all nations of the world forced to adopt your system? Can’t you respect that some nations, or some people in some nations, prefer to live in a more traditional way, preserving the cohesion of their nation? Your country is a unique and recent experiment in world history. You came from Europe, wiped out the existing population, betrayed Europe that sent you, and created a “nation of immigrants”, a non-nation so to speak, made of a juxtaposition of communities that mostly ignore each other. And you have incarceration rates 10 times what we have in Europe. So, good for you, live with your system, but stop thinking your are a model for everyone and you are entitled to force it on everybody else. France didn’t start from scratch a few centuries ago. It is not populated with people who cut themselves from their home nation in the hope of getting rich, many people there are just living simple lifes, and that is fine by me. They are my people and I will protect them.

    “there is no such thing as an “illegal immigrant” because there is no such thing as an illegal human being”

    Communities have rules that they enforce in order to preserve themselves. This has always been and must be so in the long term. In a typical leftist way, you think that all such constraints are “absurd” and “unneeded”. This is not true however, and we’ll see how you fare in the next decades and centuries. Communities are where human beings blossom; they need to be healthy. I don’t think yours is; whatever the case may be, every people can choose their way of living, it’s called the right of self-determination of people in your parlance.

    “Instead of whining about the loss of jobs to China ”

    Le Pen doesn’t whine, he fights. Can you tell the difference?

    “We work in cooperation with China– we design, they build.”

    Tell that to the less educated American people whose work has become unneeded with this system, and who have become dead wood to your “community”. The basic functioning of communities requires that everyone is needed and that different classes of people participate in a cohesive whole.

    “Protecting the EARTH and your FELLOW MAN, regardless of race, religion or natural origin is the first moral imperative, you know.”

    The essence of politics and democracy is that you can only influence what goes in your country (unless you see the world as your colony of course and send your armies there). So effectively what you are doing is getting rid of your traditional obligations to your own people (the less educated, the poor, etc.), profiting from this system individually, and feeling good despite this by proclaiming your lofty ideals for which you cannot do a thing.

    That being said I appreciate the fact that you published my comment and replied to it.

  3. JacquesMarch 9, 2011 at 10:56 amReply

    I’m all for protecting the earth myself, by the way. This is however a conservative view (in the real sense of the world, not the abhorrent “American neoconservative” sense), and you should realize that it is contrary to your own basic stance. You want to protect the balance and the harmony of the earth, but you don’t give a damn about the balance and the harmony of your community. Having juxtaposed communities ignoring or hating eachother and incarceration rates 10 times what they are in Europe sounds satisfactory to you. Not just that; you actually insult the people who seek to protect the social balance and harmony in their country like Le Pen in France. And by doing so you think you are showing what a great moral human you are.

    So you see, I am green as well. And I’m an atheist, too. We have some common interests. I just think I am a bit more coherent than you are. I wouldn’t link to Haaretz on the other hand. If you are Jewish, that may explain your stance. Jewish people are not too sympathetic to the “natural community” view outside Israel since they are not part of it and fear to be excluded themselves. As to Israel, of course, it is the only State explicitly based on race in this world.

    Same pattern as above regarding Americans and globalization. They are in a unique situation (a people living scattered in the world), they get a very particular stance because of this, and they try to impose it on everyone.

    (Your blog system should preserve empty lines. Trying my luck with some html code, let’s see if it’s any better.)

  4. JacquesMarch 9, 2011 at 11:02 amReply

    And one last thing. I said protecting one’s people is the first moral imperative. You said it is protecting one’s fellow man regardless or origin or race.

    What about your family? Is it your FIRST moral imperative to protect your children and wife, or is it to protect anyone’s children or wife? Think about it.

    I agree with you that human solidarity, regardless of race and origin, does mean something. However it is obvious that you first need to protect your own people, and secondarily other people, exactly like you first need to protect your children, and secondarily other people’s children.

    You see the protection of one’s own people as excluding the care of people outside it. When in reality it is the base on which you might extend your solidarity beyond your own nation (if you still have some courage left).

    If you fail to protect the ones who should be able to count on your protection (like your children or your people), then talking about helping everyone in the world is just an escaping of your responsibilities. And it is exactly what you are doing.

  5. JacquesMarch 12, 2011 at 3:32 amReply

    I just came back to see if you had replied, and I saw your picture. You look African American to me (though you probably have European ancestry as well).
    . . .
    In that case, when I wrote: “You came from Europe, wiped out the existing population, betrayed Europe that sent you”, that obviously didn’t apply to you and your ancestors (as an African American at least). It still holds as a description of your country however, and as an explanation of why you shouldn’t insist on forcing your model on the whole world and on insulting whatever person objects to it in their own country.
    . . .
    Take care.

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