How populists beat the traditional left.

Or why “workers” vote for populists, leaving the left in the dust. A Fillon vs Le Pen second round would be a right vs left confrontation, with Le Pen representing the left (H De Bodinat, Challenges.fr).

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– We used to be despised for being fascist rednecks with racist and reactionary ideas…   – But since we vote FN we are respected as poor lost voters victims of life’s harshness. (via pcf84danielecasanova.fr )

Say anything to please voters, whether it makes any sense or not. The left’s ideology (or the right’s for that matter) is only a nuisance, better to be free of any coherence to promise what they want to hear. It’s globalization’s fault! It’s the immigrant’s fault! Doesn’t matter, it’s anyone but the poor chouchou voter’s fault. Want the sky to be pink? We’ll make it so, and made in France / the US / Brexit too.

Be angry, as any good representative of angry mobs should, and vociferous: I am one of you, angry people! We need action! We will take our country back! Even if none of that means anything, and even if that trick has been played on you before (by Sarko).

Because there’s a vacuum that needs to be filled, in this case Macron is too docile and vague, Valls is another Hollande type grey bureaucrat, the ecologists are irrelevant and Mélenchon is another left wing ayatollah completely divorced from reality. The left in France has no solutions, is hampered by compromises; the right doesn’t mean much except in opposition to the left, and is thus stronger after weak sauce Hollande.

So the “sane” choice will be right wing light populist Fillon, sure of his values about order, morality and free enterprise; none of which solves anything, but would be preferable to le monde à l’envers, a Le Pen representing workers.

The interesting thing would be for Macron to realize these three steps and take action accordingly:

Appeal to self esteem and national honour: We are better than this; oh and in passing we are better than unitestaters, italians, and brexiters: that should clinch it.

Be just as angry while denouncing the other’s stupidity: we want our country back!

Fill the vacuum, present yourself as the one choice to break the stalemate: the old ways aren’t working, let’s try something new that makes sense and has a direct impact on the bottom line for each voter: employment, security, a sense of autonomy and fulfillment. Big tasks for a big job.

 

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