Friday, May 5, 2017
France's Moment of Truth (UPDATED)
Centrist French Presidential candidate Emannuel Macron has opened up a double digit lead over his opponent, far-right white nationalist Marine Le Pen, going into this weekend's landmark election. The two candidates could not me more diametrically opposed, with Macron representing a forward-looking, integrated-with-Europe view and Le Pen representing a reactionary, xenophobic/racist view of France as independent from Europe. Far-right European political figures like Le Pen, Wilders in Belgium, Hofer in Austria and Farage in the UK share a common goal: revival of neo-fascist governing in Europe, where each nation returns to its white, national racial and cultural "identity" at the expense of unity and prosperity. Not surprisingly, some of these reactionaries have received verbal support from America's neo-fascist con man, Donald "Rump" Trump, who openly embraces dictators and would-be dictators from Egypt to Turkey to the Philippines.
Despite Macron's significant lead, right-wing forces have been mobilized to interfere with the elections, through planting of false and defamatory fake news, to hacking political systems. In Russia's case, Russian autocrat Vladimir "Vlad the Invader" Putin has provided funding to Le Pen's party, which has supported Russia's invasion and annexation of Crimea, as well as its attempts to undermine Ukraine and to dissolve NATO. Putin would be delighted to see his "win" last November in the U.S. replicated in France this weekend.
Fortunately France doesn't have an archaic electoral college system to negate its popular vote, so turnout is essential to making sure Le Pen is defeated, and defeated resoundingly. Assuming Macron will win based on these polls is dangerous. As we've learned the hard way, the only polls that count are the ones you go to on election day.
UPDATE: Late yesterday, the Macron campaign was the victim of a cyberattack, believed to be the work of Russian military intelligence cut-out APT 28, a.k.a. "Fancy Bear.". E-mails and other documents, along with fake documents, were posted on a site that permits anonymous document sharing. French law prohibits any political debate or discussion by the media 44 hours before the polls open on Sunday, so Macron is not able to respond in full).
UPDATE II: A plea for the French media not to behave like the U.S. media. You see what they did to us?