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Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Macron’s Election: France Doubles Down on Failure
J. Robert Smith
In a strained bit of humorous idiocy, a flak at the Washington Post spins Emmanuel Macron's win and Marine Le Pen's thumping as an "embarrassment" for President Trump.
Aaron Blake, writing for "The Fix," betrays the MSM's obsession with pinning anything and everything negative or failed on Trump. Crows Blake:
I argued on this blog that Trump's comments about Le Pen amounted to an endorsement. He had said that she was the best candidate when it came to the most important issue: the security of her country. And he clearly suggested that her popularity was rising after the terrorist attack, a claim that in retrospect looks haphazard, at best, and foolhardy, at worst.
Sorry, Aaron, but this merits a "Dope Alert." Most Americans couldn't give a hoot that the president said nice things about La Pen or even suggested her election as good. Most Americans care about their kids, jobs, and safe streets. Trump's utterances on the subject matter only to inbreds who breathe the rarified air in DC, New York, and Boston. Or guys like you who get paychecks pulling this inanity from their rears.
Nowhere in Blake's brilliant analysis did he mention Barack Obama's profound embarrassment for endorsing Hillary Clinton, whose loss wasn't predicted by the MSM or all those very smart guys and gals in coastal blue redoubts. After all, Le Pen, trailing badly in the polls, was expected to be hosed. Hillary was practically measuring the drapes in the Oval Office. Who has more egg on his face, Aaron?
Actually, it's the French who have the most soufflé on their faces. In Le Pen's concession speech, she acknowledged that the French voted for "continuity." That they did, but not in any good way. Macron, who served in Hollande's government, was repackaged and rebranded as an "independent" with a fresh take on France's growing troubles. He's actually just old shoes in a new box.
The 39-year-old Macron is a quick, clever invention of France's globalist, EU-devoted elite. No? Well, he strode to the podium on Election Eve to proclaim his victory to the EU's anthem, "Ode to Joy." How's that for an "In-your-face" gesture? And get this: the guy who composed the "Ode," Ludwig Van Beethoven, is a German, no less. We all know about the evidence-rich Trump-Putin conspiracy in our own elections. Might Macron taking the stage to a German ditty reveal Angela Merkel's conspiracy with him in the French contest?
A big problem for France is that its economy is practically stagnant. It has been for decades (that's correct, "decades"). But who would blame big, central, bureaucratized government for an economy's woes? Or a bevy of entrenched interests that profit handsomely from a government-dominated economy? Not the EU's Jean-Claude Juncker.
There is a familiar rhythm to French politics. President gets elected amid a wave of optimism. President says root and branch reform of the economy will lead to stronger growth and falling unemployment. President fails to deliver the promised transformation. Economy continues to struggle. President gets booted out of office.
In the past 30 years, François Mitterand, Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande have won elections for the mainstream parties of the centre left and centre right but France's economic problems have not been resolved. It says something about how poor performance has been under Hollande that growth of barely more than 1% in 2016 was good by recent standards.
France's unemployment rate hovers around 10% (higher than its pre-EU rate of 8%). Germany's stands at about 4%. French youth unemployment -- that's under 25-year-olds -- is about 25%. Germany's is much lower. Idle minds make for the devil's workshop.
As the Guardian points out, the French have developed an inferiority complex vis-à-vis their German allies, who are outperforming them economically. Without getting too much into the weeds, Macron wants Frau Merkel to "reflate" the German economy and boost consumer spending. He wants monetary reform to prop-up the Euro, too.
You'd think that Macron, an ultra-sophisticated Frenchman, would have deeper insight into the German mind and character.
Germans retain memories of what "reflation" did to the Deutschland between the great wars. Moreover, Germans are notoriously frugal. Perhaps that's a bit overdrawn, but Germans aren't typically about Mall-bingeing and conspicuous consumin'. They're savers, not spenders, and they eschew debt. Go ask the Greeks about the latter.
The Germans seem to run the EU behind the scenes, too. That must chafe the French and stoke their sense of infériorité. Not that anyone's suggesting that the EU is a front for German dominance of Western Europe. That smacks of conspiracy, and the Messieurs and Mesdames at the Washington Post would never indulge conspiracy hokum.
Then there's the little matter of unassimilated Muslims in Paris and throughout France that Macron will have to address -- somehow.
How many Muslims are unassimilated is a guess. In fact, it's a guess as to how many Muslims are in France, period. In a February 20, 2017 article for the Gatestone Institute, Yves Mamou provides some insights to "France's Muslim Demographic Future."
France's Muslim population could quickly grow to close to 15-17 million, but no one can know precisely unless the law prohibiting the official collection of ethnic data is changed.
These figures do not take into consideration the Muslim population that immigrated to France from North Africa in the 1960s and early 1970s. There are a few million of them -- nobody knows how many exactly. For demographers, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren are not regarded as immigrants anymore. These Muslims are, rather, integrated into statistics as French citizens born of French parents. They are Muslim, but under the statistics radar.
In other words, if the Muslim population of France can be estimated at around 6 million today, it could grow to 12 million by 2020-2025.
That's just in the 2020-25 window. More Muslims to come -- unless vigorous policies are put in place to change the dynamic.
As they say, "demographics are destiny." Millions of French Muslims -- or Muslims in France -- cannot be ignored. Politics eventually will yield to numbers and organization. The more radical elements in most populations tend to be more assertive, more intent on imposing their worldviews and ways. Fundamentalist Muslims -- true believers -- have demonstrated their aggressiveness for centuries. It's happening in France already; unrest among swaths of Muslim habitués is routine.
Christianity -- Catholicism, in particular -- has been waning for decades in France. The bloodless, godless materialism of France's non-Muslim populous is no match for the convinced beliefs of Mohammed's followers. The rash of Muslim terror attacks on French soil is testament to the force of passionate, transcendent faith over the supposed allure of material comfort and cradle-to-grave welfare statism.
Macron is very likely no different from Hollande or their immediate predecessors. He's surely a captive of a conceited, politically-correct ethos that's impotent in confronting doctrinaire Islamic faith and practice. Countering and rolling back Islam in France would take a de Gaulle. Macron is no de Gaulle. He appears more a Pétain, and that's unfortunate for France.