Marine Le Pen is trying to win the French elections with a subtler kind of xenophobia


Marine Le Pen, the face of the French far-right, is trying to bring American-style identity politics to France — wagering that direct appeals to the country’s women, Jews, and secular-minded voters will help her win the French presidency despite widespread concerns about her hardline views on immigration, outsiders, and globalization.

If she succeeds, Le Pen would make history as the first far-right leader in the postwar period to take power in a major Western European country. A victory would also mean she will have pulled off an amazing political transformation, taking what had been an openly xenophobic and vilified party, run by a man known for minimizing the horrors of the Holocaust, and bringing it squarely into the French mainstream.

When France goes to the polls on April 23 for the first round of the election, Le Pen is widely projected to win enough votes to move into the second round, where she is currently expected to go head to head with Emmanuel Macron, a centrist banker turned politician who is running for elected office for the first time.

Most analysts expect Macron to win, but poll numbers for the top four candidates are still bouncing around so wildly that no one is comfortable firmly predicting the final outcome. Le Pen has an actual, if very slim, chance of coming out on top if hardline voters turn out in droves while disenchanted mainstream voters stay home.

A fatal shoot-out, called a terror attack, in the heart of Paris Thursday evening could give her a last-minute boost as it allowed her to repeat her campaign rhetoric about banning or limiting immigration. “We cannot afford to lose this war. But for the past ten years, left-wing and right-wing governments have done everything they can for us to lose it. We …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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