Apparently wild ideological swings are not exclusive to American politics. Francois Hollande and incumbant Nicolas Sarkozy have advanced to the Second Round of France’s Presidential Elections. March madness or mma style, I guess. Sports frolic: Jon “Bones” Jones defeated Rashad “Suga” Evans in a lopsided and unanimous decision Saturday night at UFC 145. (Where else are you getting a stew of French politics and UFC? Now, it’s a stew that will probably make you puke your latte but a stew you’re only getting here.)
So in the “First Round” of the French election, ten presidential candidates are narrowed to two. Among the ten this year, there was included a Marine Le Pen, the National Front or Front National Party candidate. Although she did not advance, she performed unexpectedly well, particularly among younger voters. National Front is the severe-right French party and until Le Pen, was not a mainstream presidential player. As you might suspect, France is a little left of let’s say being left-handed and leftovers. So Le Pen’s performance, in general, as an extreme conservative, and with young people, in particular, came as some surprise. Although apparently not as xenophobic as her father, and founder of the National Front Party, she has targeted muslims and emphasized unemployment, two story lines that have resonated with the young, especially those with little formal education whose jobs may be in specific peril. Sound familiar?
Greece and Spain may be coming to France, economically speaking. And, people tend to vote their economic interest. But, there is also this weird swinging pendulum of psychology in politics that just says, “Hey let’s try skiing with our pants off for a while!” (That may not be a perfect translation from the French.) It’s what makes a fairly progressive segment of the country get a wild hair for a self-professed “Joan of Arc” and bigot. Just like when the same independent voters that were sick of 8 years of Republican rule, eagerly voted, at the midterm, so many of them right back into office only two years into the Obama administration. It’s like we’re politically bi-polar. And, this is an actual phenomenon even as so much of our society is largely and staunchly entrenched as one or the other — republican or democrat.
Back to Le Pen, apparently she has invoked the symbolism of Joan (I know her like that) as she stands in opposition to the Anglo-Saxon influence of the United States that Europe should participate in its wars and the “idea of a unipolar world.” I don’t know. I’m just repeating stuff I’ve read at this point. Has a Saxon even been spotted since like the 12th Century?
Coincidentally, and in other french news, we took our son to see Les Miserables literally today. What are the chances? And, we had french fries with our Zaxby’s chicken finger plate for lunch to boot. Spooky weird.
Doesn’t he look like he should be playing chess and nursing back to life some vineyard recently fallen into ruin? My man.
Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by Sundance.
Today’s song blog here:Le Pen-dulum Swings