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First, it was the United Kingdom. Then, it was the United States.
Now, apparently, France has joined the fray.
Yesterday’s results in the first round to elect a new president in France yielded the same message we’ve seen in the U.K. and U.S.: a big, giant, middle finger to the political establishment. When 39 year-old former banker Emmanuel Macron and National Front leader Marine Le Pen emerged as the final two candidates who will do battle for the presidency on May 7, the people made their feelings loud and clear: Enough is enough.
With Le Pen, it really is a sign of the times. Years ago, the idea that anybody from France’s National Front – which has long been tarred for having less than tolerant positions on issues like immigration – would be anywhere near the French presidency would’ve seemed unfathomable. Seemed just as insane that the complete political novice Macron would be so close to the presidency, either.
Yet here we are.
And we are at this point because of the sheer insanity of what has gone on in France and, indeed, all over the world. Terrorism in France is absolutely out of control. It seems like there is a new attack every single day and the current government has no solutions. Jobs are leaving, the economy is a mess, and people just want somebody who isn’t from the political class who will come in and stop doing things the same way everybody else has. In other words, they want somebody who will not be a puppet to powerful interests and will do something to reverse the dangerous tide.
If you think about it, Donald Trump is the blueprint here, regardless of who wins.
While Le Pen is far more extreme than Trump – she wants a temporary ban on ALL immigration, not just immigration from select countries – and she is far more of a socialist than he is, her populist message of “France first” bears a striking resemblance to our president’s vow to put America first.
And Macron is a left-leaning centrist who is far less incendiary than president Trump, but he’s a lifelong finance guy with zero experience in elective office. That story sounds a tad familiar, does it not?
All of the candidates who didn’t make the runoff have endorsed Macron and all the oddsmakers have him heavily favored to win on May 7. Le Pen may pull off a Trump-like upset, but it is far more likely she will go down in defeat just as her father, the creator of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen did in 2002 when he made the runoff against Jacques Chirac.
But either way, France is in deep trouble and in desperate need of strong leader who is not afraid to make the right decisions to turn the economy around and get at least some semblance of control over the immigration and terrorism issues that have plagued France for so long.
Americans and the world need a strong France, because like it or not, they are going to be a very important ally against the global terror threat that we have faced for years. Whether it is Le Pen or Macron, the winner is going to have to get tough and be willing to do what needs to be done to help combat this issue that has been a plague on the entire world.
For everybody’s sake, I pray the French people choose wisely.