Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Marine Le Pen

I have run across a few articles challenging the idea that LePen is a far-right, or even a center-right candidate.  Jonah Goldberg has as good a one as the others. The label seems to come primarily from the focus on immigration and nationalism. That's not unreasonable, as those are more right than left both here and abroad, but they aren't pure anywhere.  Those have always been more useful as tendencies than as defining issues.  Goldberg points out that the French Communists have been anti-immigration.  I note that in America, some Republican employers have been pro-immigration while the African-American and trade unionists among the Democrats have been anti.

Also, it's not the only issue on the table.  The essay points out that left-right definitions are even more clumsy in France than here.

So.  Is Le Pen right-wing enough to deserve the label, or should it be gently countered?

6 comments:

james said...

The topic doesn't come up much, but just saying that the French left/right don't map neatly into US political categories is probably good enough. I could follow up by complaining about sloppy reporters.

Of course, without context and history (how much do the politicians usually lie there, and on which subjects?), I wouldn't be any better than those sloppy reporters at categorizing the players.

Unknown said...

Le Pen is (was) leading a party that is historically right-wing-populist and nationalist. Unlike her father who was a founder of the party and who was its leader for some 40 years, she is quick to expel members and officeholders who veer past their policies of immigration-restriction (and that immigrants should assimilate) into xenophobia and antisemitism.

My impression is that much of the populace think the party has really changed, and if the current authoritarian, populist, anti-EU, law-and-order platform is near to their own views they are happy to vote for it. The French press are more of the opinion that it is still a racist party and the new face is just a mask that they are maintaining until they get power.

Sam L. said...

I've said elsewhere that she's "far right" because the French "center"{ is so far left.

Sam L. said...

Also, see this, linked by Neoneocon: https://theweek.com/articles/694928/why-not-le-pen

Sam L. said...

And this on, from Powerline: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/05/marine-le-pen-not-normalized.php

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Sam L - yes, there are things to dislike about Le Pen, but they aren't especially far-right. Part of the American characterisation is simply laziness and unwillingness to question one's beliefs, I imagine. Yet I also keep in mind, whenever international events are being discussed is what I discovered when I was a liberal and discarded, but reluctantly had to admit was more than half-true. Liberals don't actually care about what happens in other countries all that much*, they only care how events can be used on the board in Washington, DC. The internationalism they profess is confined to the Right People in other countries, same as here. On an individual level they are very nice to foreigners they meet, perhaps nicer than conservatives. But they avoid the places where the wrong kind of foreigners congregate, such as Wal-Mart in the US, or poorer places abroad. What happens to women, or minorities, or poor people there is not allowed to affect policy here. Let them eat cake.

*So long as Junior Year Abroad isn't affected.