Is this a trend? Nationalism, which is the name describing the revolt against big Government, caused by higher taxes, rampant unemployment, and immigration problems, is fueled by the working class, and those still paying the majority of taxes.
It is evident to a lot of observers that it is a trend. However, the two big wins by the working class do not necessarily make a trend. If Ms. Le Pen is successful, then it is. Polls in France show her in a dead heat with the other top two candidates. Four candidates are in the top of the running, and if one doesn’t secure the majority by May 7, then there is a runoff between the top two. The current polls, if they can be believed, shows Ms. Le Pen leading with 25 percent support, Mr. Macron with 24 percent and Francois Fillon trailing with 21 percent. Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon is set to come in fourth place with 16 percent.
Nationalism is rising fast. Traveling through southern France last summer, this writer experienced firsthand the growing animosity towards Big Government, the rhetoric against open borders, hearing horrid tales of problems with the immigrants, and the biggest complaint, taxes. It was the same rhetoric in the US that catapulted Donald Trump to victory.
The establishment, including the bureaucracy at the EU level, is predicting a runoff between Le Pen, one of two insurgent candidates and the charismatic leader of the National Front, and Mr. Emmanuel Macron, the other upstart leader of the liberal movement En Marche (on the move).
In the UK, the BREXIT movement was the only opposition. In the US, Donald Trump was the only opposition. In France, there are now two movements of opposition, with the two primary parties that have led for decades, the Socialists and the Republicans, out of the race.
The Economist calls it a global trend, dividing between open and closed, instead of left and right.
Will the European Union go into free-fall, if Le Pen wins? This is a real debate, worthy of many late night discussions. If neither of the two leading candidates wins a majority on May 7, voting starts on April 23, then the polls show that in a runoff, Macron has the lead.
Macron has a primary platform of jobs and revising the economy. Le Pen rides on the growing tide of immigration problems. Both are outside candidates, so it is not a clear path to victory for either one. The choice is stopping immigration or building jobs. This analysis may sound too simple, however, if there is a runoff election, then the debate will center on these two issues. If Le Pen can strike a chord with the jobs narrative, then she will win. If Macron can strike a chord with stopping immigration, then he will win.
Le Pen has taken a page out of the Trump playbook and announced in a speech on Wednesday that laid out a nationalist policy based on economic patriotism that would be enacted if she wins the two-round presidential election. The plan includes a tax of up to 35 percent for French companies that produce their goods elsewhere and then reimport them. Businesses that respect the made-in-France label end-to-end would be compensated. She will call for a vote to leave the European Union, which has all in the Europe Union in an uproar.
Macron, instead of Making France Great Again, says France is On the Move! He is pro-European and more left than the conservative Le Pen.
So the race comes down to a BREXIT vote, to leave the EU, or stay in, and a vote for stopping immigration, since fixing the economy is on both platforms.
The second and third CRAWLINGS FREE PRESS predictions are that Le Pen will be the next President of France, and the vote by France to leave the EU will fail.
In case you missed it, the first CRAWLINGS FREE PRESS prediction, made in July last year, was that Donald Trump would be the next President of the USA.