Defeat of Le Pen in France was a victory for united Europe and United States

York Dispatch editorial board
  • Emmanuel Macron has won another five years as the French president.
  • Macron beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen by a 58.5% to 41.5% margin.
  • Le Pen, if elected, had promised to dilute relationships with NATO and the United States.
  • Le Pen had also called for a privileged partnership with Russia.
Emmanuel Macron has been reelected as the French president.

It was a victory for France.

It was a victory for the United States.

It was a victory for a united Europe.

It was a victory for the world.

And it was a defeat for Vladimir Putin and other far-right extremists

That is the Reader’s Digest version of what happened during this week’s French presidential election.

Emmanuel Macron was reelected to another five years in office by outpolling far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, 58.5% to 41.5%.

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Marine Le Pen got 41.5% of the vote in the French presidential election.

A Le Pen victory would’ve been disastrous: The fact that Le Pen managed to get more than 4 in 10 French voters to support her racist and xenophobic candidacy is still more than a little concerning.

Her favored nationalist policies are more than a little frightening. For example, if elected, she wanted to:

Ban Muslim women from wearing headscarves in public.

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Call for a moratorium on legal immigration.

Dilute France’s relationships with the European Union, NATO, neighbor Germany and the United States.

Establish a privileged partnership with Russia and Putin.

Favor protectionism as an alternative to free trade.

A win for the United States and a united Europe: Thankfully, she was defeated. Now, more than ever, a united Europe, in partnership with the United States, is desperately needed to stand up against Putin, his lawless regime and his brutal invasion of Ukraine.

A Le Pen victory would have sent political, social and economic electroshocks through the free world, and that is something that had to be avoided at all costs during this potential tipping point in history.

So, for now, the United States and NATO still have a strong ally in their battle to preserve western freedoms and reject racism.

Victory wasn’t as overwhelming as it should have been: Still, Macron’s victory was not as overwhelming as it should have been. In 2017, the centrist Macron beat Le Pen by a 66% to 34% margin.

In 2002, Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, was trounced 82% to 18% by Jacques Chirac. 

So, it’s obvious that the Le Pen dynasty is inching closer to becoming mainstream. Marine Le Pen has done that by disavowing some of her father’s more outlandish ideas and trying to soften some of the more outrageous views of her National Rally party.

It seems to have worked. The populist candidate is gaining ground, and unfortunately, she doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

“In this defeat, I can’t help but feel a form of hope," she said. “I will never abandon the French."

That is alarming.

Now it’s up to Macron: As a result, it will be up to Macron to try win back the support of Le Pen’s voters who feel left behind in a more global and diverse world.

Macron seems to understand that.

“No one will be left by the side of the road," Macron said in a victory speech against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower and a projection of the blue-white-and-red tricolor French flag.

“We have a lot to do and the war in Ukraine reminds us that we are going through tragic times where France must make its voice heard," Macron said.

He has five years to convince those disgruntled French voters that looking inward, and ignoring global problems, is no way to go forward.

Like it or not, it’s an interconnected world. Economic, social and security problems have no respect for national borders.

We are all in this together.

Vive la France.