Has French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen channeled the spirit of former President Charles de Gaulle? In 1966, De Gaulle shocked the world by pulling France from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) integrated military command. Le Pen looks like she will be following in De Gaulle’s footsteps based on recent comments she made.
Prior to the first round of the French presidential elections, Le Pen stated at a meeting with her supporters in the city of Reims in northern France, “We must defend our interests freely and get out of the logic of military alliances … Therefore, we will get out of the unified NATO command, so as not to allow us to be dragged again into useless conflicts.”
After the first round of elections in the French presidential race, Le Pen is off to the second round in a competitive race between her and incumbent president Emmanuel Macron. She received 23% of the vote, while Macron attained 28% of the vote.
Le Pen is running on a national populist platform that stresses immigration restriction, support for the French working class, and a restrained foreign policy.
The 2022 French presidential cycle witnessed the entry of candidates like Eric Zemmour who also criticized French foreign policy (France’s involvement in NATO) and has called for re-assessing the country’ mass migration policies.
Though she has been criticized for moderating her position on leaving the EU, Le Pen has maintained her strong immigration tendencies and unwillingness to get the country entangled in foreign conflicts that don’t advance the national interest.
Now, Le Pen will be squaring off with Macron in what is expected to be a heated second round of the French presidential elections on April 24, 2022.
The end result is up in the air. Most French people have become exasperated with the rising cost of living brought by anti-market policies the French government has imposed in addition to the sanctions it has imposed on Russia.
If France is to break the shackles of economic malaise, it will need to downsize its state and not follow the West in its psychotic push for sanctions on Russia, all which will blow up in France’s face.
Electing Le Pen might be the only way for France to break its current malaise.