Liberating The West (A New Series): Le Pen—The Harbinger?
Probably not since the German army
descended upon Paris in
1940 have the French—and European and
American—political and media establishments greeted a
political event with the level of hysteria with which
they met the second-place finish of French nationalist
Le Pen in his country`s first round of presidential
voting last week.
Mr. Le Pen won a little more than
16 percent of the votes, but that was more than enough
to render most of the Atlantic ruling class virtually
comatose with terror.
"Saying democracy itself is in
peril," the Washington Post reported a few days
afterwards, "leaders across the French political
spectrum today launched an emergency effort to prevent"
a Le Pen victory in the presidential run-off of May 5,
when he will face incumbent President Jacques Chirac. [Washington
Post, April 23 2002,
Parties Vow To Unite to Bar Rightist In France.]
Nor were the French "leaders" alone
in crawling for the political panic room. Ministers and
politicians of both "right" and "left" in the
governments of Spain, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and
the European Union itself denounced Mr. Le Pen and
openly told French voters not to cast their ballots for
Just to display their deathless
commitment to "democracy," Mr. Le Pen`s colleagues in
the European Parliament jeered him from the podium this
prevented him from speaking, despite his own
membership in the elected body.
Real democracy really is in peril,
but it`s not Mr. Le Pen who threatens it.
What exactly does Mr. Le Pen
threaten to do to elicit this kind of psychosis? Mainly
he promises to end abortion and same-sex marriages, stop
legal immigration, kick out all
illegal immigrants, maybe withdraw from the
EU and generally get tough on
law and order. Most of his program is in fact not
very different from what most American conservatives
support, though that doesn`t stop their spokesmen from
denouncing him in the same shrill tones as the
Yet, for all the delirium into
which he has managed to cast his country and his
continent, Mr. Le Pen almost certainly will not win. He
has never polled more than about 15 percent of the
popular vote, and may not even reach more than 20
percent in the runoff. Quite pompously, President Chirac
has refused to debate him,
intoning that "faced with intolerance and hatred, no
debate is possible."
Mr. Chirac`s principled distaste
for "intolerance and hatred" apparently does not induce
him to renounce the
endorsement he has just received from the leader of
French Communist Party, who could tell us all a
thing or two about intolerance and hatred. Indeed, Mr.
Chirac has good reason to avoid a debate, given the
allegations of corruption that have plagued his
administration, and one major reason for Mr. Le Pen`s
second-place finish ahead of the Socialist Lionel Jospin
was, as the Wall Street Journal noted, "that
Messrs. Jospin and Chirac have
shared power for the past five years and … their
middle-of-the-road platforms are barely
Nevertheless, even though Mr. Le
Pen will not win, his showing has already accomplished
something of major importance, not only for French and
European politics, but for the politics of the whole
First, the political gang rape of
Mr. Le Pen tells us something important about what is
called "democracy" today. "Democracy" as the term is now
used has nothing to do with the "rule of the people,"
the consent of the governed, or even with broad
political participation. "Democracy" means merely the
monopoly of power by the political parties, ideologies
and special interests that prevail.
Anyone who accepts that monopoly
and its agenda—even communists—is for "democracy."
Anyone who challenges it—even fairly conventional
conservatives like Mr. Le Pen—is an "extremist," an
apostle of "intolerance and hatred."
Second, the real reason for the
demonization of Mr. Le Pen is his opposition to
immigration—not any "anti-Semitism," "racism," or "sympathies for
fascism" that this veteran paratrooper supposedly
What that means is that mass
immigration is now enshrined as an inherent part of
European "democracy," far more than such relics as
national sovereignty or real democracy itself, and
anyone who opposes it or questions it is outside the
Thirdly and most importantly, what
Mr. Le Pen has proved is that a new fault line runs
through French—and European and probably American—politics. It is not a
line between right and left but between those who stand
for their nation, race and civilization, on the one
hand, and those who
stand against them—and for "Democracy" and the "New
World Order" and their "multiculturalism"—on
Mr. Le Pen may not live to see his
side win, but he has succeeded in unleashing and
mobilizing the political forces that can ultimately push
its enemies out of the monopoly of power they now grasp.
April 25, 2002