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Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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April 15, 2024

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2022 French Election: A Worrying View of the French Future

Nearly three weeks ago, incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected as the president of France, beating out far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, with 58.55% of the vote going to Macron. This is new for France, as it is the first time in the modern history of the French Fifth Republic that an incumbent president has been re-elected as president.

As the polls are being deconstructed, France is left to ponder how Macron will use his extra 5 years in office. However, the close election is a worrying sign for what comes next for France. 

France had two main candidates in this election: Emmanuel Macron, a centrist who has been seen as arrogant, pandering to the rich, and relatively passive in regards to progressive values, and Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist, whose policies are dangerously close to outright ultranationalism. 

With a leftist, progressive candidate trailing behind in the first round, France now sits in a precarious position, staring into the precipice of ultraconservatism and anti-progressivism. It is a grim state, and shows the worrying rise of nationalist, right-wing candidates across Europe.             

France—long-considered to be the bastion of liberalism and progressive values since the French Revolution—has falsely advertised their liberalism to a wider world who has unquestionably believed them. 

The motto “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” was a creation of the French Revolution and has been invoked countless times to describe modern France. However, many have used this adage as a deflector to criticism, arguing that, since the enshrinement of this motto into the constitution, France has achieved equality, and needn’t do more. 

This is a grave mistake, as we see France continue to grapple with immense inequality. France has instituted a ban on hijabs, denied refugees and migrants from Africa, pushed for bigoted laws, and refused to adress the ever-increasing wealth gap. 

A terrifying turn towards the far-right shows that France has never held this motto in truth, merely using it as leverage against criticism and an excuse to remain reactionary. France’s image to the world shows it as a nation of tolerance and inclusion, but its increasingly nationalistic and conservative political sphere shatters this illusion. 

This election narrowly prevented  an explicitly far-right  government from taking control, but Macron’s leadership will do nothing to stop conservatism’s insidious spread into government. 

The French people must take a deep look at their government, and adjust its course before nationalism and bigotry reign supreme. “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity,” France writes. But for whom? 

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    orzMay 24, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Well written. Good job french nerd