16 April 2007

French reactionary politics

It looks heckuva lot like American reactionary politics.

As the French presidential race heats up, Jean-Marie Le Pen of National Front, the reactionary political party, is gathering a significant amount of support, giving the center-right Nicolas Sarkozy and the leftist Segolene Royal a serious run for the money.

He has a strong nativist message, warning that at the current pace, immigrant cultures will swamp the French Republic. Like other reactionary politicians in most countries of the world, he is an isolationist, preferring to withdraw France from the EU and reinstating the guillotine and the franc.

What is noteworthy, and similar to American reactionary politics, is Le Pen's appeal to Muslim immigrants, who are almost as likely to vote for Le Pen as the general French public. Muslims are drawn to Le Pen's homophobia and social conservatism. This is similar to the Cubans and the Koreans voting Republican in US politics, despite the Republican nativism, due to the party's Christian social conservatism.

Le Pen and the National Front, just like the Republicans in the US, are on to something. They have discovered how to be nativist and pro-immigrant at the same time, satisfying both sides of the debate. Sarkozy and Royal need to figure something out fast, and so do the Democrats in the US.