National Security & Defense

The Corner

A Vote For ‘Europe’?

Macron’s impressive win (now looking like 65.8/34.2)  in the French presidential election was, I suspect, more than anything else a vote against Le Pen. Predictably enough, however, the usual suspects are claiming that it was a vote for ’Europe’ (by which they mean even deeper integration within the EU).

Not really.

That said, I have no doubt that Le Pen made an uphill struggle (her party is not, to put it mildly, without its baggage) even more difficult by her talk of quitting both the EU and the euro. The French may not love the EU, but that’s not the same as saying that they want to leave it. They don’t. The same is true of the euro. The single currency has trashed French sovereignty and badly damaged its economy. France should abandon it. But a problem (I imagine) for quite a few otherwise potentially sympathetic voters may well have been the likelihood that any resurrected Franc would almost certainly fall sharply against the euro, thus cutting the real value of their income and their savings. As we have seen in Greece or, for that matter, Argentina (which had to contend with an unsustainable dollar/peso peg at the turn of the century) that’s not something that people tend to support, regardless of the broader longer-term advantages that might come from ditching a monetary arrangement unsuited to their country’s economy. 

Worse still, the fact that Marine Le Pen had already announced that withdrawal from the euro was (despite some later hedging)  on her agenda would have meant that bank runs (and other calamities) would have been on the cards as money began to pour out of France within minutes of a Le Pen victory. That thought too might well, I reckon, have dissuaded quite a few voters from voting for her.

In that context, this Reuters report from early las month makes interesting reading. The key takeaway:

While one in two voters agree with Le Pen’s stance that there are too many immigrants in France, only 22 percent want to ditch the euro, a Kantar Sofres poll showed.

And yes, there’s an irony here: The burden that the euro has placed on the French economy is one of the reasons that Marine Le Pen has got as far as she has, and yet fear of the consequences of walking away from the vampire currency is probably one of the reasons she has just lost.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More