Headline: Emmanuel Macron lays claim to the mantle of de Gaulle
Sub-headline : Like the general, the French president aspires to rule above conventional politics
As always the headline and sub-headline at The Financial Times, are the all important rhetorical/political framing for its Neo-Liberal Apologetics, Mr. Jonathan Fenby’s Macron Press Release being its latest example. It will not disappoint the regular readers of this newspaper! His essay makes all the requisite historical comparisons with de Gaulle: the commonality between both leaders is in the exercise of megalomania, with the proviso that de Gaulle had an actual record as War Hero, and political leader. While Macron’s particular politics are defined by the exercise of the arrogance of a political arriviste. The proof of that statement, the idea and practice of a Jupiterian Politics. Note, that one of the cornerstones of Neo-Liberal political fraudulence is the idea/construct that the Left/Right divide cannot just reach some consensus, a modus vivendi, but can be subject to a political/economic emancipation. The Civic dimension is consigned to the scrapheap of the Neo-Liberal Counter-Revolution: The Free Market determines the whole of the human aspiration and endeavor!
Absent from this celebration of the arrival of Neo-Liberalism à la française is the record of spoiled ballots and abstentions- for a full report on the unaddressed questions of Fenby’s unsurprising hosannas to Macron, read this enlightening report from CNN’s on the French vote (Updated May 8 2017):
Headline: A record number of French voters cast their ballots for nobody
(CNN) Emmanuel Macron’s triumph over Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election has been hailed as a landslide victory for the centrist candidate and a widespread rejection of his rival’s far-right platform.But Macron’s mandate may not be as overwhelming as it seems. A record number of French voters were so dismayed by their options that they either skipped the election or cast their ballots for no one at all.The so-called “ballot blanc,” or white ballot, has a long history as a protest vote in France, going all the way back to the French Revolution. This time around, nearly 9% of voters cast blank or spoiled ballots — the highest ever since the Fifth Republic was founded in 1958.For now, the votes, which are counted towards the turnout, are largely symbolic. But there is a movement underway for the blank ballots to count as a share of the overall election vote. According to a recent Ifop poll, 40% of French voters said they would cast a blank vote if it were recognized under French law.
In the graph that CNN provides, that I cannot reproduce here*, the percent of both ‘white’ and ‘spoiled ballots’ stands at 33.4%. Nothing like a mandate for ‘reform’ ! Except to the editors and writers of The Financial Times.
(Graph added July 22, 2017 9:13 AM PDT)