Editor’s Note: From our great friend and regular SUA contributor, Michael Flanagan. Former Congressman Flanagan is president of Michael Flanagan Consulting, a practicing attorney, and is a former Captain in the U.S. Army and has worked for the U.S. State Department.
Recently, I travelled to France to speak at a Franco-American friendship gathering assembled to celebrate the inauguration of America’s forty-fifth President. On that trip, I had the pleasure of a private dinner with Marine La Pen and with Major General (ret) Paul Vallely. General Vallely was our host and has long been involved in international affairs as they relate to the United States.
Ms. Le Pen was thoughtful, pleasant, informed and a true daughter of France. She loves her country in that special way that motivates all of us to support her love affair and emulate it in our own lives and for our own country.
Like many Americans, Ms. Le Pen loves everybody but feels that her country is for her countrymen and not a potential residence for anyone in the world who wants to come. Like many Americans, she believes that France has the right and responsibility to carefully select those whom should live among them and does not apologize for this.
Ms. Le Pen questions and largely rejects the belief that a thin veneer of overlords known as the EU Parliament and its financial backers should make all of the rules for half a billion people located among the most diverse and differing ethnicities on the earth. She believes that the French should govern France, not a collection of other Europeans assembled from these differing ethnicities.
Ms. Le Pen rejects collectivism in economic terms as well as political ones. She embraces the free-market and trade deals among nations close and far. She would like France to reject the Euro and re-establish the French Franc as Great Britain still uses the British Pound.
Ms. Le Pen also is as perplexed as many Americans are that these things are in any way controversial things to say – much less hateful as the Left calls them.
Ms. Le Pen is running ahead of the pack in the preliminary elections to be held in April. That election will be shortly followed by the run-off between the top two vote getters. Ms. Le Pen is a shoe-in to be among the top two – in fact, the first.
Interestingly, the second contender will be the right-of -center traditional party, the Republican candidate, Francois Fillon. Because Fillon is plagued with personal controversies, he is fading in the pack. Le Pen is doing all of the right things and, consequently, her numbers are growing daily.
These two contenders on the Right consume well over half of the expected vote. Consequentially, as was quoted to me repeatedly in France, “the Left is finished.” The last time the national leader of France was as unpopular as Hollande is now, they cut his head off.
Le Pen has been working very hard on her positions and her image which has been blighted by past sins of her party, The National Front, and by a biased, left-leaning media. To rebut unfounded attacks on her affection for all Frenchmen, she has secured very favorable statements by Mr. Gilles-William Goldnadel and by Mr. Roger Cukierman both prominent Jewish leaders in France.
Unlike so many in America, she would be thrilled with an endorsement by our President and believes that his election was the beginning of a long line of leaders all over the world to be cut from that same cloth as President Trump was. The Trump Administration has so far been reluctant to get into the mix over there but there is time, if they are so inclined. I hope that they seriously consider an endorsement.
Like Trump, she enjoys a cross-section of France supporting her and has strong support on the traditional sector of the country. This may entice out a previously-unknown percentage of the vote, until now hidden – a’ la Brexit and Trump.
Young people are enjoying a re-awakening of what it means to be French in its grandest tradition and these folks make-up a surprisingly large part of her enthusiastic supporters. The excitement of youth working for something is both infectious and heart-warming. It is nice to see young people building something like they are over there as opposed to being paid by George Soros to pull things down like they do over here.
Marine Le Pen is on the march and I am hopeful for her success in April. It will be a shock to the EU and will embolden so many others in Europe and around the world to re-embrace the nation-state as a the best means for a peaceful coexistence in the world.