The Guardian has a great article on the successful rebranding of the French National Front under its new young leader, Marine Le Pen:
The French political elite was given a short, sharp lesson in not underestimating the FN in 2002. In a completely unexpected scenario, Jean-Marie Le Pen knocked the Socialist candidate out. He lost in the second-round run-off, but the incident provoked a bout of national shame and self-loathing that left deep scars.
Jean-Marie Le Pen’s hectoring antisemitism and bullying rhetoric could not sustain the success. But in January 2010 Marine Le Pen was elected the FN’s president and overhauled the party.
She dumped the shaven-haired bully boys nominally responsible for “security” at FN rallies for fresh-faced girls in jeans and crisp T-shirts, and abandoned the neo-Nazism and outdated references to the second world war. She even voiced support for homosexual marriage.
There were flashes of Le Pen senior in her railing against Muslims praying in the streets – which she likened to the Nazi occupation – “corrupt” politicians, European technocrats, and that old FN chestnut, immigration. And while it was generally agreed that she was softer and cleverer than her father, the fundamental ideology of the FN seemed to have changed little.
“She’s a young woman and she plays on that softer image. She’s also good at getting her message across, much, much better than her father,” said Nonna Mayer, who is an expert on France’s far right and a professor at the Paris Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po).
“But it’s the same politics of scapegoating that it always has been. It’s still the extreme right. There’s no getting away from it.”
I used to think that Europe was way ahead of us. But these days, I’m starting to think we’re ahead of them. Our innate multiculturalism forced us to grapple with what everyone else will have to in the wake of globalization, and countries that once seemed like forward-looking, tolerant, and progressive are seeing the rise of sentiments that have been commonplace here for a long time. But the thing is, I’m actually relatively hopeful for America. Our young people just have little conception (for the most part) of race-based grievances, and the younger you get, the less there is. In the medium term, we should be fine. But a lot of these European countries are going to have to reckon with this stuff, and I have no idea how long it’s going to take. Hopefully shorter than it’s taken us.
In any event, let’s just hope Ms. Le Pen doesn’t get anywhere close to power this year.
- Give ‘em the boot, you know I’m a radical: Balloon Juice
- It’s not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me: Balloon Juice
- Page 18 - Christian Chat Rooms & Forums: "LGBT RIGHTS"
- Page 4: The Most Powerful Man In The Free World
- 10 Right-Wing Lies That Owned Political Discourse In 2013. -S-T-L-A-L-: 30;] Personhood” has been given by a...
Wine Labels2012 Election Abortion Barack Obama Bullshit Bush Christianity Congress Conservatives Corruption Debt Ceiling Democrats Economy Fail Foreign Policy Fox News Gay Marriage Hatred Health Care Ignorance Insanity Law LGBT Issues Libertarianism Lies Media Mitt Romney Music Policy Polls Quotes Racism Rebuttals Recession Republicans Right Wing Sarah Palin Scandal Stupidity Teabaggers Torture Truth Video War Crimes War on Drugs War on Terror
- Ralph Nader Is Still Politically Stupid (1)
- Give ‘em the boot, you know I’m a radical: 30;] But there was one thing they were wrong about: Ralph...
- Big Win For Forces Of Tolerance In California (2)
- Shocking To No One (1)
- Metavirus: what an f’ing toolbox
- Massive Illogic (5)
- Mark Schumaker: This is just another example of the GOP wasting money while selling lies, hate and fear. None of...
- Metavirus: Fuck these fucking fucks. I would probably excuse ignorant flaming bullshit like this in the 90s as just...
- Matmos: Idaho’s New Anti-Gay Bill: Doctors and Teachers Can Turn Away Gays. Although the article has the following...
- It’s not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me: 30;] Lev from Library Grape has a good piece...
- Ralph Nader Is Still Politically Stupid (1)
- Idiot Quote of the Day: Dubya on GITMO
- What Would Glenn Beck Have to Say to Get Fired?
- NYT Sports Writer Condemns Phelps for Pot Smoking
- Thunderbolts and Lightning, Very Very Frightening
- WTF, Friedersdorf?! Dennis Prager is thoughtful now?
- Putting Away Childish Things?
- Presidential Triangulation 2.0
- Fox News Has a First Amendment Right to Lie – Updated
- Massive Illogic
- Oregon Ducks Win First Rose Bowl Since 1917
- Ralph Nader Is Still Politically Stupid
- Quote of the Day: Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged
- Exploring How Identical Twins Can Have Different Sexual…
- TownHall’s List Of Racist Liberal Quotes As Pathetic…
- Oh, Come ON! You Stereotypical Gays.
- Valentine for Freep
- March 2014 (1)
- February 2014 (33)
- January 2014 (31)
- December 2013 (25)
- November 2013 (32)
- October 2013 (57)
- September 2013 (32)
- August 2013 (57)
- July 2013 (56)
- June 2013 (44)
- May 2013 (42)
- April 2013 (41)
- March 2013 (66)
- February 2013 (42)
- January 2013 (74)
- December 2012 (67)
- November 2012 (44)
- October 2012 (51)
- September 2012 (35)
- August 2012 (50)
- July 2012 (36)
- June 2012 (35)
- May 2012 (51)
- April 2012 (42)
- March 2012 (64)
- February 2012 (85)
- January 2012 (79)
- December 2011 (68)
- November 2011 (76)
- October 2011 (67)
- September 2011 (55)
- August 2011 (53)
- July 2011 (44)
- June 2011 (71)
- May 2011 (103)
- April 2011 (107)
- March 2011 (120)
- February 2011 (124)
- January 2011 (82)
- December 2010 (97)
- November 2010 (92)
- October 2010 (93)
- September 2010 (80)
- August 2010 (44)
- July 2010 (63)
- June 2010 (33)
- May 2010 (60)
- April 2010 (34)
- March 2010 (50)
- February 2010 (66)
- January 2010 (67)
- December 2009 (72)
- November 2009 (78)
- October 2009 (91)
- September 2009 (75)
- August 2009 (105)
- July 2009 (81)
- June 2009 (178)
- May 2009 (152)
- April 2009 (147)
- March 2009 (86)
- February 2009 (52)
- January 2009 (118)
- December 2008 (18)