Fascism falls in France…. try saying that five times fast. Although Marine Le Pen has been officially labeled a populist, others have gone as far as dubbing her a fascist, and the title is catchy.
France held their presidential elections on Sunday as the rest of the world watched on, seeing if the French would chose the moderate Emmanuel Macron or the extreme right Marine Le Pen to be their next head of state.
Macron won a decisive victory with 66.06% of the vote, shocking most of the world with such a large margin, and becoming the youngest president in France’s history at the age of 39.
Many believed Le Pen, often dubbed by liberal Americans as the “Trump of France,” would challenge Macron in the way Donald Trump surprised Hillary Clinton and the world in the 2016 presidential election. Now, however, it seems as if France has chosen moderation over fascist ideals, a surprising result to those comparing the French election to the United States.
Since Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States, American news outlets have highlighted elections in both the Netherlands and France, who seemed to have similar candidates. Both the Dutch and French differ from the United States by choosing the more moderate, less inflammatory candidates as their leaders.
It is almost as if US news outlets wish they could go back and accurately report the 2016 election, but without the possibility of doing so have been drawn to new elections with the potential of a similar outcome. Many politically aware Americans have become familiar with the name Le Pen in the last few months, all through the attention garnered by news agencies to highlight her nationalism and anti immigration stances.
American media streamed information of the French election for weeks leading up to the vote, with Facebook and Twitter becoming platforms for Americans already disenchanted by the presidency of Donald Trump. Although the French electoral system differs from the United States, many found themselves enthralled by the delicate balance that France hung in Sunday.
New media has offered American citizens an insight into an election occurring around the world in real time. News outlets now have the ability to report information to different countries in seconds, demonstrating how the internet and social media have revolutionized news. In this case, US citizens were allowed to voice their opinions, along with the rest of the world, in relation to the French election. The possibilities of new media are endless, and apparently include American college kids celebrating the loss of a populist in a country halfway across the world. Cheers.