“What the Hell Just Happened in France?” is the title of a column in the hard-left Mother Jones site.
No, it’s not about the Paris massacre — such events never seem to rankle the ire of leftists — but about France’s weekend voting and the surge of the National Front.
The refugee crisis in Europe has fueled right-wing political gains on the continent for months, even in tolerant Germany and famously liberal Sweden. But the most significant far-right victory so far came this weekend in France, where the nativist National Front party won the most votes in local elections held across the country…
Le Pen’s hardline stances on Islam and immigration resonated with voters after the terrorist attacks in Paris last month. “Islamist fundamentalism must be annihilated,” she said after the attacks. “France must ban Islamist organizations, close radical mosques and expel foreigners who preach hatred in our country as well as illegal migrants who have nothing to do here.”
The columnist concludes his piece:
The National Front’s victory isn’t yet secure. A second round of run-off voting will happen this Sunday, and frightened left-of-center voters may shift their votes to the Republicans, the center-right party that finished second, to block the National Front from taking power. The Socialists, who finished third, said they will pull their candidates from two key regions to encourage tactical voting against the National Front.
But no matter the result in the second round, Sunday’s vote is a clear warning that the National Front may be close to holding real power in France. With a presidential election in 18 months and incumbent François Hollande scoring only about 30 percent in job approval ratings, Le Pen looks more and more like a viable candidate for France’s top job.
This warrants (I couldn’t help myself) a slight re-writing of a famous lyric:
Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mother Jones?