It was only back in May that Marine Le Pen, the head of the National Front and daughter of its antisemitic founder, performed staggeringly well against Emmanuel Macron in France’s presidential election. Winning 40 percent against Macron in the second-round vote and electing eight candidates to the French National Assembly, Le Pen produced a dream result for her party and her platform of immigration skepticism and political populism. The National Front made all the big headlines, and her candidates dominated primetime TV news.
Several months later, Le Pen’s National Front is in shambles, torn apart by infighting and strife.
The Front’s vice chairman Florian Philippot created a think tank to restructure the party. That effort was undermined when in early September, as her approval ratings declined and Philippot raised more criticism over the party’s policy line, Le Pen decided to strip him off of his responsibilities, which led him to quit the National Front. This divided the party, and put Le Pen at a crossroads.
It doesn’t matter if Le Pen’s party stands or falls. It will either reassemble elsewhere or the voters will hijack another party. Ideas don’t just disappear because the messenger left for an early pension.
Until then, even if Marine Le Pen fades away, France will see a new figure of her kind pop up in the coming years. It’s bad ideas we have to fight, not people.
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