According to Scott McConnell, writing in The American Conservative, French President Emmanuel Macron has outlasted the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest protesters), and possibly has come out on top. At the start the movement had wide popular support, but has since morphed into a mostly leftist band of redistributionists. McConnell writes:
What the Gilets Jaunes represent in French politics has evolved.
Once an unexpected cry of pain from the peripheral France hurt by globalization and ignored by the French governing class, supported at least tacitly by a large majority of the French, it has become a more standard left-wing movement, shouting redistributionist slogans and now in some instances blended with the violent ultra-left. Last November, on French social media, a video circulated of a couple of hundred Gilet Jaunes reaching a local entente with a squad of riot cops; the slogan shouting stopped and both groups joined together to sing the French national anthem. Such an interlude is difficult to imagine today.
Even though Macron retreated on the regressive carbon tax that ignited the initial protests, the underlying class problem that gave birth to the Gilets Jaunes remains unaddressed.
Simply put, more working class people in France are poor and struggling to get by than at any time in the postwar era, while many in the prosperous cities are doing just fine.
The safest prediction is that the demonstrations will soon stop. The government will forbid demonstrations in certain sensitive areas like the Champs-Élysées and a crackdown will be widely viewed as unavoidable
Macron’s party will emerge slightly stronger in the coming Europarliament elections than if the Gilet Jaunes had never happened.
The economic gap between Macron’s France and the Gilets Jaunes’ France will continue to grow.
Read more here.
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