Like many post-imperial western European states, France has not recovered easily from the scars of its lost empire.The brutality of late-colonial French suppression of freedom fighters in French Indo-China (later Vietnam) and Algeria is among the darkest moments in French history and indeed all of European colonial history.
This is something that many in France continue to grapple with. The post-colonial collective conscience of France is still conflicted, angry and at times even desperate.
These are not words that would normally be welcomed at a rally of Front National, the party founded and led for decades by Jean-Marie Le Pen. As someone who in just a few weeks time will march in The Immortal Regiment honouring the Soviet heroes who defeated fascism, the greatest plague in the history of mankind, I could hardly support a far-right reactionary like Jean-Marie Le Pen, a man who had something of a sympathetic perspective on the Hitler regime and Hitler’s Vichy French puppets.
But Marine Le Pen is not Jean-Marie Le Pen and today’s Front National is not the Front National of the past.
I support Marine Le Pen and hope she becomes the next President of France. Her foreign policy is realistic, anti-dogmatic, anti-extremist and as a result, it represents something that is deeply humane.
She supports Bashar al-Assad’s war against terrorism in a country France once terrorised itself. She has no ambitions to fight current President Francois Hollande’s neo-colonial war.
She does not want to follow in Napoleon’s footsteps and march to war with Russia, only this time carrying an EU flag. Marine Le Pen wants to cooperate with, trade with and engage in good relations with Russia.
She does not want the EU, a union modelled partly on Germany’s Zollverein and in other aspects, the French Revolutionary wars that sought to and for a time united Europe under the flag of blood-soaked liberal idealism. That failed and so too will the EU as presently constituted.
Marine Le Pen represents diplomacy and atonement for a country which like the United States, Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and before that Portugal and Spain, engaged in brutal wars of conquest and imperialism in the very recent past and indeed in many cases, into the present day.
The practical end-result of Marine Le Pen’s policies will mean a France and possibly a Europe working for the sake of peace where at the moment ,the EU is a cauldron of war mongers. She has a lot on her plate, but I am inclined to believe her. She criticised Donald Trump where he was wrong and yet Trump still respects her. This is the kind of leader France needs.
For these reasons alone, a vote for Marine Le Pen is a vote that can be cast in good faith.
As for her domestic policies, she seems increasingly in touch with the majority of French people, whereas most of her opponents continue to push for a globalised, post-modern culture than many in France, like many throughout the western world have grown tired of.
She speaks for peace and she speaks for the wishes of her countrymen and women.