OPINION: Anybody but Le Pen for France


By Marie-Lan Nguyen, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Daniel Smith , Opinion Editor

It’s your turn, people of France.

You have a presidential election in April. It’s time to decide if you want to vote for someone who supports freedom and tolerance, or if you want to vote for hate and racism.

Do you consider yourself a centrist? Vote for Emmanuel Macron. The 39-year-old independent started his own party, En March!, and wants to “free the energy of the able while protecting the weakest.”

So maybe you think Macron and his centrist ideologies are too kind to the banks. How about Socialist Party nominee Benoit Hamon, who wants to fulfill his campaign slogan and “make France’s heart beat.” Supporters have dubbed Hamon the “French Bernie Sanders” for his socialist, idealistic policies.

Or are you a traditional conservative? François Fillon is your candidate. He’s less concerned with equality than Macron and Hamon and is facing a corruption scandal that could end his campaign. He’s still better than the fourth candidate, Marine Le Pen.

Please, people of France, do not elect Marine Le Pen. Le Pen and her party, the Front National, have run a campaign based on racism and fear.

Le Pen has used hateful rhetoric about the dangers of immigration and globalization to garner her populist support. Her plans and ideologies are similar to those of President Trump, whose campaign she is using as a model for her own.

The rhetoric worked for Trump in the United States.

It also worked for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) during Brexit, even though UKIP leader Nigel Farage disavowed Le Pen and her party for being too radical.

Learn from us, France. Brexit supporters regretted their decision to leave the EU. Some people that voted for Trump regret that, too. It might be too late for us, but it’s not too late for you.

Please, people of France, don’t make the same mistake that we did. Don’t vote for hate. Don’t vote for Marine Le Pen.

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