Goodbye to Le Pen: France And Europe Run Away From The Trump Bogey

Melik Kaylan in Forbes:

3a4148cd48927bf48ab71ee311627f47So first the Dutch, and then the French have voted back into the center and rejected the populist-nationalist axis. A good deal of flack still pocks the scene but you can feel a general drift on the European air. Geert Wilders, the self-appointed anti-Islam Dutch firebrand, a brave man whatever you think of his policies, got left standing at the altar. And now Marine Le Pen. Certainly the mood might yet change in France before the run-off, with more Daesh-linked attacks or other spoilers. But they already had a terror attack timed to affect the vote and it didn't work. If anything, it seems to have consolidated the center. Many still doubt the trend. Here the New York Times idly suggests that the failed far-left French candidate, Melenchon, may yet tilt things towards Le Pen: he has refused to back the new front-runner Macron in the run-off. But it won't happen.

The French, like the Dutch and Germans, are unlikely to merge the political poles, the far left and right, in the way that the anglo-saxon world has embraced. Here's why. Core Europeans have finally woken up to the extremity of the danger. By that I refer not to the inner beast of fascism or authoritarianism or whatever 'ism the bien pensant side discerns in the bud. Rather, Europeans have detected a more pressing danger – the forces from without working to push them off-balance: the Trump-Putin-Erdogan factor.

More here.