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Uncommon Decency

Dec 8, 2021

“Democracy always includes a form of incompleteness, it is not self-sufficient. The terror during the French Revolution dug an imaginary emotional, collective void: the king is no longer there!”. Thus spoke then Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron in 2015. The French have tried to replace the king ever since the death of Louis the XVIth in 1793. General de Gaulle bequeathed to France its presidentialist system, essentially giving the citizenry the right to crown their chosen king every 5 years. De Gaulle’s heirs on the center-right have since tried to honor this legacy but were blindsided in 2017 by Macron’s win, failing to make it into the run-off for the first time. Nearly 5 years later, a weakened Les Républicains (LR) party is parrying attacks from all sides. On its left, Macron wishes to triangulate. On its right, the nationalist TV polemist turned feisty presidential contender Éric Zemmour just held his first public rally this week. Last Friday, LR nonetheless managed to elect their candidate for the 2022 race, the president of the powerful Île-de-France region Valérie Pécresse. The French right has thus been split into three comparably sized blocks: Pécresse, Zemmour and Marine Le Pen. Jorge, Julian and François take stock of this latest cycle in the race.

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