With the stunning results of the Brexit referendum and the historical upset of a Donald Trump victory, a world-wide movement to reject Globalism and open borders has made their message clear in Europe and have taken the Presidency in America. The next battleground appears to be the French 2017 Presidential elections, with voting set to begin April 23rd.
Although it could be argued that Putin was the first modern leader to stop playing by the Globalist’s rules when he invaded South Ossetia in 2008, Putin has never been a good role model for politicians in the West due to his autocratic nature. On the other hand, Silvio Berlusconi had just won a third term as Prime Minister of Italy in 2008, and many European commentators have been pointing out the similarities between him and Trump since the latter announced his run for President.
“‘The most powerful way to oppose [Berlsuconi], but it was never really done seriously, was to try and understand what his voters want and try to address the need of his voters. No jokes, stop shouting, stop crying, stop saying: ‘It is a horror and disaster’; try and seriously understand what his voters want, and the left was never really successful in doing that,’ [Giovanni] Orsina said.”
If Berlusconi is like Trump, what can America learn from Italy
Berlusconi may have been the prototype for Trump in terms of persona and spectacle, but more importantly, his populist leanings and later Euroscepticism very closely parallel the nationalist tendencies of Trump and the UKIP. It was these populist policies that addressed the needs of the Italian voters and outshone all of his personal flaws.
Over in France, Marine Le Pen leads the National Front party, and supports policies that are openly nationalist and protectionist. Le Pen is not a lippy, spray tanned billionaire like Trump and Berlusconi, her father led the National Front for 40 years and she has been active in politics since 1998. Le Pen may be the most dangerous opponent to the EU bureaucrats due to her pedigree, her success in reforming her party’s image, and her push to pass a referendum allowing French citizens to vote to leave the EU. Yes, she wants a Frexit, just like Britain’s Brexit.
In response to a growing global movement against their policies, and the further potential of a breakup of the EU, the French political Establishment have chosen Francois Fillon to be the Presidential candidate for the Republican party. Fillon served as Prime Minister under Nicolas Sarkozy, an EU Globalist who almost went rogue when sanctions on Russia began to seriously degrade the French economy. Both Sarkozy and Fillon are your typical big government conservatives espousing oligarch-friendly tax cuts while implementing tax-subsidized government welfare and stimulus programs to run up deficits and debts just like George W. Bush.
In an attempt to woo voters away from Le Pen, the Republican party and Fillon has ceded many positions on their platform to populist sentiment. He’s taken a strong stance against Islamic terrorists, favors a reset with Russian relations, and is somewhat socially conservative. But the one area where the bureaucrats in Brussels won’t release their grip is the economy, and Fillon toes the line in this respect. Fillon’s crusade against budget deficits and debt can only mean one thing for an EU country – austerity measures. He has also rejected the protectionist measures of the National Front, insisting instead that French workers embrace job retraining and the offers of employment given to them afterwards.
If that last part about job retraining sounds familiar, it’s because it was a major issue that popped up during the American election. Many inhabitants of the Rust Belt, the region of the country that may have handed Trump the election, suffered under deindustrializing trade deals like NAFTA, and did not want retraining. They wanted to keep their jobs.
“To counter Trump’s populist appeal, [Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David] Betras urged Clinton to go vigorously after blue-collar workers by promising to bring back jobs. The key, Betras argued, was to have this message delivered not by politicians but by local blue-collar families in radio and television ads across the region. ‘The messages can’t be about job retraining,’ he wrote. ‘These folks have heard it a million times and, frankly, they think it’s complete and total bullshit.'”
So why do the Globalists insist on making the same mistake in France? It’s because the EU common market, and the combined economic cooperation of France and Germany, is the only thing keeping the EU and the Euro afloat. Any advice from political pundits and commentators to address the needs of the voters directly will be ignored because it can’t be followed due to geopolitical circumstances and bureaucratic inertia. The current economic paradigm of the “pivot to the East” entails the outsourcing of heavy industry and manufacturing to countries like China, Vietnam, and India in order to build more robust international trade ties and one large, interconnected world economy. Le Pen, and the threat of a Frexit, could undo all of that.
In pursuit of such a system, the EU has rejected national sovereignty, borders, and job security for their people. Anybody with half a brain can see that the Free Trade position is untenable, but the EU bureaucrat bankers and career politicians in Washington, London, and Berlin have been so dependent on public relations, focus grouping, consensus building, sugarcoating their failed policies and painting the leaves green that they have forgotten what is real.
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