Trump's appeal to "the workers" is real but the results indicate the workers did not bite. The average income of the Trump voter: $96,000. The average income of the Clinton voter: $61,000. Clinton won robustly those making $25K or less as well as those making $50 K or less. Clinton got the vote of the working poor, Trump of those with money who saw in his fake populism a backdoor to tax cuts for the affluent.
All fascists appeal to the "people," from the volk of Germany to the fake populism of Trump and Le Pen.
Because of the history of the National front for racism and anti-Semitism, softened by the savvy political radar of Le Pen, French banks will not loan her money so she has had to go abroad, including Russia, which is very favorable to many far-right parties in Europe.
" In 2014, the National Front took Russian loans worth 11m ( 9.4m). One of the loans, for 9m, came from a small bank, First Czech Russian Bank, with links to the Kremlin."
The Russian loans happened as Russia was annexing Crimea, and some wonder whether there was a link. Le Pen says she wants to end the sanctions brought about by the annexation, but so did Trump but that is all now rotten fish, best forgotten, as within 3 months, the US reaches its "lowest point" with Russia. I am suggesting that Le Pen and Trump share the same professed ideology, campaign tactics (ultranationalism, attacks on globalism, scapegoating of minorities) and that we can expect the same flip flops if she is elected.
Don't get me wrong: I agree that Crimea legitimately is part of Russia, that neoliberalism and globalism are evil, that the people should come first, but Trump is lying about who is causing the exaggerated evils he conjured up, and so is Le Pen.
I agree we should be partners with Russia, but look at how Trump has reversed his campaign promises and positions, and Le Pen is likely to do the same. She remains a big fan of Donald, even after he has betrayed everything he ran on.
In her ramped up campaign to fight terrorism, she will intensify the Police State and extend French bombing (with may civilians killed) beyond Syria and Iraq.
The War on Terror, which is her them, is based on scapegoating Muslims and justifying expanded war powers, repression at home, war abroad. That is fascism writ simple.
Trump's Big Lie was that Mexicans are criminals and refugees are terrorists, both threatening America. Le Pen's big lie is that France because of "Islamic fanaticism" is on the verge of civil war. Like Trump, she is using fake threats and the need to "win" the war to drum up support. Here is what Madison said about making up excuses for war:
In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."Speech, Constitutional Convention
When Le Pen conjures up a civil war, she is preparing the population for war. In fact, since 2015, there have been 215 killings by alleged terrorists, with many of the attacks having the hallmark of false flag events to justify the militarization of French society. Le Pen vows to intensify this development, which puts vaunted French liberty and equality and solidarity at great peril.
In the 20th Century, Europe was devasted by two wars fueled by nationalism and leading to the slaughter of 100 million; and while I do not support NATO or the current EU leadership, I think it is important to understand why so many Europeans fear the resurgence of the nationalistic spirit which destroyed Europe twice in such a short time.