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Personally I didn't qualify to vote 15 years ago (it's complicated - I was candidate in the 2002 legislatives, but wasn't on the electoral roll), but I handed out Green Party leaflets calling for voting Chirac.
The more salient reference is that most of them voted for Hollande five years ago, for a program that was quite decent on paper (Piketty wrote most of his economic program!), and look at the wasteland he left behind him.
Now, Hollande is the most unpopular president in history, and we are invited - no, commanded - to vote for his spiritual son, his successor in all but name, who will do nothing other than continue and deepen his neo-liberal reforms. So we are doubly cuckolded. Macron will deepen and widen the social chasm that leave an unhealthy plurality of citizens economically disenfranchised, marginalised, precarious, teetering on the edge of poverty or already in it.
These are the Deplorables that vote for Le Pen, and in part, for Mélenchon (and that is his triumph in this election -- a few more weeks of campaign, and he would have won it). According to the polls, about 20% of Mélenchon's electors will vote for Le Pen, 50% for Macron while holding their noses, and the rest will abstain or vote blank. What he recommends will have little effect on that split. And he needs those of his electors who will vote Le Pen next week, and as many of their peers as possible, for the legislatives in June.
More than anything else, what has sunk the French left is over-intellectualizing the vote, and under-emoting. I'm listening to my own emotions, and trying to commune with the herd. I'll vote according to reason, because that's who I am, but with empathy.
It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue
- Queen Elizabeth II
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