The Trouble with Emmanuel Macron

Cole Stangler writes for Dissent Magazine:

Related image[…] On a basic level, the success of the thirty-nine-year-old founder and leader of the independent En Marche! movement is puzzling. How can a candidate associated with such unpopular ideas—a backer of finance, François Hollande, and a neoliberal EU—be doing so well?

For one, thanks to some top-notch branding and messaging. From the very beginning, Macron has posed as a renegade candidate, promising to take on “the system” and shake it up. “From the inside, I saw the emptiness of the system,” he thundered in his opening campaign speech last November. “This system, I refuse it.”

Speaking before a crowd of London-based expats in February, Macron declared that he was proud of his “immaturity and inexperience.” And striking a similar chord in a recent interview with Brittany’s regional newspaper, he claimed to be “the only outsider” in the race.

The posturing belies his actual career. However you choose to define “the system”—ultra-tight political cliques in charge of parties and governments, cultural elites with friends in high places, or brute economic powers fueling inequality—Macron embodies it.



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