by Carine Belmont
In France, the fighting is fierce and this is not the one you could think. The fight against or for the abstentionism has become the new hobbyhorse. It is an ongoing war between those who advocate the vote for Emmanuel Macron in order to obstruct the archaic ideas of Marine Le Pen and those who refuse to contribute to the social inequalities that the liberal policy of Macron promises to generate. All of this creates an atmosphere quite demoralising. What could be sadder than seeing people basically united against the Front National tearing each other apart on behalf of ideologies yet not incompatible ?
Then, following the slump caused by the first round results of the presidential election, questions appear: nothing left to lose, why not giving up now? But who exactly is giving up: abstainers or the others? Or, actually, does each one have their own way of fighting? We do not know and we are not sure we really want to know.
I imagine all the questions, which now pop into your mind! Are we really living a French version of the Clinton vs Trump debacle? And especially, how does voting Macron represent such a huge distress ?
As for the first question, I am afraid the answer is: YES. Tomorrow is going to be a long and stressful day, as well as the past two weeks have been. Remain to hope that the result will be happier.
Regarding the second question, to make it simple: those who voted for Macron, and made him the winner of the first round, are now enjoining the others to vote in order to block Marine Le Pen and the Front National. Main problem- many are those who think that it is the policy of Hollande and thus of Macron (who is Hollande 2.0), which has set the stage for the Front National by accentuating the social inequalities. Hence, the non-voters strongly dislike to be told to vote for Macron in order to save France, and make it known. At the same time, those who voted for Macron are labelled as having made a “useful” vote only to block the Front National. But – as you know it now – Macron is a can of worms, which will end up playing the game of the Front National. The “Macronnistes” are thus seen as responsible for this Cornelian choice imposed for the election second round. After all, since they wanted this mess, we will leave them with it. To sum up, if they had not voted for Macron in the first place, we would not be in this poor situation.
Once at this point of the debate, new questions arise. What are we making of those who voted neither for Macron nor for Le Pen and are not abstainers? Do we leave them sinking with the ship? And are we sure that the ones who voted for Macron made it only to block the Front National? Why then?! Did they deliberately vote for Macron’s policy? No, it can only be a useful vote of sheep manipulated by the media and the surveys ! Unless… And is it really such a drama to vote only to obstruct the sickening philosophies of Marine Le Pen? The Front National is frightening, we all know that. Or, perhaps they simply looked on their left then on their right and they found nothing of interest, so they finally took the thing which had been left in the middle. It is confused, very confused. Everybody tries to find out who is guilty, who acts against morality, who has a the worst behaviour and who has the responsibility to save France.
The advantage is that it makes reports of the freedom of speech in France. On the public radio channel France Inter, the chronicler, Nicole Ferroni, did an unforgettable performance, which spares neither Marine Le Pen nor Macron. If it was not in favour of the abstentionism, it did not give the will to vote either. All of this happened in front of a radio presenter apparently quite annoyed. But it must be highlighted that nobody had thought of checking the text of the humorist prior to the show. A good point for the freedom of speech !
At the opposite, on the same radio, the chronicle of Pierre-Emmanuel Barré, promoting the abstentionism has been refused by the presenter of the show in which he participated. Although France Inter’s Management finally offered him, a few hours later, the opportunity to perform his text, he chose to resign and put his chronicle on Facebook.
Then, we could think “Fortunately, the social networks supersede the traditional media, which are ruled by power and money”. But perhaps “fortunately” it is not the right word. Day after day, Facebook posts are increasingly injunctive and accusing. The most annoying thing is probably the habit of likening the opposite camp to the Front National. The “Voting for Macron in 2017, it is to vote for the FN in 2022” and the “1 abstention = 1 vote for the FN” are just like taking our head and running into a brick wall, there’s nothing coming out of it. In a nutshell, people seem to spend much time and energy to prove how their neighbours are playing the game of the FN, rather than trying to stay united. So, perhaps we have the media we deserve. And especially, no more doubt- fear makes us stupid !
Then, I have come to the following conclusion: the best solution is probably to act according to our own conscience and convictions and to leave alone our neighbours. Personally, I will vote for Macron. Yes, I said it, I don’t hide it and I will even explain it. After all, it is my article. I can write what I want to write. Feel free to do what you want to do. You can even decide to stop reading now if that suits you.
As I said it, tomorrow I will vote and it will be for Macron. However, I think I understand those who refuse to vote for him in disgust of the liberal system. I am not sharing Macron’s ideas. It is not my world, nor even my France. But my France will be never France, because I will always have to share it with 66 million French people.
Then – even if I do not support him in anyway – if I do not vote and Marine Le Pen is finally elected, I wonder and I will always wonder: What am I going to say to people ? How could I justify this? Because what? Because I refused to take part in the development of the suffering generated by an unfruitful and unequal liberal policy, and I was not the only one after all. Because we left the ones who could do it doing it, but that was not enough. That the door, which we chose to leave half-opened has opened at the end. And, hence, we allowed new suffering to add to our own suffering – the suffering caused by xenophobia, racism, homophobia and sexism to the ones generated by the social inequalities. But we will fight, we have always fought and we have always planned to fight. It is true that from now we will have more to fight, that we have added obstacles to obstacles, that we have left a wall be built between us and what remained of our hopes and we are starting to have difficulties to see them. Thus, as I always believe in the adage “of two evils, choose the least” and that to get the world we wish we have to equip ourselves with the means required to realise our ambitions, I will vote for Macron, because Macron it is the luxury of time and it is the least evil. That’s why.
So as to end with a hint of sweetness and to ease the tempers which would have risen due to the reading of the previous paragraph, I suggest to close this article with the lyrics of the song “Blizzard” of the French band Fauve, which could perfectly summarise the majority opinion regarding Marine Le Pen: “Do you hear us the blizzard? Do you hear us? If you hear us, go fuck yourself !”.