Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Front National: The Window and the Backroom

Le Monde reports that the Front National has lost several recent recruits, attracted by Marine Le Pen's efforts to de-demonize the party but then repelled upon discovering that the demons still flourished underground. One distinguished between the shop window, in which shiny new wares are prominently on display, and the back room in which the old racism, xenophobia, and homophobia still hold sway.

I may be misreading Le Monde, but it seems to me that the article is intended to express a sort of wan hope that despite polls showing growing popularity for the FN, the party has been less successful than might appear at first glance in recruiting the young cadres on whom its future depends. But the evidence of defections concerns only a handful of cases. We don't know how many other new cadres are delighted by what they find once they lift the veil on the party's base. And in any case, what the article makes quite clear, is that racism, xenophobia, and homophobia are indeed rampant among the rank-and-file, whose numbers are also growing, apparently at an increasing rate. So most new recruits are not dismayed by the attitudes they discover among party veterans, whose suspect humor did not need a Marine Le Pen to become décomplexé.

1 comment:

Jeff Steiner said...

Looks like the FN will have a list in my town this year for municipal elections. Should I really be surprised?