Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Marine Le Pen doesn't like UMPS. No, the leader of the Front National has not taken up the American national pastime. UMPS is rather her pseudo-clever amalgame of the sigles of France's two other major parties, the UMP and the PS. Since Le Pen's fonds de commerce is the contention that there is no real difference between the two "legitimate" contenders for the presidency, the only genuine alternative is--herself. The UMP's sotto voce justification for its reluctance--to put it kindly--to endorse a "republican front" in the second round of the cantonals is that to do so would only reinforce the FN's charge that its opponents are simply the Janus bifrons of une pensée unique.

Alas, all too many voters seem to be buying this argument. Last night's France2 news showed a driver accosted by an FN candidate who announced that he was only too glad to vote for the extreme right because "il faut que ça change." After four years of Sarkozy, nearly a quarter of the French seem ready to vote for change whether they can believe in it or not. Indeed, they seem to have stopped asking themselves the question whether or not the proposed change is believable. When that happens, the doors are open to all sorts of political mischief.


Cincinna said...

 MLP certainly has an uncanny ability to manipulate language & use play on words to make her point. She is a naturally gifted politician who can focus in on people's needs & fears & tell them what they want to hear in a snappy wise-a$$ way. She is une force du mal, to be sure, but one never to be underestimated. 

  Political sloganeering has always been an effective means of communicating complex ideas. 
  Every American knows
"Tippecanoe and Tyler too",  the campaign song of the Whig Party's  1840 Presidential campaign sang the praises of candidates William Henry Harrison (the "hero of Tippecanoe") and John Tyler, while denigrating incumbent Democrat Martin Van Buren. It was a catchy phrase that is still remembered. 
Musicologists have stated:
"in the political canvas of 1840 it was what the 'Marseillaise' was to the French Revolution. It sang Harrison into the presidency.
With so many parties, maybe France does need an
UMP. Maybe too inside Baseball for our French friends!

FrédéricLN said...

Fully agree with the post.

And again a sad possible comparison with Germany in the 20's.