Yesterday's "As French Election Nears, Le Pen Targets Voters Her Party Once Repelled" was noteworthy in that it was not a blanket dismissal of Marine Le Pen; it made the point that the National Front has been connecting immigration to the loss of jobs since the party's founding in the early 1970s.
But it is in today's article, "Marine Le Pen Sharpens Attack on Emmanuel Macron in French Debate," that the whole political dysfunction of the Western world was laid bare.
There is support among the masses of the mainstream for a political solution to the many woes of Western Civilization, and it entails a swing to the left -- massive spending on public works and housing and education, a universal basic income. But the politicians, even those who represent hoary mainstream parties like Benoît Hamon, who advocate such policies find themselves at war with the the establishment of their own parties (look at Corbyn in Britain) and dismissed in the global prestige press as fantasists. Instead the people are served up one phony neoliberal after the next -- Obama, Trudeau, Clinton, Macron -- and expected to fall in line.
Given this choice the people are swinging to the right, what is being called anti-immigrant populism.
In Nossiter's story this morning all the focus is on the "knife fight" between Le Pen and Macron, leaving the following meager text for the left-wing candidates, Hamon and Jean-Luc Mélenchon:
Mr. Hamon, the Socialist candidate, has promised a guaranteed “universal income” and has spoken of cutting the already reduced French workweek, but his chances are thought to be lowered by the presence of Mr. Mélenchon, whose positions are largely similar.
Ms. Le Pen, who also faces accusations related to fictional jobs, accused Mr. Mélenchon of being a “Robespierre” when he called on voters to “reward the virtuous and punish those who don’t seem so.”That's it. At least Fillon got four paragraphs on his legal difficulties.
The people want to go social-democrat left but the failing neoliberal center won't allow it. So we get right-wing populism. That's our predicament in the West in a nutshell,