Emmanuel Macron won because he said things that made sense


Vandy Manyeh, News Reporter


Nov. 13, 2015, was the day that changed politics in France, a European nation with one of the most stringent foreign policies in the world. French President Francois Hollande was inside the packed Stade de France for a soccer game between France and Germany when coordinated attacks resulted in the deaths of 120 persons across Paris.

Since then, France has faced serious security threats from the rise of terrorism to homemade terror attackers who can be blamed for a list of stabbings and vehicle rammings.

Faced with this mystery in a country and city that attract millions of tourists every year, the 2017 French elections was a pivotal crossroad as to how France is going to handle the surge of terrorism it has faced in recent years.

Emmanuel Macron (En Marche) defeated his rival Marine Le Pen (National Front) in a runoff election that was keenly watched from not only the Kremlin in Russia and from 10 Downing Street but thousands of miles away in Washington D.C.

This was an aberration given Macron and Le Pen do not come from the usual political establishments that have controlled France for years. But why did he win? Amid perilous times, he simply said things that made sense.

His rival Le Pen planned to tweak the citizen-by-birth law that has existed in France for ages. Unlike many European countries, France is one of those places with a unique demography. France is a country with a huge Islamic population despite the prominence of the secularist left and right that trends to follow the Catholic faith.

Many citizens of France are immigrants and have been granted a nationality by birth privilege. From the legendary Zinedine Zidane who was born in Marseille but from  Algerian Kabyle descent, and many high-profile athletes, France and immigration have been intertwined. The French weren’t ready for a roll back on policies that were exponentially going to upend existing immigration rules.

Also, Macron had a clear and sound perspective that spoke to the hearts of people across both spectrums. He wants to limit the burden on government by significantly reducing a growing dormant workforce in the public sector to have more people involved with industries and production activities that steer an economy.

On trade, he plans to maintain existing agreements with Canada but hasn’t ruled out a plan to have better economic agreements with trade partners.

When Le Pen is unstable about her position with Russia, a country that has been justifiably sanctioned from among some of the world’s leading organizations, Macron has maintained his stance on distancing himself from a regime that has done nothing to stop human rights abuses and ill-fated political meddling in crises around the world.

Now, let us see how far his (En Chante) Let us move movement goes. As France faces some serious challenges, with immigration been a key factor that could measure his success, it remains unclear how he is going to handle it.

The French who are enamored by success now have a guy to look up to.