Imagine you’re one of the 447 members of the Democratic National Committee. You’re about to cast your ballot in the election for a new chairperson. While there are six candidates, it’s come down to just two. The first is Tom Perez, former Labor Secretary, political centrist, establishment favourite, and Hillary supporter. The other is Keith Ellison, Representative from Minnesota, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, left-wing, grassroots and blue collar workers favourite, and Bernie supporter. After an election in which the Democratic Party lost the vote of the working classes, and screwed over their Progressive wing when the DNC rigged the primary against Bernie when he was the better candidate, surely the logical thing to do would be to target the working class vote with a progressive message?
Despite whatever reservations I may have had about Emmanuel Macron in the past, he might be the last hope the Progressive Left has in Europe to make a comeback.
As much as I like Benoit Hamon, and as much as I think he would make an absolutely fantastic President of France, I do not believe he’d be able to get the support of the French electorate he would need to be elected, which is unfortunate, as not only is he a talented politician, he is a perfect example of the radicalism that defines the French left, and French politics as a whole.
Had I published this post when I originally intended, on Saturday, it would contain my enthusiastic endorsement of Emmanuel Macron for the French Presidency.
But then the Socialists had the first round of their Primary, and Benoit Hamon came out on top, beating out both Arnaud Montebourg (my original endorsement) and Manuel Valls, the latter of which will face Hamon in the run-off, which is being held as I am writing this. Arnaud Montebourg, who, even as I prepared to throw my endorsement behind Macron (even though my endorsement would make no difference, I’m just an English schoolboy), I still hoped could make some sort of comeback, directed his supporters to vote for Hamon in the second round.
Some of you reading this may be asking why this makes a difference, and why I don’t just endorse Macron anyway.
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After months of speculation, Emmanuel Macron, the young and charismatic former economy minister and adviser to Francois Hollande, has announced that he is running for President as an independent.
This is bad for the French left.