Marine Le Pen Visits a Tiny French Village and It Doesn’t Go Well For Her
This story is all over French TV right now, and, as they say in France, “Ca fait plaisir. C’est cool.” [It makes you feel good. It’s cool.]
Marine Le Pen stepped out of her limo today in the tiny village of Chateaudouble (population 470) in the South of France and as the crowd of reporters and paparazzi surrounded her, the catcalls and heckling from a loud group of protesters a few feet away began.
“Cassez-vous” [Beat it. Get lost], they shouted. “You’re not welcome here.” “We don’t want your hate.” “Get out.”
Le Pen was there to visit an empty retirement home that the Macron government is converting into housing for 72 immigrant refugees. She was there to give a speech at the facility and to stand with the “vrai francais” [the real French people], the “francais de souche” [the native-born of French stock], and, of course, the “forgotten French.”
Chateaudouble, in the departement of Var, is Le Pen country. In the first round of the 2017 election, she came in first, there. She won the second round against Macron, too. What could go wrong?
She should have had her driver park closer to the refugee center so she wouldn’t have had to walk more than a few feet. Maybe the streets of Chateaudouble are too narrow. Maybe she thought a crowd of well-wishers would hoist her up on their shoulders and carry her to her destination.
She didn’t get very far. The local citizens closed in, shouting insults and epithets, to a visibly shaken Le Pen. She was forced to retreat to her limo where she regrouped with the TV reporters and their camera crews.
“These are, apart from a few, activists of the extreme-Left. They practice violence,” she said. Also, they infringed upon her rights and democracy is in danger because of them.
But democracy in France isn’t just for those who agree with Le Pen. Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are the right of everyone. Her approval rating is about 17% which should tell her something.
Le Pen dashed off in her limo and in an hour a torrent of tweets from her official account appeared. It was a bunch of contradictory nonsense. N’importe quoi [Whatever].
“Chateaudouble is a charming little village and I did very well there in the election.”
“I never meant to visit Chateaudouble but when I heard about the immigrant crisis in Hungary, I had to go.”
“72 refugees in a village of 470 souls is like taking in 12 million.”
And so forth. It sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it?