With the election of Emmanuel Macron, France has entered a true political revolution that had been brewing for months, if not years. “Revolution” was the title of the 39-year-old’s book in which he laid down his vision for the country with the launch of his new movement En Marche! (“Onward!”). The choice of words seemed a little presumptuous at the time. After all, France has had its fair share of revolutions. And yet, in electing someone without a membership card from either of the two main historical parties, the French people have thrown their country into a state of unprecedented uncertainty — the kind of chaos reminiscent of any significant upheaval.
With Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the past year, liberals can finally rejoice. For once, the growing wave of protectionism has been crashed down in a western democracy — it’s not all bad. Marine Le Pen very much embodied the same rejection of the status quo that we saw in Britain and the United States. She undoubtedly felt emboldened by Trump’s success and employed some of her fellow blond’s — let’s say — unconventional tactics. However, there is a point here that is lost, and that will be important to learn from. Macron was also born out of the rejection of the same system. Where Macron’s position is groundbreaking, is that he translated this rejection into an internationalist, inclusive and optimistic voice.