Emmanuel Macron and left-wing hypocrisy
There's an old joke about how liberals will do anything for the working class - except mix with them.
Never has this trend been so apparent as it is observing the 2017 French election, and all the middle class liberals and left-wingers who are backing or endorsing Emmanuel Macron in his bid to be French President.
Now, granted, this is a highly unusual election. The right-wingers are supporting the economically left candidate and the left-wingers are supporting the economically right candidate. It's really a battle between populism and establishment, rather than left or right.
And it doesn't help that the media are portraying establishment favourite Macron as "centrist", completely ignoring the fact that by anyone's standards he's actually a hard-right neoliberal, even libertarian. But because he's an EU fanboy and former Rothschild employee, in the eyes of the left-wing media he can do no wrong.
To put it another way: Emmanuel Macron is great, as long as you're not working class.
This is where the left show themselves to be hypocrites. To put it in a New Zealand context, Emmanuel Macron is not Labour or the Greens - he's the French David Seymour, equivalent to ACT.
His platform is one of deregulation, removing protections for workers, busting unions, ending the 35 hour work week, opening the labour market to immigrant workers, removing subsidies and anything else that sounds like a neo-liberal's wet dream. In fact Macron is proposing a set of policies remarkably similar to those of New Zealand's fourth Labour government - the same government that leftists here won't stop decrying.
Now it may well be that you are on the right, reading the above, and agreeing with Macron's economic platform. That's perfectly fair enough - if you're of the libertarian or classical liberal persuasion, Macron is probably the candidate for you and you'd be being perfectly consistent to your values by voting for him.
However, if you're on the left - someone who virtue signals every other day about how much you love the working class, how much you hate poverty, how much you care for the vulnerable - and you're agreeing with the above platform, or worse yet endorsing it: There's a problem.
And if you're working class yourself and thinking of supporting Macron, you might as well take a gun and aim it at your foot now.
It seems absolutely bizarre to me that the political left aren't supporting Marine Le Pen.
After all if sexism was the reason Hillary Clinton lost the US election, wouldn't now be a great time to back France's potentially first woman President? If Donald Trump is an evil sexist because he opposes abortion, wouldn't supporting the pro-abortion Marine Le Pen make sense, if you're of that persuasion? And if you're worried about cuts to the welfare state and public services, surely supporting Le Pen is a must given her support for the welfare state, in contrast with Macron who seeks to reform and even abolish said institutions.
Why then do the liberal-left so vigorously oppose her?
It comes down to two things: The first is her policies on immigration, and the fact that she has suggested that after 24 Islamic terrorist attacks in France since Angela Merkel threw open Europe's borders to refugees, it might be time to rethink immigration. (Macron, by contrast, wants to condemn Poland and Hungary for refusing to adhere to Merkel's suicidal immigration policy.)
The second is that she made some unfortunate comments which appeared to apologise for the role Vichy France played in the Holocaust - a fair criticism of her perhaps, but not one that should necessarily lead to her being labelled a "Holocaust denier" and an "anti-Semite" by the leftist media.
But to put this more simply, it comes down to this: The left don't like Marine Le Pen, because they got offended.
She made a bunch of middle class and upper middle class liberals feel slightly uncomfortable, damaged their fragile feelings, and now she's "Literally Hitler(TM)".
The virtue-signalling middle class left are now more than happy to throw the French working class under the bus, sell out to the hard right neo-liberals they claim they oppose, all because they got a bit offended.
But which candidate is really more damaging and dangerous? The one with the inaccurate view of events that occurred 70 years ago, or the one who wants to take an axe to workers, working conditions and the welfare state?
The fact that the left have chosen Macron over Le Pen demonstrates their hypocrisy once and for all. They now forfeit the right to ever complain about austerity, welfare cuts or poverty ever again.