French Election Is Worldwide Rejection Of White Male Grievance
Emmanuel Macron, the pro-EU centrist, has won the presidential runoff, with 65% of the vote, projections show, against Marine Le Pen of the National Front who has conceded defeat. Le Pen was supported by 45. She described Britain’s vote for Brexit as the most important event since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Donald Trump’s US presidential victory as “an additional stone in the building of a new world”.
It’s tough to get into the complexity of French politics, but we’ll just say Macron is not Le Pen. He was endorsed by former U.S. President Barack Obama.
Polling and the “silent majority” was a major topic in the elction of 45, but it seems to be the opposite when it comes to European elections. Macron was underestimated by 7 points which is a much bigger error than both Brexit and Trump.
Also the 6th straight European election, counting both rounds in France, where the nationalist underperformed polls. https://t.co/KejtGLldTD
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) May 7, 2017
White Male Grievance
Travis Waldron highlights how after Obama was elected the nation’s first black president in 2008, social scientists and journalists noted a growing counter-phenomenon: “angry white men” who feel “they have been screwed, betrayed by the country they love, discarded like trash on the side of the information superhighway,” as sociologist Michael Kimmel wrote in his 2015 book.
The defining characteristic of angry white men ― aside from being white and male ― is that they suffer from what Kimmel called “aggrieved entitlement”: the belief that America is “their country” and that it is being taken away from them. Although they’re angry at politicians, bureaucrats and the system writ large, the primary targets of their ire are women, minority groups and immigrants ― the people they perceive as the undeserving beneficiaries of their troubles. Seeking validation of their worth, they turned to “unapologetically ‘politically incorrect’ magazines, radio hosts, and television shows,” Kimmel wrote. And their rage only intensified when Obama was re-elected in 2012. That contest represented “the demise of the white American male voter as a dominant force in the political landscape,” Kimmel wrote. (They showed otherwise in 2016, when Trump won in part because of his strength with white men.)
Following the 2016 British referendum on remaining in the European Union (Brexit) and the US Presidential Elections, the western rise of populist nationalism turned its head to a series of European elections in the Netherlands, France, and Germany. They have all lost. The potency of this political movement powered by white male grievance seems to be on the wane in 2017.