Here in the U.S., the most prominent woman in politics is a dull, elderly, and wretchedly unlikeable termagant who has been inflicting the same tiresome canards upon a bored and jaded public for 24 years. The only thing more depressing about Hilary Rodham Clinton than her crass dishonesty and pandering is her sheer banality and lack of anything resembling a genuinely human personality.
But across the Atlantic in Europe, while the European Community and its constituent pseudo-nations lurch from one fiasco to another, a glimmer of hope has been generated by three highly interesting conservative women whose appealing and admirable qualities stand in stark contrast to the tiresome Mrs. Clinton. To paraphrase the ubiquitous Dos Equis beer commercial, they might even be called the most interesting women in the political world.
In France, the intrepid and determined leader of the populist Front National (FN), Marine Le Pen, poses an existential threat to the effete male leadership of France's establishment parties -- and is giving perpetually frustrated French conservatives a genuine prospect of electing a conservative nationalist in the next presidential election.americandigest.org
Marine Le Pen, formidable leader of France's Front National
Waiting in the wings, moreover, Ms. Le Pen's youthful and glamorous niece and political Padawan, 26-year-old Marion Marechal Le Pen, stands ready to electrify legions of French nationalists with a brand of determined and pure-hearted Christian leadership not seen here since Joan of Arc rallied the French armies against the English in the Hundred Years War.
Marion Marechal Le Pen, the bright young face of French nationalism
Meanwhile, yet another youthful and attractive political heroine, Dr. Frauke Petry (her doctorate is in chemistry), has led Germany's own conservative/nationalist party, the Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD), to sudden prominence and strengthening prospects in a nation paralyzed by malaise and uncertainty. Frau Petry and the AfD have provided a political alternative for millions of angry Germans whose objections to the de facto Islamic invasion of their country have been scornfully dismissed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and her spineless minions in the German political establishment. Like the Le Pen ladies in France, Frau Petry has demonstrated raw political and physical courage in standing up to the rabid minions of the European left and its establishment allies, who seek to suppress the AfD and its leaders with violent demonstrations, physical threats, and official legal persecution. On top of all that, the pixie-coiffed and mini-skirted Dr. Petry provides a refreshing visual alternative to the haggard Frau Merkel.cdn.newsapi.com
Determined AfD Leader Frauke Petry
Madam Marine Le Pen, the daughter of erstwhile FN founder and hard-core rightist Jean-Marie Le Pen, is now the President and leader of the FN and its expected presidential candidate in the national elections scheduled for April, 2017. She has achieved remarkable political success notwithstanding the relentless hostility of the French and European media, which reflexively and mindlessly portray her as a disreputable hard core right-winger -- just as they do with Dr. Petry and the younger Mme. Le Pen.
This rote characterization is grossly misleading, particularly as applied to the relatively pragmatic Marine Le Pen and Frauke Petry -- both of whom have become increasingly flexible as they seek to move their parties from the political margins to the status of broadly-based and viable national parties. If any of these three political ladies has truly earned the status of a staunch and principled rightist, it is the younger Ms. Le Pen, who appears to embrace a brand of social conservatism that Marine Le Pen and Frau Petry tend to downplay – albeit probably for tactical reasons.
In seeking to rid the FN of the politically fatal reputation of far-right extremism, Marine Le Pen has even gone so far as to expel her flamboyant and unyielding father from the party he founded, reportedly because of impolitic statements about the Holocaust (interestingly, the younger Marion Le Pen did not support the expulsion). She has modulated the FN's image and platform to a position that is decidedly more moderate than that of her truculent father (who says her purported backsliding will lead to electoral defeat) and somewhat more moderate than her socially conservative and more charismatic niece Marion. But this merely reflects the fine line a conservative party like the FN must follow if it wants to win national elections in a country that has followed a liberal/leftist tilt for decades. Beneath her calculated pragmatism, however, Marine Le Pen remains a committed conservative nationalist, and she has the political scars to prove it.
In any case, Mme. Le Pen has successfully led the FN to the status of a major player in France's fractured multi-party system—to the point where she is considered a serious prospect for winning next year's French presidential elections. In the 2012 presidential election, Mme. Le Pen took 18% of the divided vote but fell short of qualifying for the second round in France's convoluted election system. But in the 2014 elections for French representation in the European Parliament, the FN topped all French parties with 25% of the vote, winning 21 of 74 French seats. And in the 2015 regional elections, the FN took 27% of the vote and finished first in 6 of 13 newly drawn regions. In brief, the FN's political progress under Mme. Le Pen has been steady and substantial. The question of whether the party has reached a ceiling for a rightist party in France, however, is apt to be answered in next year's elections.
Yet Marine Le Pen's prudent efforts to modulate the FN's positions without alienating its core constituents have failed to mollify the rabid hostility of France's left-oriented political and media establishment. In the deranged political atmosphere prevailing in contemporary France, reasonable advocates of more conservative, Euroskeptic policies in general, and resistance to the destructive de facto Islamic invasion in particular, are not only castigated as right-wing extremists, but are under the constant threat of actual criminal prosecution for the mere expression of conservative opinions. There is no First Amendment in France, or elsewhere in the ideologically intolerant European Community.
Indeed, Mme. Le Pen was actually prosecuted by French authorities for allegedly inciting hatred against Muslims based upon entirely defensible remarks she made in 2010, comparing the obstruction of French streets by hordes of Muslims engaging in mass prayer demonstrations to the German occupation of World War II. After enduring five years under this legal Sword of Damocles, Mme. Le Pen was finally acquitted of these utterly bogus political charges in December of 2015. As she rightfully remarked after her acquittal, “Five years of aspersions, one acquittal. . . And now how many slanderers will apologize?”
Notwithstanding the FN's recent successes – and those of other rightist parties elsewhere in Europe, e.g., Austria's rapidly rising Freedom Party -- Marine Le Pen's prospects for actually winning the French presidency in next year's election remain uncertain. Just as in recent French legislative elections, Mme. Le Pen may well win the most votes in the first round of France's fragmented multi-party election process, only to face a cynical alliance of establishment parties expressly forged to bar Le Pen and the FN from the presidency. On the other hand, one more Islamic terrorist attack inside the French Republic may be all it takes for a an eruption of nationalist anger to propel Mme. Le Pen to the presidency.
Even if she falls short of winning the presidency, however, Marine Le Pen has earned a place among the world's most influential conservatives by leading the FN to the brink of power in French politics and by giving voice to the profound concerns of French patriots who belatedly recognize the necessity of political resistance to the relentless Islamic encroachment on their Republic.
If nothing else, moreover, the expansion of the FN's base and prospects engineered by Marine Le Pen may pave the way for her captivating niece to lead future French conservatives to a political dominance that has heretofore evaded them. Only 26 years old, Marion Marechal Le Pen (MMLP) was elected to the French parliament at only 22, making her the youngest member of parliament in modern French history. Her youth, courage, and unabashed patriotism have predictably cast her in the role of a latter-day Joan of Arc, ready to lead French resistance to the menacing incursions of Islamic migrants and degenerate Euro-leftists. Prominent women as varied as Sarah Palin and Brigitte Bardot have declared their admiration and enthusiasm for this bright new face of French conservatism and nationalism.
MMLP demolished the notion that she is merely a pretty political face when she trounced veteran 72-year-old Gaullist PM and presidential hopeful Alain Juppe in a televised political debate. If such debates allowed for Technical Knockouts, M. Juppe would have suffered one. As described in the UK's Telegraph (Dec. 5, 2015): "With the odd toss of her long blond hair, the poised Ms Maréchal Le Pen trounced one of France’s best-known political figures. She gave back soundbite for soundbite, smilingly quoting from Juppé’s campaign platform verbatim, forcing him to look up his own points in the book he signed, and dropping on occasion the kind of Latin quote, Boris Johnson-like, which France’s right-wing electorate loves. She made him sound old without sounding wiser."
While there is no doubt that her youth and beauty have enhanced her political appeal, it is the combination of those assets with her staunch commitment to socially conservative and patriotic principles that distinguishes Marion Le Pen from the general run of French conservative politicians – including her more cautious and pragmatic Aunt Marine. She has been outspoken in her belief that Muslim immigrants must accommodate their religious practices to French customs and culture, to the dismay of the cowering poltroons in the mainstream parties and media. As she has frankly stated, "In our country, we don’t wear djellaba clothing, we don’t wear a veil and we don’t impose cathedral-sized mosques".
A committed Catholic, Marion Le Pen was a prominent participant in the remarkable mass demonstration of French conservatives opposing same-sex marriage who flooded the streets of Paris like latter-day sans culottes in 2013, as described on this blog. It is this unabashed commitment to controversial principles and positions that distinguishes her from the more pragmatic and calculated conservatism of her aunt and Frauke Petry. Whether Marion Le Pen will be able to maintain her impetuous dedication to the more controversial conservative causes as she advances in years and, hopefully, in political stature and responsibility is apt to be determined by the survival and growth of the political movement that she and her aunt are currently inspiring.
Like Marine Le Pen, the trim and comely Frauke Petry has led her conservative AfD party to a level of prominence and popularity in Germany deemed unfathomable only a year ago. In recent elections for the state parliaments, the AfD (in existence for only three years) achieved unprecedented success for a post-World War II party of the right in Germany, receiving 1.3 million votes and winning multiple delegate seats in three of the states at issue . In Saxony-Anhalt, the Afd took 24% of the vote and fifteen seats. No new party has ever done so well so quickly in Germany.
As with Mme. Le Pen, Frau Petry is relentlessly misrepresented as a far-right extremist even as she seeks to modulate her party's most hard-lined positions to enhance its acceptability among the broader electorate.
In particular, the leftist German media gleefully pounced on a remark made by Frau Petry last winter, responding to the menacing threat of unbridled mass migration of young Muslim men into Germany. Stating what would be obvious to a government with any sense of national borders and security facing such a de facto invasion, Petry responded to a reporter that German border police officers “must stop illegal border crossings, and also make use of his firearm if necessary.” She further elaborated: “No policeman wants to fire on a refugee and I don’t want that either, but the last resort includes the use of armed force.”
Dr. Petry, of course, was merely expressing the obvious point that when a nation is faced with an invasion of Muslim aliens that reaches the point of threatening public safety, resort to force by firearms may prove to be a last but necessary resort. The validity of her position has been forcefully underscored by the recurring rapes, assaults, and other violent crimes perpetrated by the so-called Muslim "refugees" whom Angela Merkel and her spineless government welcome with open arms. Yet the German media have persisted in misrepresenting Petry's realistic remarks as though she had called for firing at will on any Muslim who crosses the German border.
Considering the near-suicidal capitulation to Muslim infiltration that pervades the German political and media establishment, Frau Petry might consider herself fortunate that her remarks did not result in actual prosecution for so-called hate speech or "incitement" – as recently befell another nationalist German politician who had the temerity to speak disparagingly of Muslims in a Facebook post. Similarly, Germans who dared to describe the facts of the notorious New Years sex attacks on German women by Muslim aliens in Cologne have also been threatened with prosecution by German authorities for exposing the government's cover-up of the outrageous incident. Indeed, even the liberal media in America has recognized the extremity of the German government's relentless efforts to prosecute political speech that is in any way critical of Muslims or Islam. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/germany-springs-to-action-over-hate-speech-against-migrants/2016/01/06/6031218e-b315-11e5-8abc-d09392edc612_story.html.
Simply put, in the near totalitarian atmosphere of Frau Merkel's twisted dystopian governance, Dr. Petry and her AfD cohorts demonstrate daily courage merely by expressing the most basic principles of German nationalism and self-preservation.
Even while she is castigated by the German media for her supposedly xenophobic positions, Frau Petry's relatively moderate position on the Muslim issue within her own party has reportedly weakened her influence as leader of the AfD. At the recent AfD congress, the party adopted policies that expressly declared that "Islam is not part of Germany" – a direct challenge to Merkel's contrary declaration – and called for a ban on minarets, public calls for Muslim prayer, and the public wearing of all-concealing burqas and niqabs. Reportedly, Petry's proposal for a more moderate policy to achieve Muslim adaptation to German culture and standards was rejected. Nonetheless, Petry apparently accepted and supported the final party position and retains her leadership position.
Her remarks at the opening of the party congress, moreover, demonstrated the intrepid leadership that Frau Petry can provide to German patriots as they confront the abject capitulation of the Merkel government to hordes of hostile Muslim "migrants" as they infiltrate and defile their country and its culture. With a barbed reference to Merkel's unyielding adherence to her disastrous immigration policy, Petry declared: "We always wondered when the brave child will finally appear to voice the thoughts of the silent majority and declare that the 'chancellor of no alternatives' doesn't know what she's doing. And I think, this brave child is us."
The courage, determination, and principled patriotism of France's Le Pen ladies and Germany's Frau Petry provide a striking contrast to the smug fraudulence of the tiresome termagant who has become the dominant female in American politics. If these energetic women leaders succeed in their resistance to a disturbing new form of ideological totalitarianism, perhaps America may take the cue and avoid the kind of self-destructive national perversity into which much of Europe has descended.