Before the French election I wasn’t feeling confident about Marine Le Pen’s chances but now that she lost it’s important to conduct a post mortem and discover what makes a populist less likely to get elected in the modern era.
Firstly as regards memes, the francophone side of the web is much, much smaller and as much as I heard about making French memes, the truth of the matter is that apart from Le Pen herself, there was virtually no equivalent anti-globalist presence on the French side of the web. The Anglophone web is, according to Wikipedia 52.1% of the content on the entire web. The next largest language is Russian, which makes up only 6.5% of the content of the Internet! French comes in 6th place with a total presence on the web of only 4.1%. Only 4.1% of videos, webpages, blogs, memes, etc. are in French, and no matter how big Sargon, Paul Joseph Watson and you’re favourite YouTube star get doesn’t matter because the very language that you speak creates an echo chamber.
Now for Le Pen’s own faults – although there is something to be said about the fact that each party had loyalists that they used to help Macron’s odds – Le Pen failed by not having enough positivity and instead projecting anger. People are more often repelled by anger than they embrace it and although Le Pen didn’t try to dress anything up and she did speak truth, that’s not always what voters want to hear. People are angry at globalism because they see it for what it really is, but they aren’t so angry that they would willingly feed off of the anger that Marine Le Pen exuded when she declared that a woman, either herself or Frau Merkel, would govern France.
Le Pen proved herself to be a little closer to her father in anger than to Trump’s positivity and a #MakeFranceGreatAgain attitude. Instead it was more #FranceForTheFrench and #OutWithTheTrash. In order for most people to get that angry you need a level of catastrophe equivalent to the war to end all wars. Something so dehumanizing and so ugly that it would turn people from enjoying this art by William Bouguereau:
To wanting to see this art by Otto Dix:
When you pause to think that somebody felt in both cases that these artworks best reflected thier lived reality, then you realize that the western world is nowhere near anything that would come close to a post first world war level of despair. If Macron fails, however or believes that Muslims will solve themselves… Let’s just say Marine Le Pen won’t have to hire an image consultant to make her appear less fashy.