Éric Zemmour's Right-Wing Revolution
Could he be the next president of France?
Philippe Lemoine has a new post on the CSPI website about Éric Zemmour, a right-wing populist intellectual running to be the next French president. Philippe gives an overview of Zemmour’s life, ideas, and electoral prospects, detailing his strengths and weaknesses as a candidate and discussing the odds he’ll win the presidency.
A former journalist, author, and media sensation, Zemmour has rapidly risen in the polls by being outspoken against immigration and the “Great Replacement.” As Philippe writes:
The main theme of his campaign, overshadowing everything else, is the fight against immigration. He explicitly presents his bid for the presidency as the only way to prevent the Grand Remplacement (“Great Replacement”). According to him, unless France radically restricts immigration from North and sub-Saharan Africa (he says that we should aim for zero), people of non-European descent will eventually become the majority and the country will cease to be French culturally. While the first part is undoubtedly true and, in my opinion, the second is also correct, no French politician except Jean-Marie Le Pen had dared to say that before and it didn’t have the same impact with him because he was totally radioactive. Even Marine Le Pen refused to use that expression because she was trying to make her party respectable and she thought it was too radical. While the idea of the “Great Replacement” make the sophisticates want to scream bloody murder, polls show that 2/3 of the French population think it’s true, so it’s not as if this idea is really controversial outside of the bubble in which most commentators live, but Zemmour managed to make it a major theme of the campaign, which is unprecedented.
Though often compared to Trump, Philippe argues that Zemmour is more ideologically coherent and appeals to a broader range of voters:
Trump had some ideological preferences, such as his opposition to immigration and foreign wars motivated by ideology, but he wasn’t an ideologue and he spent his term in office hiring people who thought exactly the opposite as him, because in the end he didn’t care much about the issues and personal relationships were much more important to him. In that respect, Zemmour is a completely different animal; he has deep ideological commitments and is highly unlikely to appoint anyone who isn’t fully on board with his program. The socio-economic profile of their supporters is also different and reflects this difference in their personalities. Whereas Trump did particularly well among non-college educated voters, socio-economic category doesn’t seem very predictive of voting intentions for Zemmour.
Read the full piece here.