In France, almost all political leaders are now resigned, in public or in private, to predicting the election of Marine Le Pen in 2027. Some are reassured by hoping that the far-right party will not win the subsequent legislative elections. This is to forget that, as the jurisprudence of the cohabitation has established, Marine Le Pen would preside over the defence councils, whose use the current president has made in domestic politics; she could decide on the military support to be given or withdrawn from this or that country in Africa or Europe; It would chair the French delegation to the European Councils, the G7, the G20, the COPs, NATO and the United Nations General Assembly; it would thus be in a position to impose the essence of its foreign policy, particularly in European matters, which are so deeply intertwined with domestic policy.

And as is all too often the case, when faced with a danger, people prefer to bury their heads in the sand: they prefer not to talk about it, not to really analyse the reasons for this near-evidence:

Firstly, the leaders of the far right very skilfully simulate their new role as notables: one no longer hears, or almost no more, openly racist discourse, nor opposition to Europe, nor pro-Putin discourse, or hostile to support for Ukraine; nor even openly hostile discourse to Islam.

Secondly, and perhaps above all, the extreme right benefits from a left that is adrift, incapable of proposing a real government programme useful to the underprivileged classes; nor of disguising the pro-Islamist and anti-Semitic indulgences of many of its leaders (which they could however easily disguise as a legitimate defence of the rights of Muslim citizens, and as an understandable criticism of the Israeli government’s policy).

Then, the idea is spreading that everything has really been tried, and that we should give a chance to the only candidate who has not yet been able to implement her proposals.

Finally, some of the problems of French society find easy answers in the ideology of the extreme right: the relative decline of the country and in particular of vast regions in disarray, the loss of sovereignty in the face of the rise of European, global powers, the proletarianisation of the middle classes, the real or fantasised mass arrival of migrants, by sea or by land, the more or less controlled developments of practices that do not conform to secularism, in the streets, swimming pools and public places, and the ruin of the environment, analysed as a challenge to the French identity.

If we do not want this largely imaginary drift to become irreversible, the french Republicans  and Democrats must clearly confront these problems:

First of all, it would be urgent to debate immigration, integration, the defence of secularism; in particular the very restrictive policy, carried out by parties of the left as well as the centre in Denmark, which has caused the far-right parties there to back down (1). It should also not be left to this party to defend the standard of living of the middle classes, to revitalise sub-prefectures, to protect civil servants against all forms of intimidation, to promote the use of French as the sole language of communication for the national community, to defend French interests in the necessary progress of European integration.

It is also necessary to denounce the fantasies about the great replacement, to debate head-on the crazy geopolitical posture of this party, in particular with regard to populist leaders; and to show how the implementation of their programme would inevitably lead, despite their rhetoric, to France’s exit from the euro, which would only dramatically worsen the situation of those they claim to defend, in particular the middle classes and the regions in disarray.

Finally, it is necessary to organise a real mobilisation of the country around the challenges of reindustrialisation through the growth of the sectors of the life economy (health, education, hygiene, prevention, sustainable energies, democracy, research, security, culture). This presupposes that the french Republicans  and Democrats  begin real ideological and programmatic reflections.

Should it come to the point where the french Republicans  and Democrats have to resign themselves to adopting certain proposals of the extreme right? To avoid this, there is an urgent need for debate.

(1) See the remarkable study by Fondapol, January 2023

Painting: Emile Friant, La discussion politique, 1889