For one of two things is true.
Either the Le Pens are not play-acting; their ideas actually seem harebrained, irresponsible, idiotic, or scary to the great majority of the 47,000 mayors and other elected officials who, in all good conscience, are loath to provide them with this additional forum that is the presidential election. In this case, need we adopt the strange reasoning of the leaders of the Front National, whereby, instead of blaming themselves, instead of asking themselves what responsibility they themselves bear for their possible failure, instead of doing some soul-searching regarding, for example, their own lack of organization, their negligence, the recurrent schisms that have weakened them, they assume the fault must lie elsewhere? Instead of, especially, asking themselves what, in their discourse, in their postures, in the ties they continue to maintain with French, Austrian, Syrian and other neo-Nazis, could have compelled the unregistered municipal counselors, who bear no political brand and who normally sponsor them, to shy away to such a degree, they pose as victims of a law that supposedly stifles freedom but which is, in fact, applicable to all in the same manner.
Or else, they’re dramatizing things on purpose; as most observers surmise, they have most of their sponsorships in the bag but are waiting to publish them at the last minute, thus ending an unbearable and phoney suspense, presenting them as their revenge upon an « establishment » that did its best to gag them. So, with our active support, they are lending their entry into the campaign the elan, the bloom, the spring it lacked. Backed by our credulity and, sometimes, our indulgence, they are inventing their Bourget, their Porte de Versailles, the founding scene of a pre-campaign that was having difficulty getting off the ground and was, until now, notably marked by only the neo-Nazi ball in Vienna; the repeated exclusions of those nostalgic for the 3rd Reich who remained obstinately deaf to calls for re-spec-ta-bi-li-ty to which the family sect would now like to adjust itself; or the arrival, at the time and in place of the fabulous rallies initially announced, this lawyer on a downward slide, or that sovereignist still in mourning for Chévènement, or the widow of a general who was once a torturer.
Furthermore, in either case, and due to the simple effect of this noise that has reverberated everywhere, unless we’re careful, the Le Pens will have reaped a whole series of political gains, the influence of which, unfortunately, will last beyond the election.
They will have given substance to this chimeric « UMPS », a product of their imagination, but an essential element of their doctrine.
They will have spread doubt, meaning, in reality, attacked an organic law, intermediary between ordinary law and constitutional law and, as such, the keystone to our republican identity.
They will have dictated their own calendar to the media which, instead of discussing their moronic program, will have spent precious days contemplating the grave question of whether Madame Le Pen is bluffing, a little, a lot, passionately, or not at all.
They will have launched absurd debates and, if all this turns out to be a vast show, ones that absurdly spend time, commentary, energy, on the possible obligation to help them to collect their precious sponsorships, in a sort of a carnavalesque reversion to the republican pacts of another era.
With this idea, finally, of a republican front gone haywire, this strange manner of giving way to their blackmail on the part of editorialists who are usually better inspired (I’m thinking of my friend Laurent Joffrin), proposing that the other parties support, promote — one is on the brink of saying ‘sponsor’ — the FN candidate’s inscription on the lists, we are taking one more step on the path to a banalization which is the actual goal of these people and has been for the past thirty years.
Confronted with this propaganda ploy to which too many good minds have lent themselves, I would simply recall, here, the obvious facts, concerning which it is more vital than ever not to cede.
1. Under Marine as under Jean-Marie Le Pen, the FN is the party of eructation, of hatred and contempt for France and for the French — it is, as it always has been, a party unlike any of the others.
2. Its difficulties in collecting the indispensable signatures, even if overcome, are proof that the revulsion it inspires is not a fad favored by intellectuals or anti-racist militants — it is a profound sentiment, deeply spread throughout the country and, evidently, growing.
3. Present or not in the election — and were it not, would democracy necessarily be the lesser for its absence? — it is essential that its influence regress further and that the great debate about the choices of society proposed by the major and minor candidates not be too polluted by activists whose program is not to govern the country but to destablize it.
20 %, according to the polls? 25 %? I’m betting, here, on a Front National the wisdom of voters, aided by its own suicidal stupidity, will reduce to a level that better reflects the spirit of the Republic and the honor of France.