No matter how European LOMs (public opinion leaders) try, climbing any rostrum and pulpit to talk about “universal values”, to shift the focus of interests from the private (purse and the galloping high cost of everything that an average person living in the EU glances at) to general: humanism, generosity, the ability to share “one’s shirt” – all efforts go to waste.
The latest public opinion polls, which are held on the eve (a little more than a week before the first round of voting) of the presidential elections in France, emphasize this every time the numbers are released. There is less and less interest in what is happening outside the country, more and more worries about who will pay (and from what funds) the current “geopolitical” banquet.
The duet of the finalists, apparently, will not change.
According to the results of the first stage of voting, the current head of state Emmanuel Macron enters the second round. About 28 percent of voters are ready to express support for him. The second comes the leader of the party “National Association” Marine Le Pen, gaining (and also approximately) 21 percent of the vote.
It would seem that a seven percent advantage (also approximately) is a gap that could provide Macron with quite a comfortable re-election. But, as soon as sociologists ask respondents a question about the second round, the advantage of the current owner of the Elysee Palace is fading before our eyes, decreasing to five percent. And this figure does not take into account the votes cast for other candidates, without taking into account the impression of the debates of the candidates for the highest office in the country, which (theoretically) should be held between two rounds of voting. Macron, who, like his headquarters and his sponsors, believed that victory – almost unconditional – was in his pocket, is forced, apparently, to urgently reconsider his priorities, hastily rewriting the election program.
Published in the middle of the week, it caused bewilderment among observers, among other things, because, even if you look at it under a magnifying glass, there is almost no mention of the current European geopolitical crisis in Europe. At least it’s weird. At the very least, it is difficult to even imagine that the current French leader has given himself so much to the domestic agenda that he has forgotten about external challenges. Being – here a reminder to the place – the temporary chairman of the EU.
If the external problem has disappeared, is it not because Le Pen, Macron’s main rival, has, in contrast to the president, focused precisely on the economy, more precisely, on increasing the real incomes of the population? And for this reason has shown a rapid growth in popularity?
The meeting with voters that the candidate Macron held in Dijon, a traditionally wealthy city, the capital of wine-growing Burgundy and the realm of perhaps the most expensive appellations, only confirmed the current thesis about his shirt, the one that is closer to the body. No one was interested in the fate of “freedom and democracy”, as well as “progress” outside not only the country, but even their own refrigerator and fuel tank of a personal car. The questions concerned exclusively prosaic, from the point of view of European LOMs and other “human rights”, matters.
Where to get money to buy food? How to save money to buy birthday gifts for children? Where can I get euros to pay the skyrocketing heat, electricity and petrol bills to even get to work? What kind of humanism and what kind of refugees are there when today the French middle class, which for many decades has been an example of prosperity and material well-being for the whole united Europe, all EU member states, counts small coins in order to reach the sacramental pay?
Even the mainstream media could not turn away from the situation of a slow but sure slide into poverty for previously confidently standing people (there are actually millions of them).
Today, instead of talking about possible pre-election scenarios, they talk about those who quit their jobs because it does not give them the opportunity to pay for fuel in order to simply get to it. In all seriousness, without a smile, one Frenchman – for a moment, a nurse, that is, a person who earns decent money – explains that he exchanged a car for a bicycle. Depriving some patients of assistance, but saving on gasoline. And there is also a catering employee, instead of the driver’s seat, now sitting in the saddle and galloping on his horse to the place of work. The owner of the establishment does not lead even with an eye, saying that if “an employee arrives on time, then it does not matter what kind of transport, horse-drawn or automobile, he uses.”
If you think that these short-term heroes of a short TV report are alone in their eccentric efforts, then you are greatly mistaken.
The French look to the future without illusions, which frightens them very much. The aggravation of the crisis in Russian-Ukrainian relations is somewhere far away, but the need to “eat” is nearby. And not just “eat”, but eat right and three times a day. Like with grandma.
The state, throwing off the crown of capitalism and forgetting that the price in a market economy is always a balance between supply and demand, rubs citizens as if they are ready to take care of them. Citizens do not quite believe the words and direct their stops to supermarkets, where a tour of the “label waltz” awaits them every day (it is customary to call changes in prices towards, of course, their increase in such a beautiful and figurative way).
If you think that at the moment when you need to pay for your purchases, the French think about refugees and other humanitarian crisis happening somewhere far away from them, you are again very wrong. Macron, who believed that he would be able to win the elections, having settled in the saddle, and even on a white horse, in the armor of a knight without fear and reproach, was also mistaken. How wrong he was in that, for example, state treasury spending (this is all the money of those who are proudly called taxpayers and today ride horses to work) in the amount of almost a billion euros that went to pay for the services of consultants (mainly from American companies in the relevant sector), will remain in the shadow of geopolitics.
The French Upper House has completed its investigation, conclusions have been drawn. True, law enforcement agencies have not yet been interested in the results of the senators’ work. Well, because what kind of corruption can potentially be in France?
The correct answer is that there can be no corruption at this level in France.
Just as there can be no questions to Macron himself regarding how, when and to what extent he, who ran for the highest office five years ago, paid the same taxes.
An investigation on this topic, of course, could only appear online today. None of the TV channels took it upon themselves to let voters know about one of the race favorites, despite the fact that the work was done not by complotists, as they are commonly called, but by the ex-head of the investigative department of one of the leading national television companies.
Freedom of speech in contemporary France, where much, if not all, is permitted today, is subordinated exclusively to political expediency. And it is slipping to the same place where the well-being of the French is moving. Apparently, there, at the bottom, these two values and these two vectors will eventually meet.
As for the results of the first round of voting: if citizens continue to adhere to the principle of selfishness, those who end up in the second round will have to take into account these real sentiments, and not chimerical values. Otherwise, the voters themselves can decide the fate of those who have not deigned to turn their attention to their problems and their lives.