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What are your thoughts after this first Democratic debate? Who is the best Democratic candidate? Would you prefer any of them over Trump? In case you missed it, the debate was split over two nights, with ten candidates per night. Most of the leading candidates (minus Elizabeth Warren) appeared on stage last night. In this video the main action begins after 1 hour and 3 minutes of pre-debate coverage. https://youtu.be/cX7hni-zGD8 Kamala Harris has received a lot of press for going after Biden. Pete Buttigieg got recognized for handling tough questions. Author Marianne Williamson is trending, because she's going to defeat Trump with love over hate. Bernie Sanders took hits for being an unapologetic socialist. From the first night, Cory Booker and Julian Castro appeared to overshadow Elizabeth Warren and Beto O'Rourke. Almost all of these personalities rubbed me the wrong way, except for Buttigieg, who seemed to be the best and most articulate thinker on the stage.
Since I'm French, let me keep you informed of what's happening in my country. Next Saturday, France will have the final result of the presidential election. Since the end of the first round (April 23rd) this result is already known: the next president of France will be Emmanuel Macron. Of course, when I write these lines, he's still competing against Marine Le Pen, but she has absolutely no chance of being elected. Although she's popular in a part of the French, she (and her party) is still extremely unpopular for the vast majority of French. She will not be elected because of what is called in France the "glass ceiling", which means that she can never exceed a certain level in public opinion. What happened in the first round? The current president, Francois Hollande, is extremely unpopular and didn't have the capacity to present himself again. So, in the first round, there were 5 important candidates (the other 6 are insignificant): François Fillon (The party "The Républicains", the main party of the right in France, the party of Nicolas Sarkozy, who was president between 2007 and 2012. Fillon was prime minister throughout this period. Emmanuel Macron (who was Minister of Economy under President François Hollande, but who launched his political movement since one year only.) Marine Le Pen (The party "National Front", the party considered as extreme right, nationalist.) Jean-Luc Mélenchon (His movement is called "Unsubmitted France", radical left, ideas close to Communism and Marxism.) Benoît Hamon (Socialist party, party of President François Hollande, main party left in France for 40 years.) The result of the first round was as follows: Emmanuel Macron 24% Marine Le Pen 21.3% François Fillon 20% Jean-Luc Mélenchon 19.6% Benoît Hamon 6.4% This is the first time in a French presidential election that none of the main left-wing (Socialist Party) and right-wing (The Republicans) parties are absent from the second round. A brief comment on what happened: Benoît Hamon represented the Socialist Party, the party of the current president, François Hollande. Even if he was part of a faction of this party that was critical of the President, he could not change the fact that he represented a party that had become extremely unpopular, since Francois Hollande was extremely unpopular. More than its predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy (who was also very unpopular). So the score of the Socialist Party is historically low. It was never so low since the 60's. Jean-Luc Mélenchon has almost doubled his score since the last election (2012). He withdrew the red flags and flags of the Soviet Union in his meetings to replace them with French flags, and he sings "La marseillaise" instead of "L'internationale". He was the most popular candidate for young people (18-24), because formally, he made a very modern campaign (despite his archaic ideas): he made a Youtube channel, he used the Social networks, meetings in holograms, his militants even made a videogame on him ("Fiscal Kombat"). Between Macron and Le Pen, he did not give his opinion for the second round, because for him Macron represents capitalism, and Le Pen represents fascism ... (In my personnal view, he is the archetypal dictator. He is an admirer of Chavez & Castro...) François Fillon was destined to win this election. But during the campaign, he was accused of fictitious employment (i.e. misappropriation of public money) for a situation dating back several years ago. This accusation has never been proved, but the presumption of innocence was not sufficient for public opinion to not considered him as guilty and corrupted. Especially since before that, Fillon said that if he was suspected of something, he would not be candidate. Some believe that these accusations have been secretly modeled by the current power in order to make the rival party losing (There are disturbing indications.). Anyway, these accusations made him considerably lower in public opinion, and prevented him from entering the second round. Politically, this was the first time that a major French presidential candidate said he wanted to significantly reduce the size of the state, reduce taxes, reduce regulations and take care of the public debt. It was also the first time I heard a french politician defending liberty (by using this word) in this kind of election. His speech with regard to Islamist terrorism (which he calls "Islamist totalitarianism") was without concession. Who are Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen? Politically Emmanuel Macron is center-left. He is supported by people from right, left and center. He governed as minister under the presidency of François Hollande (Socialist Party) but he was always perceived as different, iconoclastic. He is young (39 years old), doesn't have a political background, he had never be elected, he worked as a business banker at Rotschild. He studied philosophy (his thesis was about Hegel). He is in favor of globalization. His popularity in France comes from the fact that it embodies the image of a change, a renewal because: - He has a different style from most policies and he's young, he has an image of modernity. - He doesn't have a political career (except as minister during 2 years), he does not come from the traditional parties, he comes from the private sector. - He was still unknown 2 or 3 years ago. - He has the image of someone very smart, who knows his files, especially in economy. For the extreme left and far right, he represents capitalism, i.e. the evil. Actually it's true that when he was minister, his speech and his actions seemed "pro-capitalist" especially for a left-wing man. He's in favor of free trade, globalization, private sector... But since the campaign began, he wanted to show that he wasn't so capitalist, by multiplying social measures, protections, etc ... which makes him a centrist. Or a "pragmatist". Or a "moderate". Someone who want to "reconciliate", mix the hot and the cold, who is agree with everyone. He wants to be pro-capitalist and pro-protection in the same time. Marine Le Pen (who was the most popular candidate among the workers) is far-right and her economic program is clearly socialist and protectionist. The two main ideas of his party (the National Front) have always been the same since his father created the party in the 70s: "Fight against immigration and insecurity". Its aim is to "re-establish borders", to regain the sovereignty of the country, to fight against "globalized finance", "ultra-capitalism" and, of course, her speech against Islamism is radical. Never has his party and its ideology been so popular in France. But despite this, for many people, Marine Le Pen (and her party) is considered racist and xenophobic. Many also consider it fascist. She will lose the election, there is no suspense about it. If you have questions, it will be a pleasure for me to answer to you about this elections.
I understand that all the choices we have are bad. None of them support non-coercive solutions to this country so voting based on policies is futile for libertarians/objectivists. I know Trump supports some statist policies and says stupid things sometimes. The reason I think libertarians and objectivists need to vote for Trump is because I feel he will shift the political dynamic in ways that will undermine political correctness, the establishment and media propaganda that serve as barriers to freedom. Read my blog post for a more in-depth case about why I think Donald Trump is the best option. I wrote this case for my libertarian readers but this can also apply to objectivists who would like to challenge conventional wisdom and reduce government tyranny. https://vforvoluntary.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/why-libertarians-should-vote-for-donald-trump/