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March on, Macron!

Emmanuel Macron, a former socialist running as the candidate of a party which seeks to unite Frenchmen of various ideologies and backgrounds, will apparently face Trumplike nationalist Marine Le Pen in a runoff election for the French presidency May 7.

At 3:19 PM CDST, with about half the votes counted, Marcon is projected as receiving 23.8% of the votes to Le Pen's 21.7%, with 19.8% for conservative François Fillon,  19.2% for leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, six and a half percent for Socialist Benoît Hamon, five percent for Gaullist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, and slightly more than one percent for Jean Lassalle, an activist on behalf of the people of the Occitania region of southern France.

Marcon has attracted the support of many Right and Center-Right Frenchmen, His party, En Marche! ("Moving!"), seeks to transcend ideological polarization and unite rather than to divide. I'd like to think of Macon as a kind of French Evan McMullin, even if the Frenchman is a man of the Left rather than of the Right, and of his party, En Marche!, as a kind of Gallic Stand Up Republic. But that would be naive. Neither the French Right nor French politics generally translate easily into American terms, and realistically I would expect a Macron government to resemble Bill Clinton's more than what one might hope for from Evan.

But one thing is certain: Marcon is not Le Pen, and in fact is the only remaining alternative to her. So all I have to say to En Marche and Marcon is, as the French anthem puts it, "Marchons! Marchons!"


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