The triumph- and promise- of common sense in France

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Marcon is a man of the Center-Left, whereas American former independent presidential candidate and gadfly Evan McMullin is a man of the Center-Right. But both have something significant in common: they're leaders of national movements to bridge the gaps between their politically polarized countrymen and to get people talking to one another instead of screaming at each other, to get them to recognize valid points made by the other side, and to get them working together to find solutions to problems instead of finding ways to blame each other for them even while respecting honest differences of opinion.

Marcon has become remarkably popular in the brief time since his landslide election over Marine Le Pen, a sort of female French Donald Trump. His newborn political party, La République en marche! ("Republic, forward!") has swept the even more recent French legislative elections and put the Marcon government in a position to demonstrate to the world what a centrist government more concerned with solving problems and meeting needs than with ideological purity and which aims to govern by uniting people rather than dividing them can accomplish.

All of the Western democracies would do well to watch President Marcon's experiment in common sense carefully. It's a beacon of hope to the polarized, impotent and embittered democracies of the Western world. McMullin's own Stand Up Republic is more of a PAC than a political party, at least at this point. But the experience of France under the Marcon government will be a powerful sign to the discerning in the United States and throughout the Western world as to whether the reason and compromise which have been democracy's lifeblood for centuries can still point a way forward for nations locked in the grip of childish and self-defeating polarization.

Image courtesy of the Government of France