WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Macron’s election victory this week was a grave setback for democracy in France as the globalizing policies he championed were supported by only a quarter of the electorate
"Some have called this a 'soft coup'. They mightn't be far wrong," historian and international affairs commentator Matthew Dal Santo said.
Macron's victory had been celebrated by liberals and globalizers as the defeat of populism and the return of centrism in French and European politics, but the results of the election showed a different story, Dal Santo pointed out.
"It's important not to lose sight how narrow Macron's base really is: Perhaps a quarter of French voters actually support his Obama-esque, liberal, globalist agenda… In the first round some two thirds cast their ballots for candidates in open rebellion against [free trade and open borders]," he said.
Voters for Fillon, Le Pen and Melanchon had all supported "a degree of distance from Washington and a rapprochement with Moscow. They won't get it," he said.
Dal Santo said the result of the election had frustrated the democratically expressed will of the French people.
"The emptying of democracy doesn't, however, stop there. Ironically, under Macron France seems set to get what a majority voters voted against when in a 2005 referendum they received their last chance to vote on it: further European integration," he said.
It would lead to "the hollowing out through the transfer of a range of fiscal powers to Brussels of the Republic as an authentic community of political action," he said.
University of Louvain Professor Jean Bricmont, a philosopher and author agreed that the French establishment had triumphed over popular sentiments with Macron’s victory.
"It is certainly a victory for the oligarchy, for the mass media and the communication industry."
Macron had been packaged and presented to the French people as an outsider challenging the nation’s establishment while all along he had been supported by it, Bricmont pointed out.
"Macron has been promoted by the media about a year ago as an alternative to the system, while he got the support of all of what one might call the real system: the big corporations, the mainstream media [and] many intellectuals," he said.
Macron’s policies would be similar to those Hillary Clinton would have followed had she been elected US president in 2016, Bricmont suggested.
"Macron’s victory is Hillary on steroid… [H]e is very pro-European and pro-Atlanticist," he said.
However, if US President Donald Trump refused to support Macron’s aggressive policies, the damage from his election would be limited, Bricmont advised.