Uncommon Decency

60. Season Finale: Macron Forever! with Elisabeth Zerofsky & John Lichfield

In the spring of 2017, Emmanuel Macron upended France’s political system by breaking ranks with a socialist administration and running for President as the leader of a new party that bore his initials, En Marche! Five years after that victory, Macron has again triumphed against Marine Le Pen in the runoff of the presidential race. To be sure, turnout was historically low, and Le Pen climbed from 34% to 41.5% of the vote. Yet Macron is the only French president in 20 years to win a reelection bid. Furthermore, his towering standing in the French political landscape seems matchless. The two traditional governing parties—the center-right Les Républicains (LR) and the social-democratic Parti Socialiste (PS)—are both in utter shambles, whilst their fringe competitors—Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France Insoumise (LFI)—are not perceived by most voters to be credible governing alternatives. With the field wide open, for now, for Macron’s lock on the Presidency, what’s next for the country? Will the near future see the beleaguered right and left rebuild themselves? Will Macron’s second term be more of the same? To discuss these questions and more, we are joined this week by New York Times Magazine contributing writer Elisabeth Zerofsky and veteran correspondent of all things French John Lichfield. This also happens to be our finale of season four, but do not worry, we will be back in September. Listen in to the end of the episode for a hint of what’s next for the podcast.


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