It was a beautiful sight. Tens of thousands of people waving red, white, and blue flags, cheering Emmanuel Macron, France's newest and youngest president, after his victory over the far-right demagogue Marine Le Pen.
Emmanuel Macron, a youthful former investment banker, handily won France’s presidential election on Sunday, defeating the staunch nationalist Marine Le Pen after voters firmly rejected her far-right message and backed his call for centrist change.
But while it was a big victory for progressives in France, and a vote of confidence in the battered European Union.
For Le Pen's supporters, and their camp followers like Donald Trump and Ezra Levant, the results couldn't be more devastating...
Levant must be worrying about his
And wondering whether he'll get in trouble for breaking French electoral law.
While Trump who supported Le Pen, must have felt crushed by the result...
And 🇫🇷 it 🇫🇷 wasn't 🇫🇷 even 🇫🇷 close. pic.twitter.com/Ffd0j1qgKV— Rob Cottingham (@RobCottingham) May 7, 2017
But of course, this doesn't mean that the war against the far right is over.
Progressives will still have to work hard to win over some of those who voted for Le Pen, or support other right-wing parties in Europe.
Not just those who are too ignorant to know they're ignorant.
But also the desperate and the hopeless.
A vote for the National Front was of course a vote tinged with racism and homophobia. My father looked forward to the time when we would “throw out the Arabs and the Jews.” He liked to say that gay people deserved the death penalty — looking sternly at me, who already in primary school was attracted to other boys on the playground.
And yet what those elections really meant for my father was a chance to fight his sense of invisibility.
In the absence of any attempt by the left to discuss his suffering, my father latched on to the false explanations offered by the far right. Unlike the ruling class, he didn’t have the privilege of voting for a political program. Voting, for him, was a desperate attempt to exist in the eyes of others.
And needless to say that won't be easy.
But at least in France, mobilizing to fight Le Pen and her New Nazis should be easier than in many other countries.
For today at the Arc de Triomphe they'll be celebrating the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day...
The victory over the old Nazis.
So the timing couldn't be more perfect.
And now the decent people of that country have another reason to celebrate. And send out this message to the world:
The fascists have been defeated. Again.
Can you hear the people singing?
Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
Vive la France!!!!