In an increasingly right-wing, fascist-flirting Western world, one of the last rational leaders is on his way out.
France’s president Francois Hollande announced on Thursday that he would not be seeking re-election, acknowledging his growing unpopularity in a country which is increasingly turning to right-wing fascists Marine LePen.
Hollande made it clear that his decision, which had been the subject of speculation for months, was for the benefit of the nation above his own self interest.
“As a Socialist, because that is my life’s commitment, I cannot accept, I cannot come to terms with the dispersion of the left, with its splitting up. Because that would remove all hope of winning in the face of conservatism and, worse yet, of extremism.”
Hollande, who led the nation through a series of terrorist attacks and civil unrest, has been heavily criticized for his failure to follow through on counter-terrorism measures he promised during his candidacy.
The President was elected by a narrow margin, and once in office, failed to set a clear policy plan.
During his tenure, Hollande’s leadership was marred by personal scandal, as well as political betrayal when he spilled many presidential secrets to journalists who published the information in a book. Hollande’s tenure was also haunted by stubbornly high unemployment rates which did nothing to help his approval ratings.
Echoing the recent American election, French citizens are becoming increasingly frustrated with establishment politics and figures. This hostile political climate lends itself to an alt-politic takeover very similar to November’s U.S. election when Donald Trump won in a surprising upset.
Now, the race is wide open, with two clear anti-immigrant, fascist candidates inching closer to the presidency. If the U.S.’s election is any indication, we can only expect the worse in France’s upcoming election.