“Since the French Revolution,” the New York Times pontificated online, “the nation has often been viewed as a beacon of democratic ideals.”
Really? Can a nation of constitutional turnovers — kings and republics and revolutions and foreign occupation — be a beacon? Most often we in America compare our Revolution to France’s, focusing on The Terror: mob rule and proto-totalitarianism.
On Friday, “the staff of the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron said… that the campaign had been targeted by a ‘massive and coordinated’ hacking operation, one with the potential to destabilize the nation’s democracy before voters go to the polls on Sunday.” A few minutes later, the campaigns fell under the country’s election gag rule, unable to debate immediately prior to the voting. The government told the media not to look at what was dug up in the “hack” (which everybody said was by Russians). Though Macron’s putative Islamization plan is worth looking at, surely.
Much talk (at the Times and elsewhere) of how the hack destabilized democracy. No talk, for some reason, about how the election regulation gag rule did.
The idea that information might destabilize democracy? Awkward.
Still, we can see how an info-dump’s timing might destabilize an election.
But since Macron won by a large margin, the Late Exposure Strategy may have backfired, Russians or no.
The most obvious oddity in reportage? The continued reference to former Socialist Party hack Macron as “centrist” while Le Pen is called “far right” ad nauseam. Macron is pro-EU; Le Pen is nationalist. Neither are reliably for freedom. The fact that Macron packaged his En Marche ! Party as centrist doesn’t make it so.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.