While many Americans are quick to make a comparison between the 2016 U.S. presidential election and France’s current election, not everything is the same.
This video by Vox examines French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen in a comparison to the American president Donald Trump, who surprised most people by defeating democratic candidate Hillary Clinton last November.
But it’s not as easy as it seems to draw comparisons between Le Pen and Trump. Even though they have both encouraged a rise in far-right populism, Trump attached himself to a party that has existed for long time in America, the Republicans. Le Pen, though, is the leader of a party founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in 1972, the Front National. Unlike America’s Republican Party, the Front National was first known for anti-semitism and racist comments, made most often by Jean-Marie himself.
Since Marine took over the Front National, she has embarked upon a dédiabolisation (a de-demonization) of the party. So, while Trump’s victory in the Republican party and in the election in general kind of came out of nowhere for many American voters, the normalization of the Front National‘s extremist views has been happening slowly and steadily for a while.