Over the past week, if you’ve been paying any attention to French politics, you may have heard the name Jordan Bardella. The 23-year-old wonderboy is the new spokesperson for the National Rally (Rassemblement National), the latest incarnation of France’s alt-right National Front party (Front National).
Bardella was hand-selected for his position by party leader Marine Le Pen, who inherited the National Front from her father and has been striving over the last few years to bury the National Front’s problematic history behind the sunny new face of the Rassemblement National. Bardella is part of this rebranding strategy. The political boy wonder grew up in the working-class Paris banlieues, giving him the kind of bootstrapping backstory that many politicians wish they had. But though his face may be new, his politics are not. Bardella is anti-E.U., anti-immigration, and pro-France to a degree that, for many, is alarming. The French newspaper Libération called him “the puppet of Marine Le Pen.”
The National Rally came up with 23% of the vote in last week’s European Union parliamentary elections, making Bardella one of the youngest party leaders ever elected to the position. Meaning that, even as the older generations of politicians pass on, there is now a far-right millennial with his foot in the door to open the National Rally to future generations.
Though Vice News made its video of Bardella before he won his seat, the policies he speaks about and that Vice introduces haven’t changed.