How Trump’s mere existence delegitimizes Clinton’s candidacy and presidency — and what we must do…
Jeff Jarvis
22523

Defeating Trump is just the beginning

The Trump/Clinton situation reminds me of the 2002 French presidential election.

Presidential elections are held in two rounds in France, and that year National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen came out second in the first round and landed a second round spot against then President Jacques Chirac. Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, a center-leaning social democrat, came in third and quit politics on the spot. Huge anti-National Front protests took place in the two weeks that separated the two rounds. Most moderates were horrified that Le Pen got so far in the race and what it meant for French democracy.

Chirac won the election with 82% of the vote. Everybody was relieved to see democracy and openness triumph against extremism and xenophobia. Five years later, in the 2007 election, the National Front only carried 11% of the vote. The beast had been vanquished.

Ten years later, and fifteen years after the 2002 election, the National Front is at an all time high, undeniably the most powerful force in French politics. It drives the public debate on almost every topic, and Marine Le Pen, Jean-Marie’s savvier daughter, is unanimously expected to land a comfortable spot in the second round of the 2017 election.

Defeating Trump and getting Hillary as large a victory as possible is indispensable — but it’s just the beginning of the fight.