French Presidential Campaign: Part 5

by NIDRA POLLER April 23, 2017

Part 1 can be found here - click.

Part 2 can be found here - click.

Part 3 can be found here - click.

Part 4 can be found here - click.


10:44 AM: I feel like my country, the country I've lived in for over 44 years, is a patient in intensive care. Tubes and catheters, control panels, IT graphs, pulsing images, flashing lights. We're waiting with sinking hearts for the specialist to come in and interpret the lab results. Something ineluctable is about to be revealed. But what?

I'm going to the outdoor market. When I get back, maybe I'll run the vacuum cleaner. To keep my mind fresh. Plans for my visit to Israel in May are shaping up. Then 2 weeks in June in the US. A week in the South of France after that. Life goes on. I'll walk around and take a look at the polling places. All the candidate posters have been defaced by anarchists and other heavy metal destroy protestors. 

3 PM : The hawk is out, a merciless cold wind is slamming our hopes for springtime. The sun is hot and bright. It's not enough. Anarchists and other looking-for-a-fight protesters at yesterday's Social 1st Round left their filthy messages all up and down boulevard Beaumarchais. Last night they threw bottles and other hard edged objects at the police. Their graffiti looks like blood, talk about broad brush, they obscure whatever they touch. WAR ON THE RICH here POLICE ASSASSINS there. Can't someone get them out of our face, out of our hair, out of the national conversation? Their causes are rotten. They grab at anything as an excuse for slopping signs and breaking windows, attacking the police and whatever else they get their hands on.

I'm on edge. Up to now, everything was possible, you grasped it with your rational mind. Now it is happening. People are voting. The verdict will soon fall.

I'm sharply impatient and here they come again with Marine Le Pen. A friend tells me about an article in the Jerusalem Post, CNN is in her stomping grounds at Bénin-Haumont and President Trump thinks she's the best on frontiers and all that sovereignty, and the only one that's dealing with that pesky problem. C'mon guys, either find out what's really happening here or comment on another poker game.  You want Marine le Pen for president? Help yourself. But leave us out of it

Oh they're so sure she'll get to the 2nd round. I just hope they're wrong. I'm so tired of her misrepresentation.

I have to leave for the concert.

8:17 PM: The concert lasted longer than I expected. My friend Isaac Bensimhon brought to life Jean Ferhat and it brought tears to my eyes, the beauty of song, the commitment to social justice, the innocence (he was a Communist fellow traveler) and the reality of the Soviet Union. Tears for the idealism of our youth, with nothing but hollow bushel barrels to harvest their hopes.

Authorities fear an outbreak of violence after the election results are announced.

A helicopter turns in the cold skies.

I meant to write hour by hour but I kept bumping into friends and neighbors, heard fantastic theories of what was about to happen.

I sensed it, didn't I? The smug pollsters. Oh my friend, our pollsters are not like your pollsters. Ours are French sharpshooters. Haven't they been telling us for weeks and months that it would be Le Pen and Macron? Didn't they make fun of us for seeking other sources that would comfort are vain hopes.

OK, it's Macron and le Pen. A few minutes ago Fillon squeezed a few centimeter ahead of Mélenchon. Merci, c'est gentil.

Le Pen & Macron. Are you happy, foreign media and friends from everywhere that have been promising Marine would make it to the 2nd round? And win.  Forgive me, I had a higher evaluation of French citizens.

Excuse me, for the moment I've lost interest in this story.

Now I have to go and endure their victory speeches.

Merci, François Hollande, you realized the dream of the Left: run against the Front National instead of the parliamentary Right. And win.

What a loss!

 

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Nidra Poller is an American novelist and journalist living in Paris since 1972. She has published  in the Wall Street Journal Europe, New English Review, and other outlets. Ms. Poller is the author of Troubled Dawn and  "The Black Flag of Jihad Stalks the Republique "





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