Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-establishment National Front party, has officially launched her campaign to become the next president of France.
Speaking at a rally attended by thousands of her supporters in Lyon on February 5, Le Pen launched a two-pronged attack on globalization and radical Islam. She promised French voters a referendum on remaining in the European Union, and also to deport Muslims who are deemed a security risk to France.
National Front party leader Marine Le Pen, speaking at a rally in Lyon, France on February 5, 2016. (Image source: Public Senat video screenshot)
Le Pen's political platform is contained in a manifesto of 144 promises regarding immigration and global trade.
Polls show that Le Pen — who said the election of U.S. President Donald J. Trump "shows that people are taking their future back" — is one of the most popular politicians in France.
A February 2 Ifop-Fiducial poll for Paris Match, iTELE and Sud-Radio showed Le Pen with 24.5% of the vote, compared to 20% for François Fillon of the center-right Republicans party. In December 2016, Fillon, who has become engulfed in a corruption scandal, held a three-point lead over Le Pen.
The poll also showed the independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron with 20% of the vote, the Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon with 17%, and the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon with 9.5%.
The first round of the election will be held April 23. If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held on May 7.
Following is an abridged translation of key parts of Le Pen's speech:
In all respects, this presidential election is unlike previous ones. Its outcome will determine the future of France as a free nation and our existence as a people.
After decades of errors and cowardice, we are at a crossroads. I say it with gravity: the choice we will have to make in this election is a choice of civilization.
The question is simple and cruel: will our children live in a free, independent, democratic country? Will they still be able to refer to our system of values? Will they have the same way of life as we did and our parents before us?
Will our children, and the children of our children, still have a job, a decent wage, the possibility of building up a patrimony, becoming an owner, starting a family in a safe environment, being properly cared for, to grow old with dignity?
Will our children have the same rights as us?
Will they live according to our cultural references, our values of civilization, our style of living, and will they even speak our French language, which is disintegrating under the blows of political leaders who squander this national treasure — for example, by choosing a slogan in English to promote the candidacy of Paris to host the 2024 Olympic Games?
Will they have the right to claim French culture when certain candidates for the presidential election, puffed up by their own empty-headedness, explain that it does not exist?
I ask this important question because, unlike our adversaries, I am interested not only in the material heritage of the French, but I also want to defend our immaterial capital. This immaterial capital is priceless because this heritage is irreplaceable. In fact, I am defending the load-bearing walls of our society.
Our leaders have chosen deregulated globalization. They wanted a happy outcome, but the result is frightful.
Globalization develops at two levels: from below with massive immigration and global social dumping; and from above with the financialization of the economy.
Globalization, which became a fact with the multiplication of exchanges, has become an ideology. Economic globalization, which rejects any limits, has weakened the immune system of the nation by dispossessing it of its constituent elements: borders, national currency, the authority of its laws in conducting economic affairs, and thus allowing another world to be born and grow: Islamic fundamentalism.
The latter has grown up within a deleterious communitarianism, itself a child of mass immigration, suffered year after year by our country.
We have thus fulfilled our first political act, which is to name the enemy.
These two globalisms, today, give a leg up to:
- Economic and financial globalism, of which the European Union, the financiers and the domesticated political class are its zealous servants;
- Jihadist globalism, which undermines our vital interests abroad, but which also takes root in our national territory, in certain neighborhoods, in certain places, in certain weak minds.
Both work towards the disappearance of our nation, that is to say, of France as we live it, as we love it, which is why the French have a feeling of dispossession.
These two ideologies want to subjugate our country.
One in the name of globalized finance, that is to say, the ideology of all commerce, the other in the name of a radicalized Islam, that is to say, the ideology of the whole of religion.
Faced with these two totalitarianisms that threaten our liberties and our country, we must demonstrate lucidity, determination and unity.
Economic globalism kills by asphyxia — slow, progressive, but certain.
Islamic fundamentalism attacks us by the calculated harassment of republican resistance, by incessant demands, by demands for accommodation, none of which, for us, can be reasonable and therefore conceivable.
Nor let us forget that Islamic fundamentalism is barbaric, that it manifests itself every day in the world by killing, massacring, using in particular the vile and cowardly weapon of terrorism or mass murder.
As in all ideological wars, we find useful idiots and more or less conscious accomplices who, through cowardice, blindness or greed, facilitate these undertakings for the establishment of this barbarous ideology, the enemy of France.
To advance, the advocates of these two globalist ideologies give the illusion of relying on our principles; in reality, they falsely invoke freedom to set up their totalitarianism: it is the freedom of the fox in the chicken coop.
The first, economic and financial globalism, invokes freedom of trade, freedom of movement, freedom of establishment; all those who venture to reveal their failures are accused of ignorance, accused of some ideological drift, and are struck down with moral reproach.
Economic and financial globalism is based on a pseudo economic expertise that never yields, not even to the evidence of its economic failure and the social devastation that it provokes. The objective is to reduce man to his role as consumer or producer.
Countries are no longer nations united by matters of the heart, but by markets, spaces where the commodification of everything and every human being is conceivable, possible, accepted and even organized.
People are no more than populations. Borders are erased, as with Schengen, to make of our countries station concourses where everyone is free to come and stay and to participate in the leveling of the social protections, the reduction of wages and the dilution of culture into the smallest common denominator.
With the globalists, cultures of peoples, that is, what makes the world's diversity, are destined to be erased in order to facilitate the commercialization of standard products and to facilitate hyper profits at the cost of ecological depletion of the planet or child labor of the Third World.
This world where economics is an end in itself and man, a simple tool in its service, plunges us into an ephemeral era, in short, an artificial and deeply dehumanized world.
The rights of people, their social situation, their well-being, the environment in which they live, become the variable of adjustment of the interests of large groups and castes.
For them, the nation is a non-tariff barrier. In their eyes, the country is an open geographical space where the only requirement is to "live together," that is to say, not to interfere with each other.
I want to denounce this powerful alliance between the promotion of savage globalization on the one hand, and the culpable inaction, even in the face of uncontrolled immigration and its direct consequence, the establishment of Islamic fundamentalism.
If economic globalism advances with the shield of free trade, the second of these globalisms, Islamic fundamentalism, instrumentalizes the principle of religious freedom in an attempt to impose patterns of thought that are clearly the opposite of ours.
The carelessness and weakness of our leaders have been a growth hormone to this ideology that tried to sow death in the Louvre two days ago.
We do not want to live under the yoke or threat of Islamic fundamentalism.
It tries to impose upon us pell-mell:
- The prohibition of mixing in public places,
- The integral veil or not,
- Prayer halls in companies, street prayers, cathedral mosques,
- The submission of woman by prohibiting the skirt, work or bistro.
No Frenchman, no Republican, no woman attached to dignity and liberty can accept it.
Behind these two ideologies is inexorably the enslavement of people: An enslavement, at first mental, which is effected by disaffiliation, by isolation, by dissolution of traditional bonds.
Economic globalism professes individualism, and radical Islamism communitarianism.
Globalism is based, as we see, on the negation of the values on which France was built and on the principles in which the immense majority of French people still recognize themselves: the pre-eminence of the person and therefore its sacred character, individual freedom and therefore individual consent, national feeling and therefore national solidarity, equality of persons and therefore the refusal of situations of submission.
These principles for which we are fighting are affirmed in our national motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," which itself proceeds from a secularization of principles stemming from our Christian heritage.
But these two globalist ideologies do not only attack our nation. Both of them attack our Republic by questioning its indivisibility.
The answer is not technical but regal, which is why we call for the moral rearmament of the country and a surge of national energy. We call for resistance and reconquest.
There is nothing for us more beautiful than France. There is nothing for us greater than France. There is nothing for us more useful to the world than France!
I say to the French who are watching or listening to us: the fate of France is in your hands!
The Revolution of Patriotism
France is a millennial country with a history and a culture. France is an act of love. This love has a name: patriotism. It is what makes our hearts beat in unison when the Marseillaise sounds or when our national colors beat the wind of history.
It is what unites the French left and right, from the cradle to the cane, from the factory to the office. It is what pits our vision against that of the globalists.
We believe it is time to revitalize national sentiment, to live it on a daily basis, to teach our children all that makes and has made their country, to teach them to love their compatriots, to be proud of their history, to be confident in the forces of France.
When one aspires to settle in a country, one does not begin by violating its laws. We do not begin by claiming rights. To all, and especially to people of all origins and all faiths that we have welcomed into our country, I repeat: there are no and there will be no other laws and values in France than those that are French.
On this subject there will be no retreat and no compromise.
Those who come to France are to accept France, not to transform it to the image of their country of origin. If they want to live at home, they should have stayed at home.
We will strictly apply the rules of secularism in a country whose tragic history has learned to guard against the wars of religion. We will extend the rules of secularism to public spaces and we will inscribe them in labor laws. We will respond to those who see with concern the rise of religious demands and the rise of conflicts in the workplace.
We no longer want the state to allow the spread of the hatred of France. We want a France that transmits and a France that is transmitted!
The Revolution of Liberty
The first liberty is security. You may ask how to improve security when for thirty years all governments have failed? Our method is simple: we will apply the law!
As Cardinal de Richelieu said, "to make a law and not enforce it is to authorize the thing that one wishes to defend against."
We will re-establish the rule of law, that is, enforce Republican law in those places where it has been lost, where our rulers obviously lack the courage and willpower. We are going to put an end to the impunity of criminals, the no-go zones, the dictatorships of kingpins in certain districts, drug and weapons trafficking, burglaries, burned cars.
We will stress the certainty of prosecution, the certainty of sanction, the certainty of punishment, the certainty that delinquent aliens are automatically deported.
I say to the mothers who listen to me, support me: Do not accept that our children live in fear, in this daily violence of which they are the first victims, sometimes at the cost of their young lives.
In order to fulfill their mission, so important to this country, we will give back to our security forces the human and material resources as well as the necessary support and instructions.
We shall rearm them, including morally, with the establishment of the presumption of self-defense.
We will open suitable prison places, conclude agreements with countries of origin so that foreign offenders will serve their prison sentences in their country of origin, increase the means of justice and organize a response to criminals that can be summarized in two words: zero tolerance.
In terms of terrorism, we do not intend to ask the French to get used to living with this horror. We will eradicate it here and abroad.
Since we are at war with Islamic fundamentalism, we will apply to the enemies of France the legal devices of the state of war.
We will give ourselves the necessary technical and human means and will create the conditions and cooperation necessary for intelligence on the national territory as well as outside.
Foreigners with an "S" file [Fiche "S" or Sûreté de l'État (state security)] will be deported. Binationals with "S" files will be deprived of their French nationality and sent back to their country of origin. Frenchmen with "S" files will be prosecuted for aiding the enemy.
Places of Islamic preaching will be closed and the sowers of hatred condemned and expelled. The legal windows of Islamism, especially on the Internet, will be extinguished.
Finally, this revolution of liberty is that of our collective liberties, for state sovereignty, that is to say, for a free people to decide for themselves. This struggle for sovereignty is first, principal, essential, cardinal — it conditions everything else.
Without sovereignty, no protection is possible, no action is possible. Without sovereignty, a promise becomes a false promise.
My political opponents claim to control borders, to prevent immigration, to fight against unfair competition. They are lying to you. By refusing to free themselves from the straitjacket of the European Union, which is the decision-maker on these subjects, they refrain from any even minor inflection.
Worse, by staying in the euro, they are plaguing our economy, maintaining mass unemployment and giving the European Union the means of pressure to impose its inept views, its millions of migrants.
Everyone agrees that the European Union is a failure. It did not deliver on any of its promises, particularly on prosperity and security and, worse, it has put us under guardianship and kept us on a short leash.
Who could be satisfied with doing nothing against a system which enchains us, which does not work, and worse, whose dysfunctions ruins us?
That is why, if elected, I will announce a referendum within six months on remaining or exiting the European Union, and I will immediately engage with our European partners — many of whom aspire as we do to sovereignty — a renegotiation with this tyrannical Europeanist system which is no longer a project, but a parenthesis in history and I hope one day a bad memory.
The objective will be to find within six months a compromise that will allow us to recover our four sovereignties: monetary, economic, legislative and territorial.
If the European Union does not submit, then I will ask the French to vote in the referendum to resign from this nightmare and become free again.
In the same spirit, because we believe that France is great only when it makes its voice heard in favor of independence and world balance, we will leave the integrated command of NATO. We will re-examine our diplomacy with regard to our national interests and will give the means of our internal and foreign policy by the reconstruction of our military potential.
My commitment is to put France back in order in five years. In practice this concerns all sectors of our lives:
- Putting our economy back in order
- Putting our schools back in order
- Putting our justice back in order
- Putting our diplomacy back in order
- Putting our security back in order
- Putting our solidarity back in order
We open our arms to all those who share with us the love of France and wish to engage our country on the path of national recovery.
The old left-right debates have outlived their usefulness. Primaries have shown that debates about secularism or immigration, as well as globalization or generalized deregulation, constitute a fundamental and transversal divide. This divide is no longer between the left and the right, but between patriots and globalists.
The collapse of traditional parties and the systematic disappearance of almost all of their leaders shows that a great political re-composition has begun.
Other peoples have shown the way.
The British have chosen freedom with the Brexit. The Italians have shown their disapproval in the referendum on the Constitution. The Greeks are thinking about leaving the Euro. The Americans have chosen their national interest.
This awakening of the peoples is historical. It marks the end of a cycle. The wind of history has turned. It will bring us to the top and, with us, our country: France. Long live the people! Long live the Republic! Long live France!