Le Pen is the firebrand nationalist who supports strong national sovereignty and an end to unlimited immigration of persons who want to change the culture, not assimilate into the French social order. She seeks a referendum on continued membership in the European Union, an organization which is run by unelected bureaucrats, yet routinely orders nations to submit to its judgements or else. Le Pen represents the "or else" populace of France, which has been rapidly growing due to the increased violence, chaos and destruction of French society that has literally become commonplace.
And then there's Macron, a man who has never run for office, claims to be a centrist yet has a socialist background, and served as a government minister under the hapless Hollande, himself an unelected bureaucrat who sees government as the answer to all things as his tax policies nearly destroyed his country. Hollande didn't choose to run himself because he knew just how unpopular his governance was. And now the best way to describe the 39 year old Macron is to say he strongly supports the EU and he seems more than willing to accept the ongoing violence that has beset France as a necessary aspect of continued globalization. Just like we saw both in Britain (during the Brexit battle) and in the United States (during the Trump election), the French Establishment will pull out all the stops against Le Pen, someone who is likely to "shake the trees and clean the woodwork" in her efforts to maintain France as a sovereign nation with a distinct culture.
All of the mainstream pundits are counting her out, just as they did on the matters concerning Brexit and the American election, but as we've often seen, events frequently have a way of changing things when they are least expected. While Macron will hammer the economy under the status quo, frankly nothing to brag about, Le Pen will push for French nationalism and control of France's destiny, something most popular with those living outside of the major cities.
Will it be enough? Well, we won't know until May 7th and we don't know what level of violence will take place during the two week run up to the campaign. We do know that the two traditional parties are out of the running for the first time in many generations and endorsements by former leaders may not be sufficient to drive the outcome. So that leaves us with the question posed at the outset. Will it be "Viva la France" or Europa Rules.
We'll know soon enough but, either way, don't expect Marine Le Pen to disappear from the stage. In a parliamentary system such as France, she can be a thorn in the side of anyone if they don't pay attention to her recommendations. And that, my friends, is healthy for France.