The French media has started lumping far-right leader Marine Le Pen with a host of other “populists,” left and right. But calling Le Pen just another populist helps her detoxify her party — and mainstreams the racist right.
Jim Wolfreys is the author of Republic of Islamophobia: The Rise of Respectable Racism in France (Hurst/OUP, 2018).
In the new memoir of Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France's Front National, the powerful currents of resentment and authoritarianism that animate the far right are well on display.
The FN’s new image doesn’t mean the far-right party had a change of heart — it means the mainstream has accepted its program.