French President-elect Emmanuel Macron, left, and outgoing President Francois Hollande, attend a ceremony to mark the end of World War II at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Monday, May 8, 2017.
In parliamentary elections held June 18, French voters continued the moderate trend that was apparent in the presidential election last month. In that earlier election, Emmanuel Macron was elected chief executive of the nation by a substantial margin. He decisively defeated radical nationalist Marine Le Pen.
An important factor has been widespread anxiety regarding Le Pen and her party, fueled in part by the long controversial political career of her outspoken father, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Before the actual voting, there was some indication she might win the presidency.
Macron’s moderate movement, La République en Marche! (LRM or LREM) has won a majority of seats. This gives the new president a solid political foundation. In total, the magnetic young leader of France is well positioned to exercise strong leadership within Europe — and well beyond. That is important, and basically positive not only for France but also the nation’s allies, including Britain and the United States.
Perhaps reflecting the anxiety resulting from continuing murderous terrorist attacks, a great deal of media commentary about the French government and leadership has been downbeat and downright skeptical. Some early polls indicated the LRM might secure a much more substantial majority. Voter turnout was low, giving some commentators an opening to emphasize apathy and indifference.
That skepticism masks the reality that the French have voted strongly for…