Marine Le Pen is offering voters simpler solutions. We will get rid of the migrants and then white French workers will regain their dignity, that is what she suggests. How do you convince voters that it doesn’t work that way?
It’s not just Le Pen anymore. Racist, islamophobic rhetoric has caught on in other mainstream parties as well. So much so that Le Pen’s party even praised Macron for some of the solutions voted on his inspiration that hit Muslims of both sexes. Distracting from social inequality and focusing on Islam is an old tactic. The media has favoured this over the years: by saying that there is no alternative to capitalism with all its social effects, people were discouraged from thinking if the system could be fixed somehow. People did not see where the causes of their ills were, but instead blamed others, scapegoats suggested by the elite. As a result, when we reach Muslim workers with our programme, they tell us that they are genuinely afraid, even for their lives. They fear that the aversion to “Others” generated by the far right, Le Pen and Éric Zemmour (Reconquête!), will eventually lead to outbreaks of violence.
We are against it. We show that when faced with the challenges we face, employees, regardless of their origin, are in the same situation. We call for the fight against economic and social inequalities. Of course, we are also fighting racism. Our message is that employees must unite, not divide. We refer, for example, to a pandemic. Effective fight against the disease was possible when we were in solidarity.
Finally, we say: it is not the immigrant who is your enemy, but the billionaire. It is the billionaires who earned from pandemic and watched with indifference as you suffer and sacrifice. It is against them that you have to fight together! It is time to distribute profits and riches more equitably. We need money to build hospitals, schools, to rebuild public services that used to work before and then collapsed, because under capitalism they are not the most important. They tell us it’s populism. Maybe so – but these are all real problems to deal with!
If your candidate gets to the second round of the election, he will have both Emmanuel Macron and all the major media against him …
… And not only the media, the whole system.
Exactly – the whole system. Are you ready for this? Do you have a strategy outline?
That would be even helpful in a way. There would be a historic confrontation: the representative of the elites, the man who brutally broke the Yellow Vest movement against our candidate. It would be much easier for employees to decide who embodies their interests. And there would be mobilisation on the left, even if the left is divided.
If we come to the secound round and if a direct debate between Macron and Mélenchon takes place, the media would have to change its usual agenda at least for a moment. Instead of obsessively talking about the dangers of migration, they would have to note that the presidential candidate talks about rising prices, about what life is like for a French worker today. And we would consistently raise our demands.