Everyone knows that the U.S. generally doesn’t get worked up about foreign elections. However, the presidential victory of centrist Emmanuel Macron over far-right populist Marine Le Pen has drawn plenty of enthusiasm from this side of the pond. Oddly and as CNN reveals, voter turnout was lower than in recent French elections but still — at 75% — dwarfed U.S. participation. It’s not clear how many of Macron’s supporters were simply voting against Le Pen, but surely, her presence on the ticket was a motivating factor.
In the U.S., many spectators (particularly those who don’t support President Trump) are overjoyed to see the French people reject the extremist agenda of Le Pen. Many also see this post-Brexit election result as an anti-nationalist global message. After all, Macron scored a landslide victory with about 65.9% of the vote, despite the hacking (of the Russian variety?) of his campaign.
The 39-year-old Macron must now unite a deeply divided country, which faces economic and terror-related challenges aplenty. For now, however, the U.S.-based Internet views this victory through fairly narrow lenses. People are thrilled to see France say “nope” to Le Pen (i.e., her anti-Semitic and Islamophobic sentiments), although they’re also happy for That Guy.