France heads for a nervous breakdown as it meanders toward regional elections on Sunday and an explosive presidential election in 10 months’ time. A lot of questions arises in the tensed air circling around if this hysteria is spontaneous or organized? As described by a French expert, Gilles Kepel, defined “atmospheric jihadism” as a generalized state of mind that promotes violent Islamist radicalism. Since France is suffering from a state of anxiety, and it favours the advance of the ultra-nationalist, anti-European right. Being promoted by a strategy of denigration and exaggeration Le Pen and her far-right supporters run the agenda targeted websites. Damien Tarel, the one who slapped the president said during his trials that Emmanuel Macron had hastened the decay of France. France’s most popular, far-right commentator, and he got what he deserved because he had desecrated the presidency. Contributing to the trend that is gaining momentum on the left-wing, many say that Macron is not just violent but aggressive too. Opinion polls suggest that the mainstream opposition benefits little from this exaggerated miserabilism but Le Pen does.
Being in a fractured political state, France emerges blinking into the light of summer from a third COVID lockdown, it is a troubled and divided nation. On the one hand, there is a yearning to return to normal. On the other, there is an inchoate desire to tear down politics-as-usual. In times of uncertainty, several officials and thought leaders blame President Macron for everything that went wrong in France during the pandemic. Refusing to see what went well such as generous state support for businesses and the vaccination rollout, the president and his decisions are seen as the ones at fault.
After winning the elections in 2017, the President has however failed to create a narrative of purpose or direction for his reforms. He is still regarded as an arrogant upstart by politicians and media of both the centre-left and centre-right hence the extreme violence of the language of otherwise sensible commentators comes spiralling. One of his greatest failures has been his inability to create a grassroots centrist movement. And that affects the high opinion poll numbers that will be conducted on Sunday when France will hold the first round of the regional elections.