Jean-Marie Le Pen, the deplorable right-wing candidate for the French presidency, has urged his followers not to vote in the run-off election this weekend. Le Pen, who made the run-off last time, finished fourth in the first round with approximately 11 percent of the vote. Presumably, few members of that bloc have any inclination to vote for Socialist Segolene Royal, but many of the non-fascists among might well vote for Nicolas Sarkozy. Le Pen has decided he does not want them to.
However, it’s not clear how many of his supporters will be similarly indifferent to the identity of their next president. Appearing on a French newscast today, Le Pen sounded like a sour, egomanical has-been. He noted with obvious resentment that Sarkozy had not contacted him since the first round, and it seems likely that this, not any question of principle, caused Le Pen to urge his supporters to boycott the election.
Regardless of the outcome, the demise of Le Pen is a victory for France. And win or lose, Sarkozy has done France a great service by refusing to reach out to the old bigot.
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