According to this poll, 61% of French society believes in the far-right "Great Replacement" theory, that there is a plot to replace them all with immigrants and brown people. White supremacist stuff. pic.twitter.com/CQU0NqF4M4— Ahmed ???????? (@gatnash) December 5, 2021
Hey, you still believe in the liberal norms, right?
“French far-right provocateur Éric Zemmour was placed in a headlock by a protester at his first political rally on Sunday, just days after entering the country’s presidential race on an anti-migrant platform that has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump’s.
Videos online appeared to show a man lunging toward Zemmour as he walked toward the stage to deliver his campaign pitch, and grabbing Zemmour by the neck before security officials intervened.
Zemmour was injured in the scuffle but went on to deliver a speech lasting nearly an hour and a half, promising a “reconquest of the greatest country in the world” if he wins the election. A doctor later ordered him to rest for nine days, Le Monde newspaper reported. …”
The French presidential election is shaping up to be a wild ride.
Zemmour went on to give another barnburner of a speech, explicitly invoking the Reconquista of Spain in the Middle Ages, and illustrated once again how lacking Marine Le Pen is in that department.
Yes, I know he is Jewish. Yes, I know he stops at offering assimilation to Muslims. Still though, my overall impression is that Zemmour is playing with matches. He is lighting the torch in France which is the core of the EU with this type of incendiary rhetoric. It is not too difficult to imagine how this could spiral out of control when you knock down taboos like this. White people getting over their fear of being called “racist” and asserting themselves and not feeling intimidated anymore is really the whole ball game.
Note: I’ve found a rough transcript of the speech.
Zemmour spoke yesterday at his first rally since last week’s announcement speech. It is another remarkable speech, and I want to share it with you. Thread follows.
But first—this speech is much longer than the announcement, so I am not doing a full translation. Instead I am giving you a detailed rundown of the speech, with key quotes and a little commentary. So to begin:
After thanking previous speakers, Zemmour begins where all populists must begin: crowd size. “There are close to 15,000 people here today.” A remarkable number. Trump’s 2016 rallies generally attracted ten to fifteen thousand people, in a country five times the size of France.
He continues: “15,000 French who have braved political correctness, the threats of the extreme left, and the hatred of the media.” At the mention of the media, the crowd breaks into boos. Are you getting that 2016 feeling? I am.
“15,000 French with their heads unbowed and who are determined to change the course of history.” Zemmour will repeatedly claim the ability to change history’s course, a direct rebuke to those who claim history possesses an arc that bends leftward.
“If I win this election, it will be the beginning of the reconquest of the most beautiful country in the world.” Here Zemmour introduces his theme of “reconquête”, or reconquest, which is now also the name of his movement or party.
The Spanish for “reconquête” is “reconquista”. Some of you may already know what this means. It refers to the expulsion of Muslims Spain by Christians. Many will find his use of this word extremely inflammatory.
“This country has suffered so much, has been so forgotten…during these last forty years,” he continues, listing off the issues of importance: economy, environment, cost of living, the bureaucracy, immigration, insecurity. Zemmour will now unveil policies to address these issues.
But first – he attacks the authorities, the media, and even the Right [boos] for accepting that next election will be a formality, ratifying 5 more years of Macronism.
“France will continue quietly exiting history and the French will disappear in silence in the land of their ancestors…. But a little grain of sand has seized up the gears. No, not me – you!”
He then proceeds to tell a “nice story”. Six months ago, everyone knew the outcome second round: Macron can only win. But now, “we are here, and we have broken the tacit pact among all the actors in this farce.”
“The political phenomenon of these meetings isn’t me, it’s you. Your presence is that of a people who never lays down, who stands up to and against everything. This people they have forgotten, they have underestimated, they even thought they had pushed out, far from the city centers and nice neighborhoods. They are wrong. The French people have been here a thousand years, and wish to still be the master of their own home for a thousand years more!”
He speaks for a while on the theme, “when they attack me, really they attack you.” But they do attack him personally. “My opponents want me dead politically. The journalists want me dead socially. And the jihadists just want me dead.”
Next he discusses how the judiciary and the media control acceptable speech, tries to prevent them from defending their ideas. “They want to steal democracy. Don’t let them do it.”
(Zemmour has been convicted twice for “hate speech” in France, which has much more restrictive laws on speech than the US.)
In France, to qualify for the first round in the presidential election, you must collect 500 signatures from elected officials. He calls on mayors to support him.
He speaks at length about his supporters’ spirit not being one of vengeance or hatred, but rather a desire to save France’s culture.
“During these last few months, I have put forward the question of the survival of France. If I was wrong to do so, think about how everyone has started to talk like me.” This is true. By raising these questions, he has had the effect of pulling the whole field in his direction.
“They call me fascist. Me, fascist?” He says it mockingly and lets the word hang there, letting the crowd infer his Jewish ancestry and reflect on the accusation in that light. This is a key claim of his candidacy, particularly vs. Le Pen (whose party has an antisemitic image).
“Right. Whatever. But I’m the only one defending freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom to debate. Meanwhile the other side wants to ban our meetings and put me in jail.”
He addresses accusations of misogyny. He speaks lovingly of his mother, and how she taught him an immoderate love of France.
And it is thanks to her experiences (in Algeria, where Zemmour’s parents originate) that “I was able to understand before others the repression of women taking place in those neighborhoods where mass immigration has brought an islamic civilization that is so cruel to women.”
“Doubtless that is why I am the only one… to establish without false modesty the obvious link between this immigration from the other side of the Mediterranean and the threats that weigh every day on French women: on their liberty, their on integrity, and even on their lives.”
“Meanwhile, the feminists avert their eyes, and talk to us about inclusive writing.” [Boos]
“They call me racist. But I am the only one not to confuse the defense of one’s own with the hatred of others.” He speaks against racism, while at the same time preserving the French heritage.
“The preservation of our heritage is not the enemy of modernity – it is in fact the condition of its existence.”
He speaks further about preserving French heritage. “It is for this reason that I stand before you, to become your next President.” [Chants of “President Zemmour!”]
He thanks the leaders of two other political movements who have joined with his Reconquête party. “Yes, thanks to them and you all, the reconquest is launched. The reconquest of our economy, of our security, of our identity, of our sovereignty, of our country.”
He talks about not being a career politician. “They think it is my weakness. I think it is my strength…. I will lead this country without compromise, without cowardice, without weakness.”
“I refuse to choose between my memories of yesterday, the issues of the present, and the challenges of tomorrow.” He describes how his son convinced him to run.
“Well, dad, you’ve been a commentator for 30 years. It’s time to take action.”
“I meet with the French people and two fears haunt them: degradation – impoverishment of the French people, the decline of our power, and the collapse of our schools; and that of the great replacement – with the islamisation of France, mass immigration, and public insecurity.”
He speaks at length about salaries, cost of living, and taxes. Then he comes to a major theme of his candidacy, and a major theme of the nationalist movement throughout the west.
“So that our country ceases impoverishing itself, I make the choice for reindustrialization… because industry creates jobs, generates innovation, is the source of wealth, and is the guarantee of our independence.”
He speaks about reducing the administrative burden on the French people. It is here that he says “Why is the State so powerless against criminals, and yet so ruthless with honest people?”
He goes on to advocate ensuring businesses can be transmitted to successive generations, so that they remain in French hands and are not sold to Chinese enterprises or American investment funds.
Moving to security, he argues that France must renew its tradition of independence, and leave the integrated military command of NATO. Atlanticist heads explode.
Moving to education, he says French education must get back to fundamentals and put particular attention on mathematics and the humanities: “classical culture, scientific studies, promotion of manual know-how, transmission of knowledge, and a belief in merit and excellence.”
“We will give back to teachers the tools they need to do their jobs: we will reestablish their authority, we will ban inclusive language, and we will banish all forms of affirmative action.”
“School must rediscover its primary objective: transmission of knowledge, not reducing inequality. It must no longer seek to be the most inclusive possible, but rather rediscover the belief in merit and effort.”
Now he turns to the issue that towers over and aggravates everything. Immigration. “Faced with accelerating changes in population, we are the only ones who dare say the truth, the only ones who pronounce the words that enrage, who propose the necessary measures.
In 2019, France allowed onto its soil between 350 and 400 thousand foreigners, more than the population of Nice, which is the 5th largest city in France. Over five years, that is the equivalent of the city of Paris.
The issue – the issue – in the upcoming election is whether we want to allow two million more to enter over the next five years.”
Then he discusses the increasing islam-ization of the French population. “Yesterday, the media denied it. Today, they celebrate it. Tomorrow, they will tell us we have no choice. They lie. We have the choice. We have the power to decide the civilizational destiny of our country.”
Now he gets specific on immigration policy.
He says there are three pillars to his policy.
The first pillar: Stop the Flow. From the first weeks of my administration, zero immigration will be the clear objective. Limit asylum to a handful of individuals each year.
Handle asylum cases at consulates. End chain migration. Make student visas more strict. Dismantle the NGOs that bring these immigrants into Europe.
2nd Pillar: France must not be an El Dorado for the third world. Abolish social services including state medical aide for non-European foreigners. Abolish birthright citizenship. Make the conditions of citizenship drastically more strict.
3rd Pillar: Remove every illegal immigrant from our soil. Immediately remove every foreign delinquent, and stop putting them in our prisons. Strip French citizenship from binational criminals. Remove unemployed foreigners after 6 months without employment.
“Every measure should be submitted to the French people by referendum.”
“Our existence as French people is non-negotiable. Our survival as the French nation is not subject to the goodwill of treaties or European judges.”
He extends the hand to Muslims and any other foreigners who wish to become French and says, “to you I offer assimilation. Assimilation is the most beautiful gift France can give you. If you make France your mother and each Frenchman your brother, you are our countryman.”
“We are setting the bar high. France is not an à-la-carte menu. France requires total commitment. For those who refuse, for the bi-nationals, for the foreigners who violate our laws: the door is wide open for you to leave.”
Now Zemmour begins the call to action. He calls on his supporters to join the battle. Chants of “let’s go!” break out.
He calls on the supporters of the National Front (far-right party dominated by the Le Pen family) “who have seen their ideas vegetate in a sterile opposition for decades”.
He calls on the supporters of Les Républicains (LR, mainstream rightwing party) who have had enough of the injunctions of the left and political correctness.
“This Right that loves France is a majority in our country.”
Now he makes a direct call to the supporters of “my friend, Éric Ciotti” to great cheers. Ciotti was 2nd place in the LR primary, and ran on a platform similar to Zemmour. “Your place is among us, by our side.”
He goes on a long discussion of the course of the mainstream right over the last thirty years. All of this is very specific to French politics so I’m not going to describe it in detail. Key quote:
“The right as usual submitted to the injunctions of the left, the media, judges. The right as usual betrayed its voters as soon as it entered into power.”
Now he directly attacks the nominee of LR, Valérie Pecresse. “She promises everything, and stands for nothing.”
Zemmour takes the position that he is the candidate for supporters of both the National Front and LR. He seeks to bring the right together around his candidacy. “This is not the hour for byzantine fights. Tomorrow, France could disappear.”
Finally he attacks Macron directly. “In ’22 it is not just the person of Macron that we are going to beat, but moreover his ideology. This system of which he is the standard bearer and spokesman.
The person of Macron doesn’t interest us, because he is fundamentally uninteresting. Find me one Frenchman. One who can explain the thought of Emmanuel Macron. Just one. There is no one, not even him. Nobody knows who he is, because he is nobody.
He goes on a long diatribe against Macron, listing off his shortcomings. He finishes: “we leave behind this adolescent, eternally ‘finding himself’.” [Chants of President Zemmour]
“Yes, leave him with his self-obsession. Our courage, our intelligence, or strength, and our commitment: we hold to those ideals, against globalism, against multiculturalism, against mass immigration, against gender theory, against islamo-leftism – all these demonic machines – which have one goal, one mission, one ideal: tear down our people in order to destroy it.”
“A marvelous, exceptional task awaits us. The commitment of an entire lifetime. France is at the crossroads. It’s now or never. Frenchmen, I ask for your enthusiasm. I ask for your warmth. I ask for your joy. I ask for your pride.”
“We will leave Macronism a bad memory. And when this phantom has left the Elysée, when the left has lost its latest puppet, we will replace it with France.” He turns the Great Replacement around on the left.
“Be strong. Be joyous. Be heros!” At this point the crowd breaks into a spontaneous rendition of La Marseilleise, the French national anthem.
He concludes with a peroration on the theme “France is back.”
He praises the French genius, hitting many of the same notes as his announcement last week.
“Yes, France is back, because the French people are standing up.
The French people stand up against all who want to make them disappear, all who want to deprive her children of their heritage and grandeur– The French people, who will never bow the head to those who vow to defeat them. Yes, France is back. Long live the Republic, and above all – above all – long live France!”