Macron’s failure is toxic for the center-left and center-right that want to revive the European Project. His great unpopularity is further discrediting his dreams of a “Renaissance” for the European Union itself. And his tin-eared response to domestic unrest is setting up a European election that may see France send loads of Euroskeptic MEPs to Brussels, where they will be joined by more coming in from Italy and beyond.
And it is reason for the rest of the world to have a rethink. History erupts in Paris first, and then it spreads. An old order dies and is reborn as a new one. Macron is hoping that even if his popularity is dipping below 20 percent, he can win again if the alternative is Marine Le Pen and her far-right Rassemblement national. But in fact, the alternative may be socialist Jean-Luc Mélenchon. In Macron’s failures, I see one potential future coming into view: Mélenchon in France, Jeremy Corbyn in the United Kingdom, and Bernie Sanders in the U.S.