It turns into a storm. Emmanuel Macron is certainly not the first political leader to be physically challenged. Others before him have been violently jostled, grabbed by the collar, entarted. Jacques Chirac was the target of an attempted attack on July 14, 2002. And every day, thousands of local elected officials are on the front line or – as they like to say themselves – “Within range of slaps”. We would therefore be tempted to relativize this slap, received the other day in the Drôme – “These are the risks of the profession, there is no death of a man”. Or to point out, as the president himself does, that it is about “Isolated facts”, emanating from individuals who do not deserve “To take possession of the public debate” (1). But precisely, this is the crux of the problem. For anyone who is determined to do so, it is easier than ever to monopolize the attention of the greatest number, even through violence. Each time, collectively, we fall for the trap. This slap in the face is yet another episode of the permanent sparkle that takes place in the agora recomposed – or broken down – by social networks and news channels. If we should rejoice at the unanimous condemnation of this gesture by the political class, it is because it is not only a question of a man and a function. In a sense, on June 8, it was also our public space and our spirit of civility that were brutalized.
→ THE FACTS. Emmanuel Macron slapped by a man during a trip to the Drôme
The best way not to get caught up in intent is to speak clearly. It is also the least that can be expected from a brilliant speaker like Jean-Luc Mélenchon. No need to dwell on the more or less controlled nature of his last slippage: the leader of La France insoumise, by his conspiratorial overtones on the attacks of March 2012, disqualified himself. Rather than admit an error, or seek to resolve ambiguities, he sounded the cavalry. But the coordinated response of his first circle is no longer enough to conceal a crude reality: the man who arrived 4e of the first round of the last presidential election is now more isolated than ever. He seems to have lowered his ambitions. Perhaps he is now only a candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Buzz?
→ ANALYSIS. Remarks on the attacks: the risky strategy of Jean-Luc Mélenchon
If there is one who could benefit from the repeated missteps of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, it is Arnaud Montebourg. Paradoxically, after his book L’Engagement (2), he was hesitant. Here it is again this week with a forum in the form of an indictment against the five-year Macron and Hollande (3). His thesis: liberalism embodied by Emmanuel Macron is sociologically in the minority and prepares the ground for the National Rally.
As for the left, it lost the popular classes by preferring to focus on societal issues and by exalting individualism and globalization. His hope: to mobilize the 4 million voters who voted blank or zero in the second round of 2017 and the 12 million who abstained. He wants to believe that there is a breeding ground likely to thwart the forecasts. He outlines a program with interventionist, republican, pro-nuclear, euro-critical and strict contours on migration issues. Arnaud Montebourg must be recognized for his consistency: in twenty years, his convictions have not changed an inch. But on this political battlefield in full reorganization, we find him today much more in common with Xavier Bertrand than with his former socialist comrades.