In Orwellian Times a Clown Wants to Be Emperor

Interview of Gilbert Mercier with Utrice Leid

March 7, 2016

Donald Trump, the frontrunner among Republican candidates in the 2016 United States presidential race, has an admirer in Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the far-right, trenchantly racist National Front party in France. Gilbert Mercier, Editor-in-Chief of News Junkie Post and author of The Orwellian Empire draws parallels between the ascendancy and growing appeal of Trump and that of Le Pen.

Utrice Leid. First up, we talk about Donald Trump speaking American ugly with a French accent! We are going to discuss the parallels between Donald Trump and Jean-Marie Le Pen with our dear friend, Gilbert Mercier, Editor-in-Chief of News Junkie Post. What did you think when Jean-Marie decided Donald Trump was a kindred spirit? 

Gilbert Mercier. Jean-Marie Le Pen has officially endorsed Donald Trump. Even though, he is not the leader of the Front National anymore, his daughter [Marine Le Pen] took over.  He is still a founding member. He works in the same nebuleuses of the other far-right parties in Europe. At the end of February, Le Pen endorsed Donald Trump on tweeter and stated: “If I were American, I would vote Donald Trump.” Trump has been falsely called by a lot of his supporters, “the international leader of the populist revolt against the elites.” But this is really a joke, just like anything that has to do with Donald Trump, and to some extend to Jean-Marie Le Pen. Both Trump and Le Pen are very much part of the establishment, very much part of the elite. Their crass populism, if you wish, appeals mainly to blue-collar middle-aged racist white males. It is very specific, and it works wonders in both France and the US. Economically, however, they are very much privileged people, they just pretend to be ordinary people. It is really a mockery! Trump is a caricature of what can be called, fairly or unfairly, the ugly American: he is crude, he is rude, he is racist and sexist. He is vulgar, and that makes him a very attractive leading man in what I called the lowest common denominator empire in my recently published book. It is a show, and Donald Trump is a showman! In the scripted reality TV show that is US politics, politics as spectacle, Donald Trump serves in many ways as a scarecrow, sort of a decoy, to ultimately get Hillary Clinton elected. And it will work beautifully to get Hillary Clinton the African-American vote, the Latino vote, and of course the women’s vote.

UL. What is it about Jean-Marie Le Pen, and how did he become such a high profile figure in France, and do you think that there is a parallel with Trump in the US?

GM. Jean-Marie Le Pen was very much involved in the murky times of the war in Algeria, in favor of the French generals who wanted to overthrow the French government and did not want peace with Algeria, which de Gaulle eventually imposed in 1962. He was also a paratrooper in Indochina during the nasty war France had there in the early 1950s. He is sort of the heir of what was called in France at the turn of the century [20th] Action Francaise. They were anti-semitic, anti- foreigner, and an inspiration, in many ways, for the rise of the Nazis in Germany. Maurras, one of the writers of Action Francaise, was an inspiration for Adolf Hitler. Jean-Marie Le Pen has stated that a lot of the stories about world war II were fabricated, that the holocaust was not that bad. Jean-Marie Le Pen is really a neo-Nazi. That is what he is at heart. The anti-immigration stand of Trump echoes the main political platform of the European far-right, not only in France but also in the Netherlands. The rise of Trump, as matter of fact, is really a concern specifically in Germany. It was expressed on March 6 by Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel who stated that just like Marine Le Pen, the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen and current leader of the Front National, and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, “Trump was not only a threat for peace and social cohesion, but also to economic development.” In a parallel fashion, Angela Merkel paid tribute recently to Hillary Clinton in statements that are a de facto endorsement of the Democrat front runner. The political establishment in Europe obviously wants Hillary Clinton to be elected. There is a great deal of fascination for US politics in France and in Europe in general. It is entertaining… it is kind of showbiz, and that is why Trump is so perfect, in that context.

UL. One would have thought that by now, since Trump has disavowed any association with the Ku Klux Klan when David Duke, former grand wizard, I like the title these folks have, tried to endorse him, he would have said similarly to Jean-Marie: thanks but no thanks for the endorsement. But he hasn’t…..

GM. Oh yes of course, but you see, the problem with an endorsement from the KKK in the US is that it is a loaded gun! You cannot have that. Even though they have the same agenda of racism and exclusion, Jean-Marie Le Pen does not have the same connotation as the KKK in the US. Donald Trump’s function is like the one of Bernie Sanders: it is to give the illusion that there is a real choice, a real democratic process in the US. But the thing is… the puppet masters of the Orwellian empire have already determined that Hillary Clinton would make a fine president. There is an interview of Henry Kissinger on NPR, in a Scott Simon show, about a year ago…. When asked about the upcoming election, Henry Kissinger said: well, I am a Republican so I would not support a Democrat… but yes, my good friend Hillary Clinton would make a fine president. So, here you have it, from Henry Kissinger himself! It is kind of farce.

It is incredible, as far as the Clintons, that despite the misdeeds of both Bill and Hillary in Haiti, which they have been running more or less like plantation owners since the earthquake, Hillary will get most of the black vote. Thanks to Trump’s outrageous statement about the wall [with Mexico] and of kicking out 11 million Mexicans, she will get the Hispanic vote, and of course Trump’s sexism will get Hillary the women’s vote.

UL. Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front party is said to have played a pivotal role in creating an extremely hostile and racist attitude in France clearly targeting immigrants and especially Africans and Muslims, talking about racial and cultural purity. The movement took a life of its own to the extend that even some liberals were adopting the same xenophobic racist attitudes. Do you see Trump as Jean-Marie Le Pen’s equivalent in the United States?

GM. Absolutely! It is all about creating an atmosphere of fear and exclusion. An atmosphere of whites only, of kicking foreigners out. In the case of France, it is La France aux Francais; for Donald Trump it is America number one. It is not only about being white, but being a white male. It echoes with rednecks in the south because they are gullible. Trump is not at all like them: he is a New Yorker and a billionaire! He has nothing to do with them. Ultimately, the joke is on the American people, Utrice; in an Orwellian construct it is perfectly fitting for a clown to aspire to become the emperor!

UL. Alright… take us thru this Orwellian theory that it takes a clown to bring about this Orwellian empire. How do you see this unfold?

GM. It is very simple: again Hillary Clinton will win. It will be the same as since the first election of Ronald Reagan…. It will be business as usual, with the same people running the show! I view the two Obama terms as an extension of the Clinton terms. The Clintons have been in the corridors of power, where decisions are made, for decades with the same people around them. This Donald Trump thing has an entertainment purpose and it sells the notion that democracy in the US is alive and well. I don’t think it is. There is no true alternative to the establishment which is… Hillary Clinton.

UL. Do you see in France an opposition to this ideology, such as Donald Trump’s ideology?

GM. Yes, there are people like Melenchon from the Front de Gauche. Current French President Hollande is very similar to Obama or Clinton: all are establishment people running things for the interests of mega-corporations. There are things in the rhetoric of both Trump and Le Pen that are appealing, mainly the notion of revolt against the elites. But that is the Orwellian twist: there is no revolt. It is people from the elite pretending to be against the elite!

UL. And that is the Orwellian plan, you see….!

GM. Exactly!

UL. Thank you so much Gilbert Mercier for being with us today! Gilbert Mercier is the Editor-in-chief of News Junkie Post and the author of The Orwellian Empire.

Editor’s Notes: Composite images one, three, four and five by Donkey Hotey; photographs six by Gage Skidmore, seven by Ted Eytan, and eight by Joe Brusky.

For the full interview, click on the podcast below:

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One Response to In Orwellian Times a Clown Wants to Be Emperor

  1. Vote -1 Vote +1Robert Anderson
    April 21, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Reagan was a second-rate actor. Why not a clown as the new spokesman for Empire America?

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