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France's "yellow jacket" protesters are not our friends



T The so-called "Yellow Jackets" setting fire to Paris do not deserve conservative support. They only deserve our desire for their defeat.

Some conservative US commentators disagree with this assessment. For example, Buck Sexton argues:

I like and respect Sexton and share his conviction that President Emmanuel Macron's policies are wrong here. The French gas prices are too high and Macron's policy would increase them for no reason. And Macron's declared interest in using gas taxes to combat climate change is quite absurd: any reduction in gas consumption is a tiny decrease in Chinese carbon emissions and their increasing development.

Still, the yellow jackets do not deserve conservative support. On the sidelines, this is no longer a struggle between bad government policy and peaceful demonstrators against this policy. It is a struggle between the rule of law and the rule of the mob. The current state of the French Arc de Triomphe testifies so much. The protesters decided this weekend to desecrate the monument by attacking a statue of the version of Lady Liberty, "Marianne" of the Republic, and destroying other statues. A video posted on Facebook shows dozens of demonstrators raiding the Arc Museum.

That protesters would desecrate such a symbol of French glory says a lot about what this movement is now: the brawl, shrouded in political opposition. However, if you do not believe that this treatment of national monuments alone discredits yellow jackets, you should consider how to treat Parisians and their property. Hundreds of cars have been burned out over the weekend, as dozens of buildings or street stalls have been destroyed and dozens of injured police officers reported. Many small business owners suffered losses during the riots. These things are very bad evidence of conservative values. On the contrary, considering that the demonstrators are also demanding the re-instalation of a wealth tax and massively spending new government spending, it is clear that the yellow jackets are not conservative.

But this agenda speaks for itself: the fact that what's really going on here is a rebellion against Macron's reform program. Although Macron has passed some economic reforms to open up France's statistical economy for greater competition and growth, the dividend remains to be seen. This is partly because Macron's reforms were not courageous enough. But it is also because Macron retains a stubbornness that, while necessary to remedy France, is turning many interest groups upside down. This proves that the powerful unions of France are involved in the rebellion of the yellow jacket and feel that they can use it to eliminate Macron's wider economic reform program. As reported in France 24, the major unions are calling for a nationwide strike on 14 December calling for the repeal of planned fuel tax hikes, in addition to their constant calls for minimum wage increases and pension increases.

Regardless, there should be no clear assessment of what's going on here. Violence on the French roads is a challenge to the rule of law and the democratic authority of the French state. Macron's fuel tax policy is wrong, but that's not what this crisis is about. It is about the power of the president to make politics under democratic responsibility. Accordingly, Macron can not tolerate this aggression any more than his own political castration.

Macron should be clear and find his inner Napoleon, the master of order. He should provide peaceful demonstrators with dialogue and respect, but only escalate against the mob. And no Frenchman, no Frenchman or an American Conservative should have reservations about Macron. The fanatics of the yellow jacket have proved to be enemies of the truth that testifies to the Arc de Triomphe: the glories of the Napoleonic era, the patriotic victims of the First World War and the readiness of the Fifth Republic to endure in modern times. They must be defeated.


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