Macron Christophe Petit Tesson/AFP/Getty Images

Emmanuel Macron and the Post-Revolutionary Idea

How did a political novice, seemingly fated to preside over a thousand and one shaky coalitions, usher some 400 deputies into the 577-seat National Assembly under the banner of what was still, just a few months ago, virtually a party of one? The answer is to be found far from France – and four decades removed from the present.

PARIS – No, Parisian voters are not “vomitatious,” as the pathetic Henri Guaino proclaimed Monday after losing his seat in the National Assembly. Staying home from the polls, which we have been told for 30 years benefits the National Front, cannot now be used to explain the surge of La République en Marche!, French President Emmanuel Macron’s new political party. And no, Macron is not beginning a dictatorial career at 39, any more than Charles de Gaulle did at 67.

In short, pretty much nothing said about French politics in the last few days explains the apparent landslide that began with the first round of legislative elections on Sunday. And the riot of news since Sunday is so much tinnitus to those who, for years now, have preferred to hear nothing.

So what is happening? How did Macron, a political novice seemingly fated to preside over a thousand and one shaky coalitions, score the unprecedented achievement of ushering some 400 deputies into the 577-seat National Assembly under the banner of what was still, just a few months ago, virtually a party of one?

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