By now you know that France just avoided what I call “taking a Trump” in their presidential election. And by “avoided,” I mean “overwhelmingly rejected.” Tweeter William Ader sums up the results nicely:
France just elected a sane person as president by using the "Whoever Gets the Most Votes Actually Wins" system. We should try that.
— Just Bill ❄ (@WilliamAder) May 7, 2017
Many would characterize the victory for Emmanuel Macron as more of a win for Not-Marine-Le-Pen than for the man himself, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who isn’t glad the racist, Islamophobic, hard-right candidate was stopped in her tracks. She and her party have often argued for the “de-Islamization” of France, and her platform in the run up to the election included repealing all laws that would allow immigrants to the country to become legal citizens — in fact, stopping even legal immigration to France entirely. When Le Pen ran for president in 2012, she touted the “privileged partnership” France would create with Russia and called for pulling out of NATO. In short, she is the French, female version of Donald Trump.
Even Trump, however, isn’t as overtly racist as Le Pen. But America does have at least one member of Congress who is:
@MLP_officiel Marine Le Pen, best wishes for a great success today in your election in France! Our shared civilization must be saved.
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) May 7, 2017
Catch that? It’s barely even disguised as white supremacist code. “Civilization” is the same word Steve King uses over and over, just like noted alt-right heroes Richard Spencer, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Steve Bannon. They all mean the same thing: White people, Christians preferably. As recently as March, King was tweeting about the dangers of Islam and immigration:
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017
The absolute worst, most virulently racist website in America, The Daily Stormer, certainly didn’t miss King’s meaning. In an article published almost immediately after King’s tweet, they crowed about how openly King embraced the tenets of white nationalism:
OUR civilization and SOMEBODY ELSE’S babies. Not really any nuance there. He is saying the country is white, it is our country and we shouldn’t be raising other people’s kids.”
But that was hardly the beginning of King’s “civilization” comments. All the way back at the Republican National Convention nearly a year ago, Rep. King asked MSNBC’s Chris Hayes,
Go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about…Where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization?”
Hayes asked him to clarify, “Than white people?”
Than Western Civilization itself, that’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the United States of America, and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world.”
France may not have to deal with Marine Le Pen, but America has its own version of her. He’s been representing Iowa in the House since 2003.
Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore