A Good Day for Democracy
Plus: Performative politics has consequences.
Heads up: Very special podcast today with Chef José Andrés, from Ukraine, where he is coordinating efforts to serve meals to thousands of families who are surviving the horrors of the war.
We spoke on Friday as he was driving toward Mariupol. . . . Stay tuned.
Ignore the overwrought punditry: French President Emmanuel Macron won Sunday’s election by a landslide, crushing far-right, Putin-fan girl Marine Le Pen by a margin of 58.5 to 41.5 percent.
So, as my colleague Bill Kristol wrote yesterday: Vive la France!
Good for France. Good for NATO. Good for Ukraine. Good for the United States. And good for liberal democracy.
He suggests that we could perhaps use that victory to counter our own fatalism.
If we read about the French election results, exclaim, “Ouf!,” and relapse into fatalism, then we will drift on to an unhappy November.
But we could also look across the ocean, feel some national pride, and resolve not to let the French—whose democratic revolution after all came after ours and had a less happy outcome than ours—outdo us in upholding freedom and democracy in the twenty-first century.
Meanwhile, in Slovenia, voters also ousted that country’s authoritarian wanna-be government. All in all, a good day for Democracy.
Good news from Ukraine, via FT:
Just a month after opposing a Polish scheme to supply MiG-29 fighter jets to the Ukrainian air force, the White House has pivoted, facilitating the supply of spare parts to Kyiv to get 20 warplanes back in the air — and vastly expanding the range of heavy weaponry it is delivering into the fight.
And via the Kyiv Independent:
Another positive, if overdue, signal:
The U.S. promised to steadily re-establish its diplomatic presence in Ukraine in a new signal of Western support as the war reached its 2-month mark on Sunday.
News of the diplomatic pledge emerged after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Kyiv, as Zelenskyy urged the world to send more weapons and support to help his besieged country fight back against Russian invaders.