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By the time you see this page, the mass, as they say, will almost be said; we will soon know who will be in charge of the Republic. It goes without saying — but it’s better to say it — that the author of these lines (at the time of writing on the computer screen we are still in the middle of the campaign and it is far from over!) fervently hopes that the best has finally won. By best, you mean the one who may finally have overcome all the obstacles in his path: Jean-Luc Mélenchon. 

Never before has a candidate in this election had so many obstacles to overcome throughout a bitter and, in many ways, violent campaign. To begin with, we have had the opportunity to see how undesirable this candidate was considered by the press, which, in France as in France, is in the hands of a handful of owners for whom Mélenchon’s program and ambitions constituted, as for others in the sphere of all the powers of money, a threat of the first magnitude. We have seen how major news outlets such as Le Monde, Libération, L’Obs and other magazines, have ignored the candidate of the France Insoumise when they did not betray his words by means perfectly and insidiously developed. 

But, in addition to the press « under orders », we could also see how the public service organs like the channel France 2 intended to treat the troublemaker. Never has any other candidate been so caricatured, his words distorted, his positions mocked or compared to those of the National Front candidate. The infamous shoeshine boy, David Pujadas and his accomplices on the set, will have gone to great lengths in the task that was assigned to them (but by whom?) to do everything to discredit, mock, and lower the non-consenting victim of the TSM (Tout Sauf Mélenchon) whose instigators we know. Because, yes, there is no doubt about it, and this is said without the shadow of any allusion to feigned conspiracies, it is obvious that the so-called socialist party, starting with the outgoing president (good riddance) and his closest supporters saw in « Méluche » and his movement a formidable opponent threatening their hegemony. Let’s add to that the nauseating campaign, orchestrated by a press more than ever unanimous, for the promotion of the darling of the polls, the named Emmanuel Macron, whose portrait of « young first son-in-law-ideal » has appeared dozens of times on the front page of weeklies and other magazines in France. 

The smoky « beautiful popular allianceThis primary — which was in truth only that of the PS in which, rightly and in a perfectly argued way, Mélenchon refused to participate — will have seen the little Benoît Hamon consecrated against all odds and cheerfully and shamelessly ride on most of the themes defended until then by the candidate of the France Insoumise. But many of the former champion’ s little friends were quick to make him understand that his program and his ambitions went against the wishes of the tenant of the Elysée and that this was not done, others, more and more numerous, former prime ministers, deputies and executives of the PS, rushed to Macron, all ashamed, in order to ensure — they hoped — to maintain or win good small places in the future assembly. All this, in addition to an unconvincing, even catastrophic campaign on the part of the socialist candidate, while France Insoumise organized on March 18, the formidable gathering of tens of thousands of its supporters at the Bastille (in which yours truly, enthusiastically, participated) and that its leader, two days later, clearly distinguished himself — and with the talent that we recognize more and more — from his competitors, during the debate on the private channel TF 1. 

In the weeks that followed these two events, we had the opportunity to observe a very strange change of tone and even a surprising turnaround on the part of a growing number of observers with regard to Mélenchon, who went from being a man to be shot down to an increasingly credible challenger in the struggle for the presidential office, This was assured that the nature of the battle would radically change in the increasingly plausible hypothesis of a victory for the « troublemaker » in some respects, and only in some respects, as the campaign progressed. For if Mélenchon has succeeded in smoothing out some of the rough edges, his biting, short sentences, his flights of fancy mixing invective and caustic humor, not to mention a truly original and innovative program, have not ceased to seduce a growing number of future supporters and potential voters. Each one of his meetings is as full inside full halls as outside them; and you have to see the faces of those who listen to him and even look at them well: you see not the blissful admiration for a supreme savior or a providential man but, rather, the enthusiastic attention that the speeches of this unparalleled tribune, who speaks as well as he thinks, arouse. And that speaks, not to fans convinced in advance, but to heads waiting to know more and to share more about all aspects of life together as their champion imagines it for the most desirable future. 

Facing Jean-Luc Mélenchon, four opponents: Marine Le Pen’s National Front, François Fillon’s right-wing, the scattered remains of what was the Socialist Party and the one who is fighting as best he can and quite clumsily to get rid of his cumbersome and talented rival; who, it should be remembered, has stuck to his line of conduct which was to compromise on nothing and to refuse any alliance of circumstance to which he was invited with, all the same, a certain nerve. And then, the ineffable and colorless Emmanuel Macron to whom all the French political class will have rallied as arrivistes and opportunists of the last hour. But, in spite of all this, by the time you finish reading this address, will there have been any surprising events, any unheard of twists? 

And, finally, could the column you will discover in the pages of the next KAIROS be the one that will celebrate the formidable and historic victory? 

Jean-Pierre L. Collignon. 

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