One might think that the Le Pen family, a family consisting of entirely terrible people, would get along famously. That their shared bond of being the actual worst ever would bring them together rather than tearing them apart.
Alas, nothing could be further from the truth, for the Le Pen family consists of many bad tastes that do not, apparently, taste great together. And each is fighting for the future of the National Front, the far-right political party founded by Marine Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Marine Le Pen, for her part, announced after the French election, which she lost by SO MANY, that there would be some serious structural changes coming to the National Front, including the possible dissolution of the party itself. After having tried to rebrand the party and give it a softer, less Nazified image, she now appears to want to move it to the center in order to make it slightly more palatable to the majority of French people.
“The National Front … must deeply renew itself in order to rise to the historic opportunity and meet the French people’s expectations,” Le Pen said in a brief address to supporters shortly after initial projections were released.
“I will propose to start this deep transformation of our movement in order to make a new political force,” she added.
Following Marine’s defeat in the French presidential election, her father — whom she had banished from the party on account of the fact that he couldn’t stop talking about how the Holocaust wasn’t that bad, and she had hoped to “soften” the party’s image by demonizing Muslims rather than Jewish people — said the loss was her own “disgraceful failure.” He also called for the current director of the party to step down.
Le Pen, pere, got his start running a music company that produced Nazi songs and first built the party from a rag tag coalition of Vichy France nostalgists, neo-Nazi Pagans and Traditionalist Catholics, and he would very much like to see the party return to its roots of even more extreme terribleness. However, after he retired in 2011, Marine was elected as leader and hoped to soften the party’s image by going after Muslims rather than Jews. Charming people, all of them!
However! Waiting in the wings is Marine’s niece and Jean-Marie’s granddaughter, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, who has some ideas of her own. When it was clear Marine was going to lose the election, Marechal-Le Pen threw some shade on her aunt by saying that “A result of 40 percent would be an amazing result” — which at that point it was clear Auntie Marine was not going to be getting.
Marechal-Le Pen has been considered to be a contender to replace her aunt as leader of the party, and she wants to make the National Front more representative of its radical Christian wing — another part of the party that Marine Le Pen tried to downplay in order to win voters. However, the 27-year-old announced on Tuesday that she plans to quit politics altogether, so perhaps that wing of the party will have to search the rest of the Le Pen family for a new potential leader. Perhaps there’s a second cousin or something somewhere who has yet to be tapped!
So who will win the battle for the lack-of-soul of the National Front? Will it be the Nazis? The far-right Christians? Or will it be the “Let’s pretend we’re not THAT horrible but also still very Islamaphobic” wing? Or will they dissolve into various hate-factions? Nothing is certain except the extreme awkwardness of their future family get-togethers.