The so-called "yellow jacket" protesters setting Paris alight do not deserve conservative support. They deserve only our desire for their defeat.
Some U.S. conservative commentators disagree with that assessment. Buck Sexton, for example, argues:
Address to the problem of people who are struggling to put food on the table to get pissed off
What a shock. https://t.co/BxlKoc53hO
– Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton)
December 2, 2018
I like and respect Sexton, and I also share his belief that President Emmanuel Macron's policy is wrongheaded here. Macron's policy would raise them without adequate causes. And Macron's interest in using carbon dioxide and its increasing trajectory.
Still, the yellow jackets do not deserve conservative support. Because of the margin, this is no longer a battle between bad government policy and peaceful protesters. It's a struggle between the rule of law and the rule of the mob. The current state of France's Arc de Triomphe. Protesters this weekend to the statue of Liberty, "Marianne," and destroying other statues. A video posted to Facebook shows dozens of protesters marauding through the Arc's museum.
That protesters would desecrate such a defining symbol of French glory But if you do not think that this treatment is a problem, you should consider the treatment of Parisian persons and property. As the center-left Le Monde reports, this weekend saw the cars burned out, dozens of buildings or street stalls destroyed, and dozens of injured police officers. Many small business owners have suffered losses during the riots. These things are very poor testaments to conservative values. On the contrary, when the protesters are also calling for the reorganization of the new government spending, it is clear that the yellow jackets are not conservative.
But that agenda speaks to something: that's what's going on here is a rebellion against Macron's reform program. While Macron has successfully passed off some economic reforms to open up In part this is because Macron has not been bold enough with his reforms. But it's also because Macron retains a hardheadedness that, whiles necessary to fix, also upsets many vested interests. Macron's Broader Economic Reform Program – Evidencing as much, to be knocked out in the yellow jacket rebellion. As France 24 reports, the big unions are calling for a nationwide strike on Dec. 14th to demand for the planned fuel tax hikes along with their standing demands for minimum wage hikes and pension boosts.
Regardless, there should be no equivocating in our assessments of what's going on here. The violence afflicting French streets is a challenge to the rule of law. Macron's fuel tax policy is misguided, but that's no longer what this crisis is about. It's about the power of the president to make policy under democratic remit. Correspondingly, Macron can no more tolerate this aggression than he can tolerate his own political castration.
Macron should be clear and find his inner Napoleon, the master of order. He should offer dialogue and respect to peaceful protesters, but only escalation against the mob. And no Frenchman or Frenchwoman, nor any American conservative, should have any qualms about Macron's doing so. The yellow jacket fanatics: the glory of the Napoleonic era, the patriotic sacrifices of the First World War, and the willingness of the fifth republic to endure in the modern era . They must be defeated.