Donald Trump? Marine Le Pen?

Europeans are fascinated with Donald Trump.

If someone hears that you are American, they will likely ask you about the Republican candidate.

Case in point: Overhearing us speaking English, a man at a café enjoying his afternoon omelet, turned to us and asked, “Donald Trump”?

We immediately began blustering on about how his popularity is overblown and how most don’t support his policies on immigration. At least not in New York City… At which point we were stopped mid-sentence with a:

-And why shouldn’t you?

-Because banning all Muslims or building a wall is not conducive to anything and is racist. The solution is not as simple as closing the border.

– If they come and bomb us, what is there left to do? We don’t want them here.

Many in France are beginning to think like this: First privately and now openly. The rise of Trump has coincided with that of Marine Le Pen, President of the Front National, France’s far right, conservative, nationalistic party.

On one end are those saying that Europe has no one to blame but itself, claiming that the surge in Islamaphobia has created networks of native-born, marginalized radicals. On the other are those asking, How can we integrate people into our society who don’t want to be a part of it?

There is no simple solution to this complex problem, but a simple solution is certainly the most palatable.



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