Ahead of next week’s first round of the French presidential election, John Oliver on Sunday implored voters not to go down the road of the United States by electing head of the far-right National Front group, Marine Le Pen.
France’s current president, François Hollande, holds a brutally unpopular 4 percent approval rating. The two current frontrunners are Emmanuel Macron, who is center-left, and Marine Le Pen, president of the far-right National Front. Oliver said he believes Le Pen is the most interesting figure, partly because of her father’s anti-Semitic history.
Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, founded the National Front and has repeatedly been found guilty of denying the Holocaust. Oliver noted that Jean-Marie has said of one Jewish critic, “We’ll put a batch in the oven next time.”
“Honestly, she is the main reason you should be invested in this election,” Oliver said of Marine Le Pen.
Le Pen kicked her father out of the party and has worked to “rehabilitate” the image of the National Front party, and Oliver showed a clip of one voter who said he was more likely to support the party because her father was no longer part of it.
“Elegant presentation doesn’t negate poisonous content,” Oliver warned. “A Klansman is still a Klansman, even if you slap a monocle and a top-hat on him and give him a cane.”
“The point is, Le Pen, is particularly popular among young people in France who have a high rate of unemployment and have responded to her promises to institute programs to give them jobs and encourage a national preference in employment making it more expensive for businesses to hire non-citizens,” Oliver explained.
The late-night comedian examined the serious similarities between the U.S. election last November, and how it was widely presumed by the media class that Donald Trump would lose. The French media overwhelmingly believes that Le Pen could never win, but Oliver called their coverage “reckless overconfidence” the way it was in America. Oliver said the media’s actions were like claiming that “the Hindenburg is the safest form of travel there is.”
Oliver finished the segment by pleading with the people of France in their own language saying, “Britain and America fucked up. Don’t fuck up, too.”