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It would be a little too simple to reduce Éric Zemmour to the caricature he makes of himself. In a video that is more of a self-parody than an address to the nation, the far-right polemicist yesterday ended the false suspense over his candidacy. Faced with bad polls, he chose emphasis and headlong rush. Summoning Brassens, Barbara and Aznavour, his bloated speech, coupled with a concentration of catastrophic images, will perhaps have seduced the most nostalgic of our compatriots. But it is not enough to regret the time when the singers had a voice to gather a majority and build a political program. His record seems to be spinning empty. For those who refuse to put on Zemmourian glasses, which show the world in sepia, the picture he paints of France looks like a horrible chromo.

And yet, we must continue to take the Zemmour phenomenon seriously. More than ever, it is worth listening to the millions of people it has interested in the past few months. Its breakthrough reveals something about the state of mind of a section of the French, their anxieties at the upheavals of the world, their anger at the powerlessness of politics. Candidates must convince that it is possible to answer them without giving in to the most basic principles of the Republican Pact.

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