French Election: 5 Must-read Takeaways on Macron's Dramatic Victory Over Le Pen

Everything you need to know on how Macron won the French election, what Le Pen's defeat portends for the future of populism and what the world's politicians can learn from France

Emmanuel Macron celebrates his electoral victory outside the Louvre in Paris, France, May 7, 2017.
Thibault Camus/AP

French citizens resoundingly voted for pro-European Union centrist Emmanuel Macron over the far-right Marine Le Pen to be France's next president. While Macron's election was widely anticipated, many lessons can be gleaned from his overwhelming victory.

Close to two-thirds preferred to trust a rational and moderate liberal middle-of-the-roader, Chemi Shalev notes. That might have seemed ho-hum not long ago, but these days, it’s a cause for celebration. After Brexit and Trump, Erdogan and Putin, Shalev writes that sanity and decency finally prevail.

The world's politicians can learn five lessons from Macron, Dov Alfon argues - namely to stop talking terrorism. Alfon observes that Macron portrayed patriotism as holding fast while not showing weakness by changing laws or cultural norms.

Anshel Pfeffer issues a warning for those relieved by Le Pen's defeat to curb their enthusiasm. Populism and extremism continues to grow throughout the West, and Pfeffer argues that fear of the future will continue to push many voted to the far ends of the political spectrum.

While most French Jews seemed relieved at Le Pen's defeat, many French Jews were unenthused by Macron's victory - to say the least. According to Shirli Sitbon, Macron was simply the least offensive choice as many remain concerned over everpresent terror threats and the murder of a Jewish woman in April allegedly motivated by anti-Semitism.

Macron's victory was met with widespread praise by U.S. politicians, though Amir Tibon notes the contents of their greetings were divided by party lines and the specter of Russian President Vladimir Putin's intervention loomed over the event.

The defeat of Le Pen does not mean France's left is out of the woods, Avirama Golan argues. If the left cannot fight Macron's policies while eradicating the roots of Le Pen's power, the far-right leader is liable to win the next election.

Dov Alfon reports that Le Pen's crushing loss has caused her family feud to deteriorate. Jean-Marie Le Pen, the far-right leader's father and the founder of the National Front party, referred to the election results as his daughter's "disgraceful failure."