A keen observer of French political life and a regular contributor to the FigaroVox, Maxime Tandonnet notably published André Tardieu. The misunderstood (Perrin, 2019).
Benjamin Griveaux's decision to withdraw his candidacy for mayor of Paris this morning ignites the politico-media society and social networks. In question: the distribution of videos of a sexual nature supposed to be compromising for him. Many inaccuracies remain on the nature of the facts and the reasons for this leak. Yet, already, the flash lynching is in full swing, unforgiving, lightning, relentless.In France, American puritanism has now taken over.
The French tradition of separating politics and private affairs has been shattered by the effects of the Americanization of society and social networks. What remains of the traditional national indulgence towards the personal escapades of political leaders and leaders? The secret and the very notion of privacy have disappeared. Any scene heard, filmed and stolen, is intended to be broadcast to the whole world. In France, American puritanism has now taken over. Worse: the denial of privacy and the trivialization of global lynching, in wicked jubilation, are the obvious symptoms of a new totalitarian barbarism from which, potentially, no one escapes.
There is no lack of loyal and political reasons for opposition to Benjamin Griveaux: his arrogant style, quintessence of the supposed "new world", his opportunism, his demagogic and unrealistic promises on the transfer of the Gare de l'Est and the bonus of 100,000 euros to new buyers, the ridiculous photographic montages supposed to relaunch its campaign.
However, beyond the duty of prudence (and unless information hitherto unknown), it is surely not on Benjamin Griveaux that the shame of the earthquake shaking the Parisian countryside must be reflected, but on the only authors of the flight on social media. This gesture expresses a trivialization of denunciation that is cold in the back. "What if social networks had existed from 1933 to 1945?" we wonder.This dismal new episode will reinforce disbelief in public affairs and weaken democracy.
After a series of thundering cases which shook French democracy, in particular “DSK” and Cahuzac, the presidential and legislative elections of 2017 - themselves distorted by scandal - were played on the promise of exemplarity, of a general renewal, of a "new world", of a "transformation" of politics.
The proof is made today, through the Paris earthquake that has hit a symbolic personality of this new world, that the sinking of French politics in the psychodrama and the sordid has never stopped its mad race. This tremor comes at the worst moment, in a context where political power is discredited by a succession of dramatic fiascos on the carbon tax or on pension reform which have thrown the country into violence, chaos and division.
Even if opinion is largely jaded, this new psychodrama can only worsen the harmful image it has of political life. 79% of French people already have a negative image of politics. According to a CEVIPOF study, 39% are suspicious of it, 28% are disgusted and 10% are bored. This dismal new episode can only reinforce disbelief in public affairs, abstentionism and the feeling of a break between the ruling elites and the people. Another important election which will be dominated by scandal. Adding to everything that comes before, it ultimately makes a main victim: democracy. But isn't it basically what is wanted?