World News: French President Emmanuel Macron Slapped During Campaign Visit

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The slap received by the President of the Republic illustrates the hitherto contained violence of certain sections of the population and the failings of the culture of democracy that has long prevailed in our society.

To say that political life is very much and for those who live it violent is an understatement. And the slap received by the President of the Republic during a visit to the Drôme illustrates to an unprecedented extent the decay into which our society and, more broadly, societies are slowly sinking.

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Because it is naturally possible, and this is the fundamental principle of any democracy, not to agree with the representatives of the nation, one can express these disagreements by means of the press, by the ballot box or even orally as an opportunity arises. But hitting the first representative of the Nation just like the last, whether he is mayor, municipal councilor to the other, testifies to the absence of the most elementary respect for the democratic rules that governor societies.

These actions, a form of the Law of Talion, which are intended to be the epidermal reactions of alleged attacks on who is really known, further plunge democracy into obscurantism and ignorance of dark and fatal regimes that were thought to be over. (

Space and Mistrust

Clearly, if violence takes precedence over the exchange and discussion that all democracies call for, there is no room for the latter. Some would argue that a bad wind is blowing over contemporary democracies, torn on all sides by increasingly virulent and demanding extremism, presenting themselves as the spokesmen of peoples oppressed or harassed in their expression.

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If populism is the first aspect, the recent upscaling of violence, whether verbal or physical, invites reflection. What today can generate such behaviors? Distrust of elites, or alleged as such, political or social? Inequalities, certainly growing and by nature, unjust?

A lack of a culture of calm and respectful debate? An avalanche of inflammatory remarks, polemical rowdy via a number of opinion relays such as the news channels in continue? Educational deficiencies? Or a form of liberation from thought followed in practice by a liberation from acts that is expressed through violence? The questions are multiple and are meant to be rhetorical because each of them corresponds to a factual societal reality. (

Frustrations and Collective Response

One thing is clear: violence has become consubstantial to our societies, it eats away at them and deconstructs them. The slap received by President Macron is perhaps only the first of many other equally violent or even more acts that could punctuate the coming years.

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Frustrations, disappointments, misunderstandings, exclusions, and loss of reference points are factors explaining this rise in power of the violence but here again, it is also necessary to dwell on the causes which generate these frustrations and other misunderstandings.

The loss of the culture of democracy, i.e., that any political and societal system progresses only through dialogue and the trust placed in the elected representatives of the nation, seems to have disappeared. There is no point in looking for one or more culprits: the scapegoats of some will be the victims of others. The answer can only be collective or not.

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Bio: Olivier Longhi an opinion columnist for, has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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