“Since the time that I claim it, finally! “ On September 3, Eric Zemmour greeted Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s proposed debate with a happy tweet. The leader of La France insoumise (LFI) is equally pleased.
Right in between rounds of the environmentalist primary, the one who remains in the lead on the left in the polls, but without exceeding 11%, will therefore take the light by measuring himself against the far-right polemicist invited almost everywhere since the end of the summer. A perilous exercise in front of a regular on the sets, but which gives him the assurance of maximum exposure.
Behind this duel, a long history of political jousting between the two men. The deputy (LFI) of Seine-Saint-Denis Alexis Corbière even dates it back several centuries. “Zemmour, we’ve been arguing with him for two hundred years! “, he believes. “With him and those he represents, Charles Maurras, Maurice Barrès”, all those who nurtured the vision of a France “Judeo Christian” incompatible with Islam.
Some, Marine Le Pen the first, lend the two men an old proximity. Eric Zemmour himself, in his latest book, France has not said its last word, feeds this hypothesis, by evoking a previous debate, on RTL in 2014. He describes “Two boxers who pretend to hate each other”. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, for his part, admits having rubbed shoulders with Eric Zemmour when he was a political journalist, but denies any camaraderie. “He’s on the extreme right and I have nothing to do with it. He embodies everything that I will have fought all my life, he said, Tuesday on LCI. It is a debate that I see as a fight. “
Track down errors
This fight will take place for half on a theme chosen by Eric Zemmour, “Is France in danger? “. According to the will of the “rebellious” deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône, the other half will be devoted to reducing the social divide.
Those close to Jean-Luc Mélenchon intend to restore historical truths. For example, “The law of 1803, its object is not at all to prohibit Muslim first names, Napoleon is against revolutionary first names”, specifies Mr. Corbière. Manuel Bompard, campaign director for Mr. Mélenchon, even assumes “A work of public health” : “It is normal for the leader of the left to go and debate with the one who unfortunately seems to have become the intellectual benchmark of the right. “
At LFI, we have worked on the angles of attack, we will try to discredit him by tracking down the errors of a pseudo-intellectual, by recalling his judicial convictions, and by trying to “Deflate the Zemmour balloon”, according to Alexis Corbière’s formula: “What does he offer once he’s out of his petty hatred?” “ Nothing but the great replacement and the specter of civil war, according to him. An argument all the more sensitive as Jean-Luc Mélenchon has an appointment the next day at the Paris Criminal Court to be heard as a victim, in a case of a planned attack by a small group of the ultra-right.
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