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Bill Wirtz of 'Young Voices' Says French Citizens Are Fed up With Politicians

Young Voices Advocate Bill Wirtz joined Glenn on radio to share his insights on the French presidential election, faux-conservatism in Europe and the similarities between France and America when it comes to politiicans.

From Young Voices: Bill Wirtz is a Law student at the Université de Lorraine in Nancy, France. After starting off in politics in his home country Luxembourg, and even running for parliament, he reconsidered his view on the role of government and became a local coordinator for European Students for Liberty. Today he blogs in four languages and was published by the Foundation for Economic Education, the Mises Institute, the Wasington Examiner or daily Luxembourgish newspapers.

Enjoy the complimentary clip or read the transcript for details.

GLENN: Thrilled to have Bill Wirtz on. He is from a group, Young Voices. With Young Voices. He is over in France. He's a young Libertarian studying law over in France. He originally was from Luxembourg. We wanted to talk to him about what is happening in France and what he feels the -- the rhythm of the street is, if you will, on Le Pen and -- and Macron. What France is going to do and what it will mean for the next few years. Welcome to the program, Bill, how are you?

BILL: Hello. Good to be with you. There's a lot to talk about.

GLENN: Yeah. So tell me -- I assume you were quite concerned that it might be the communist and the fascist that were going to battle it out.

Does Le Pen have a chance of winning?

BILL: Well, I mean, the first polls came out recently, which gave Macron a chance of winning by 60 percent of the vote. So quite frankly, it is quite unlikely she will win.

GLENN: Okay. Good.

BILL: Now, I've got Brexit wrong as well. So I'm not really going to put my advice forward here, but if it's -- anything could happen at this point. If there's going to be a terrorist attack in Paris tomorrow, it could all change.

GLENN: Yes. Okay. So, Bill, what does this mean for -- as I read France and Europe -- and I've been watching France since I was on Fox News and talking about, you know, The Coming Insurrection in France and the fact that people -- the media and the politicians, same here in America, are not hearing the voice of the people. And the voice of the people, I believe -- and this is where I want you to correct me, where I'm wrong. They are saying, you're not listening to us. We're not uber nationalists that hate everybody else. But we believe in, you know, our borders. We believe in sovereignty. There's a -- it's meaningful to be French.

We want to help refugees, but we don't want to have our country overrun by people who don't want to be here or who are just taking us for what it's worth. And we're tired of being lied to and stolen from by the politicians and the banks.

Is that what you're feeling over there?

BILL: Well, I mean, I think there's two things to say about this.

For once, if you look at the results of the first ballots, Marine Le Pen scored very badly in the big city, Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon. In these cities she didn't even get 10 percent of the vote. So the more you go in rural areas where there's less than a thousand people living, she gets very high scores because these people feel left out by Paris. So I compare it to US politics. I guess it's more or less the same. That people in rural areas feel left out.

But the perception that some people in these areas where they live among in the areas with the least immigrants are and where there's often no refugees whatsoever, the perception that these people have is sometimes quite wrong in terms of how bad it really is. Now, I hear these people who -- you know, when I write about the alt-right, they tell me on Twitter, "Oh, I was in Paris a few weeks ago, and it was horrible." And, yes, if you go -- there's a few streets in Paris which you can go to, which are very problematic. But that's not really representative of what's happening really in France. So there's a lot of misinformation I would say.

GLENN: So what is it that the people are fed up with? Are they believing a false narrative?

BILL: Sort of. But it is the classic example of blaming the economic situation on immigrants. France is doing very badly. That's absolutely true.

GLENN: But let's move off of immigrants and move into the section of the politicians and the -- and the banks and the corporations, kind of steamrolling everyone. Are they feeling that? Or is that a myth over there too in your opinion?

BILL: Well, I mean, if you just look at the candidates, you got quite an idea why people are fed up. Now running, you have a former investment banker, who was an adviser to François Hollande, who really screwed the country for the last five years. And also we're running another socialist candidate, the candidate who -- (inaudible), who paid his wife a lot of money to do no work whatsoever. So there's a lot of corruption going on and a lot of -- you know, these people they bailed out the banks in 2008 with taxpayers' money. And nobody, apart from a few outsiders, have really criticized that.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

BILL: So people are fed up with the politicians. But I don't believe that Marine Le Pen has any of the answers to that.

GLENN: So Farage has come out. I mean, he's an amazing guy. He loves Margaret Thatcher, is quite smart. But he's come out -- he's endorsed Le Pen. He's endorsed Donald Trump as well. What's your take on what's happening there?

BILL: I believe it's very disappointing. I like Nigel Farage an awful lot, but he's very wrong on this. And I don't know where this comes from. I always believe that people like Nigel Farage and others, American conservatives, are very principled. But now they turn out to be just contrarians. Because Marine Le Pen disagrees with the status quo, she disagrees with Brussels, and that's apparently now reason enough to just support her? No, she's a big government socialist. And her policies would lead France even further into disaster.

So why these people start endorsing her, I don't really understand. And that's what I've been warning about in -- in a piece for the Washington Examiner.

GLENN: Yeah, well, good luck with that. Because that's what we tried to do with Donald Trump. And we felt the same way about many people, but, you know, they were up against a horribly flawed candidate in Hillary Clinton, who Donald Trump didn't beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton beat Hillary Clinton. He just happened to be the one standing there, while she imploded.

How is -- how is the United States, conservatives, and Donald Trump -- separate them if you can -- viewed overseas in Europe?

BILL: Well, apart from the elections, in the same that the US only is interested in France when there's an election going on, people are now sort of disconnected from the discussion that is going on in the US. People are quite concerned with the discussion about North Korea, on foreign policy. People are quite interested. But in that sense, people don't really see a difference now. Now that Donald Trump is rising in the polls again, as soon as he starts bombing countries -- for people, there's no real difference. That's what we had for the last five years. And that's what we're going to get for the next five years.

As long -- France really is fed up with being called for interventionism. The French people don't want to intervene in foreign countries anymore. And that's why Marine Le Pen is also appealing to them. Because she -- she claims to be noninterventionist. She doesn't want to intervene in Syria, and she wants to get along better with Russia.

GLENN: She actually wants to switch the allies from the United States to Russia. What's the influence of Russia in France? And how is Putin viewed?

BILL: Well, I mean, there was -- I read this article in the Washington Post, where they claimed that Russia is now trying to influence the French election with paid news as well.

Here, people don't believe in these kinds of stories, as long as there's no proof for it. So the discussion is not as big as compared to the United States. But what is true is that Marine Le Pen has been getting loans for her campaign finances by Russian banks, which has been a concern in the past. Because she has been invited to the Kremlin as well. She obviously has close ties to Russia. How is that influencing her policies? I wouldn't be able to immediately tell. But some people are concerned. But it's not a major topic.

Her disastrous economic policies are far more interesting than people's interest in what she could have to do with Russia.

GLENN: Bill Wirtz from Young Voices in France.

Bill, the -- if I were to take us back to World War I, when the world was in more turmoil than it is now, but in the 1930s, it felt kind of like this, I think, you know, I could point out Franco and Mussolini and Hitler and Stalin. But I could also point to Churchill being number one. And, you know, FDR. The allies. And the resistance.

And you had a balanced table of good guys and bad guys in many respects. I don't see that now. Do you see anybody worth rooting for, coming up in Europe or America or anywhere that you think, "Oh, finally, this some guy showing up?"

BILL: Not really. The French people are usually looking for such a figure. Because they look for somebody like Charles de Gaulle. And Charles de Gaulle was sort of an authoritarian, but he was a symbol of the French Resistance. Now, today's politicians in France, they claim to be in his image, but obviously nobody comes even close in terms of popularity. Now in Europe, most countries are mostly occupied with themselves.

GLENN: So how is it going for a Libertarian? I mean, if I'm not mistaken, can you write for the Mises Institute. I mean, is that growing, or is that diminishing?

BILL: That's -- I mean, it's definitely not easy being a Libertarian, especially not in France, where almost everything is done by the government and highly regulated.

More people are getting interested in it because -- it's mostly young people who are interested in these ideas. There's no real Libertarian tradition. Nobody here is a Libertarian because their parents were. It's very rare.

We're mostly lacking -- what is mostly lacking is funding basically for Libertarian think tanks. Because there are people who want to start, to get something going. But it's not really easy to get it started. I have a small Libertarian group in my city here. But the university doesn't give me any funding. And doesn't even provide me a room, basically to hold conferences in my university. It's just -- it's really difficult to get started.

GLENN: Bill Wirtz, thank you so much.

What are you expecting? Your prediction for May 7th?

BILL: Oh, that's very difficult. I mean, if I would have to bet my money on it, it would definitely be Macron. But for those interested in the French election, I'd say look for the parliamentary elections next month. Because whoever becomes president this time means the majority in parliament. Otherwise, they can't do anything. So that's definitely something to look into.

GLENN: And which way --

BILL: Right now, it would be Macron.

GLENN: And which way does it lean? Does it lean more fascist? More communist? More status quo?

BILL: Well, the last poll was done a year ago. But Marine Le Pen would definitely not get a majority in parliament. So no matter what, she would be a president without power. Macron, on the other hand, he might be able to rally moderates of all sides, but that's uncertain. The party which is most likely to get a majority in parliament is the Republican Party, an establishment, center right party. And so, yeah, whoever becomes president is going to be very difficult to govern.

GLENN: Thank you very much, Bill. I appreciate it. And stay safe in France. Back in just a second.

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