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France and the collapse of the left

French voters won’t pick a new president until May 7 but the first round of balloting highlights an important international trend, the dramatic decline of the left.

• The candidate of the ruling Socialists finished a pathetic fifth in France, not coming close to the run-off.

• In Britain’s upcoming election, Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May looks poised to crush the faltering Labor Party, which might even lose standing as the official opposition.

• In the most powerful South American countries, Brazil and Argentina, leftists are out of office and face criminal prosecution, while the Socialist government in Venezuela teeters on the edge of collapse.

• In Germany, India, Israel, the Netherlands and many other nations, the left is divided and defeated, while US Democrats have lost the Senate, House and presidency, holding power in barely a third of state governments.

Yes, populist rabble-rousers and independent centrists show energy around the world, but the most striking current development is the establishment left losing power and influence.

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