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.