Philippe de Villiers, former French presidential nominee, entrepreneur and novelist, spoke out in defense of populism in a recent interview. This comes in the wake of Macron, the current president of France, naming himself populism’s greatest foe in Europe. The crux of Philippe de Villiers defense is captured in the statement, “I’ll give you the definition of populists: Populism is the cry of distress of peoples who don’t want to die. Populist is beautiful! I am a populist.”
He is critical of Macron’s place in the political history of Europe. According to Philippe de Villiers, Macron is the “old word” and “mistaken concerning our time period.” Macron is thus being described as a fading political idea, behind the times of an evolving European political identity.
Someone Villiers indirectly portrays as an expression of new world populism is Viktor Orban of Hungary. Due to his political differences with old world political power, Orban is attacked. He says, “They attack Orban. What do they accuse Orban of? Defending the Christian roots of Europe, wanting the family made up of a father and a mother, and wanting to fight illegal immigration.”
Villiers believes these attacks are unjustified, and advises caution to “old world” politicians. “If you continue, if you create an anti-democratic Europe, if you remove sovereignty, countries, borders, it will come back and bite you! Voilà. And what is going on? Europe is in the process of falling apart.”
According to Villiers, populism is the future, and what is going to save Europe from falling apart. It is this that makes him believe, “Populist is beautiful!” and why he identifies himself as one.