Since the election of Emmanuel Macron in 2017, the right has floundered. His electorate was gradually captured by the new President, who governs by surfing on the themes dear to the Republicans. Secretary General of LR, Lot’s deputy Aurélien Pradié calls on his political family to rethink a new, fairer model of society, and to no longer be “small accountants”.
Can the Right emerge stronger from this crisis? And how ?
My deep conviction is that the right must once again become a hope, and no longer appear as a punishment. You have to redesign a project that brings hope. How many years has politics not really changed the lives of our citizens? For too long, it has come down to managing fatality. We must learn from past failures, and find a political project that allows us to tell the French that we can change life and our country.
Concretely, what hope do you want the right to embody?
On the job, already. Before, the right said We must work more without necessarily being paid more. Today, we are united in saying that the slightest overtime must be largely remunerated. We also want to allow the French to have a new salary, thanks to a revolution in participation. May the French wages be encouraged by sharing in the profits of the structure for which they work. We can imagine it in the public too, differently: ensuring that the collective success in which caregivers participate in the hospital also benefits them, by increasing their salaries, more than by bonuses or medals. But we should not ask the French for efforts to rebuild a model that we know has shown its shortcomings. We need a fairer economy. This effort must make sense: that it serves to relocate our industry, to have a stronger agriculture, to ensure the return of the pharmaceutical industry in our country so as to no longer be dependent.
Emmanuel Macron said that he too wanted to change things …
Emmanuel Macron killed the politician. He has no desire to change things. He considers that politics is made to make people accept inevitability, globalization without rules and all its pitfalls for nations and peoples.
And you, you plan to resuscitate it?
You have to ask yourself. Crazy people are the ones who don’t ask questions. Today, the economic model in which we are no longer meets the aspirations of the people. Nothing remains of the economic ideal of liberalism a few decades ago. There is only one free trade that has alienated us. We can wish for a stronger state without being a dreadful Soviet statist and higher wages for our fellow citizens without defending the administered economy. It is to be hoped that certain economic sectors such as health, agriculture or even culture should be protected from crazy free trade without appearing to be a communist.
The right must ask these questions for the French to look at us again. This bold temperament is on the right to wear it. We must not be just small accountants, we must also be idealistic, because that is the heart of politics.
You also said that we had to change the consumer society … that is to say?
I draw some lessons from this crisis. In a few months, the French have profoundly changed their consumption habits, by constraint of course, by spending more on food, less on the superficial. Were they unhappy? I do not believe. Economically, this is also good news. Short circuits, the national agricultural economy have found new outlets. This period which transformed our way of consuming can be an opportunity: a new social, environmental and economic pact.
Will this crisis finally force the right to integrate ecology into its software?
Historically, the right should not be ashamed of what it has done on these subjects. I think the right gateway to the environment for us is food. Agriculture can be an opportunity for the environment if we transform our food consumption model. The relocation of a large part of our agriculture – our agricultural sovereignty – is one of the first responses to the ecological challenge. I’m not a descendant, I want to consume differently and better. The right challenge for the right is to reconcile economic growth, social development and the environmental issue.
Aren’t you isolated on this way of thinking about the right of tomorrow?
The history of the right is daring, the spirit of conquest. This audacity is Gaullism. And modern Gaullism is the right. We have to quit thinking reflexes. I am optimistic that we are getting there. When we take time to work collectively, we manage to move forward. And this is what Christian Jacob wants to take us on together.