Puycelsi, in the Tarn, has not always been this postcard village, sitting on a hill surrounded by the forest, where Swiss and British retirees come to take care of the stone and their old age. During the Albigensian crusades against the Cathars in the 13th century, the town was the scene of a siege which, according to local legend, led the inhabitants to make the village’s only pig cry all along the ramparts in order to simulate the presence of a herd that could support them for weeks. War is like politics: it’s all about signals and pretense.

Thus the campaign for the legislative elections of June 12 and 19. Despite a voting system favorable to the central forces, La République en Marche (LRM) and its allies, united under the banner Ensemble!, raise the threat of an “institutional crisis” that the union of the left would hover over this meeting. -you.

The New Popular Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) and its leader, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, however, should not prevent the constitution of a majority by the Macronist camp, according to the polls. But its dynamic allows Emmanuel Macron to mobilize his voters by playing on the fear of “disorder” and “extremes”. A strategy to which the President of the Republic worked, Thursday, June 9, from the ramparts of Puycelsi, therefore. At the risk of attracting criticism for the confusion of roles represented by his involvement in the campaign.

“I want to alert the French men and women to the importance of the choice they have in front of them from next June 12, he says, perched on a platform in the middle of two hundred sympathizers, in a staging evoking political talks under the Third Republic. If the election of the president is crucial, the election of deputies is decisive. On its result, assures the Head of State, “depends the destiny of France and the daily lives of everyone”. No question, therefore, of giving in to “indifference” and “Aquoibonism”, preludes to abstention.

In the footsteps of Giscard

But Emmanuel Macron is not satisfied with a simple call to vote. His speech aims to dramatize the issue, in “a moment of great disorder”, whether “geopolitical”, ecological, social, or “of values, with the weakening of democracies everywhere in the Western world”. “Nothing would be more dangerous than to add to the world disorder a French disorder that the extremes propose”, he warns, in an attack amalgamating the Nupes and the National Rally (RN), two adversaries that he refrains from naming.

Both, in his eyes, want to “go back on the great historical choices of our nation”, advocating, according to him, an exit from NATO, a “baroque alliance with Russia” or even a ” exit from Europe” which would not say its name… “They both propose to weaken the unity of the country”, considers Emmanuel Macron, through “class against class clashes”, “religion against religion”, or “origin against origin”. A logic of demonization of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his candidates, whether socialists, ecologists, communists or “rebellious”, rejected without nuance in a danger comparable to that represented by Marine Le Pen.

In his mind, the vote on June 12 and 19 amounts to “protecting” and “choosing” the Republic. “Better a credible France vis-à-vis our international partners than a great upheaval, which would result in an appointment in unknown territory”, continued the Head of State, who invites us to “follow the path consistency, competence and confidence”. A remark which is reminiscent of the wish formulated by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing on the eve of the legislative elections of 1978 when, threatened by the left, he bet on the conservative reflex of the country by calling on the voters, in a speech delivered in Verdun-sur-le-Doubs (Saône-et-Loire), to make “the right choice”, “dictated by common sense”, in the face of the risk of “disorder”.

“Rescuing the Raft of the Medusa”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon also heard in the presidential remarks an “equivalent tone” to that used at the time by the former tenant of the Elysée Palace, mocking the “febrility” of Emmanuel Macron. “It is not up to the President of the Republic to lead the legislative campaign that his friends are unable to lead, criticized the deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône. The role of the Head of State is not to come to the rescue of the Raft of the Medusa. According to him, this trip to the Tarn, like the one made the day before in Clichy-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), responds to a “system of pretext outings”, intended to campaign without saying so.

In fact, no new announcement was on the day’s program, placed under the sign of “everyday security”. After visiting a gendarmerie in Gaillac, Emmanuel Macron repeated the commitments made in the framework of the future orientation and programming law of the Ministry of the Interior (Lopmi): “to double by the end of the decade the presence of our law enforcement on the public highway”, “double the reserve” of the police and the gendarmerie, “completely renovate the hourly cycles” of the agents… He also reiterated the promise to “create 8,500 magistrates and court officers”.

The theme of displacement was above all an opportunity for him to pay tribute to the police, questioned by Jean-Luc Mélenchon after several miscellaneous incidents involving the police, which resulted in deaths. “There are things that, from where I am, I cannot accept: it is that we insult those who risk their lives to protect ours, warned the head of state. For a nation to be united, and the Republic standing, we must absolutely defend our gendarmes as well as our police officers. »

The choice of Tarn was to illustrate Emmanuel Macron’s desire to “guarantee a quiet life” for all French people, including in rural areas, through the deployment of new gendarmerie brigades. A decision taken above all in a logic of equal access to public services. “There is a bit of vandalism on vehicles, or wild dumping, but we don’t have such major security problems as in town,” agrees the mayor of Puycelsi, Jacques Vigouroux. The advantage of living on a hill in the heart of the forest.