As soon as polls in France closed Sunday for the first round of voting in the presidential election, a very uniquely French thing happened: Virtually all of the defeated presidential candidates and other political leaders promptly coalesced around centrist Emmanuel Macron, who faces off against far-right populist Marine Le Pen on May 7.
The endorsements came quickly, and they were notably enthusiastic. And yet they were less about Macron as a politician and more about conveying a simple message to the French voting public: Le Pen and her National Front pose an existential threat to the fundamental values of the French state and must be thwarted at all costs.
Take the statement from Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon:
The French have a term for when politicians from across the spectrum unite to block the far right from attaining power: “Republican Front.” In an interview before the election, one French official …