From ballot boxes to social networks, why Manuel Valls arouses so much hatred

At 10:35 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, 2022, Manuel Valls posts “ Farewell Twitter on the network of the same name, before deleting his account – a rare occurrence for a politician. Twenty minutes earlier he had said take note » results in the 5th constituency of French people living abroad : eliminated in the 1st round, with only 15% of the vote, behind Renaud Le Berre, candidate of the NUPES and the outgoing ex-LREM Stéphane Vojetta.

The twittosphere exults, exchanges good words, photomontages and memes – oh joy, the infamous Manuel Valls finally appears overwhelmed by the popular vote – Jean-Luc Mélenchon publishes a photo where he appears himself with other parliamentarians brandishing signs “ Good riddance “.

According to Visibrain, quoted by journalist Élodie Safaris, nearly 34,000 tweets containing the term ” Valleys were posted between 8:54 p.m. and 11:54 p.m.

Liberalism and republic

A hatred that goes back a long way. Among the critics of Catalan, the Marxist youtubeur Usul. ” I started political videos when Valls was prime minister, already on the left, everyone hated him “, tackles this Monday in a tweet the columnist to Mediapart. During his time at Matignon from March 2014 to December 2016, Manuel Valls endorsed the shift in François Hollande’s mandate to a liberal economic line. The former mayor of Évry uses 49.3 to pass the labor law, accused by his detractors of weakening the rights of employees, declares his love for the company at the MEDEF summer university and defends the forfeiture of nationality. Enough to attract the wrath of the slingers, but also of the voters. “ He was the prime minister of the years when the left threw the left into the streetadvances Usul to Mariannein reference to Nuit Debout and the mobilizations against the labor law. He is a figure who embodies all the renunciations of the left, on the liberal, authoritarian side. »

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Whoever theorized the irreconcilable lefts is also criticized for its positions on secularism and communitarianism by part of the militant left, distrustful of the French universalist model. In particular in January 2015 when he denounced ” a territorial, social, ethnic apartheid ” in France. ” Manuel Valls’ experience as a local elected official made him understand the danger of communitarianismanalyzes Stéphane Rozès, political scientist and president of the Conseils, analyzes et perspectives (CAP) company. But his republican position is a “republican mystique” as Péguy said, without the Jauresian social dimension. At Matignon, he embodied a rather ultra-liberal orientation. This means that he has two fronts against him, that of the communitarians and that of the traditional socialists. »

“Our lowest common denominator”

Without counting the personal trajectory of the Barcelonan since his departure from Matignon. Defeated by Benoît Hamon in the primary of the left in early 2017, the one who sees himself as the heir of Clemenceau rallies Emmanuel Macron. Narrowly re-elected deputy, he resigned from his mandate in 2018 to launch himself, without success, in the race for mayor of Barcelona. Before returning to the French political game and obtaining his investiture in the legislative elections. “ He embodies betrayal, for example by his enthusiasm to support Macron when he had pledged to support Hamon Usul sighs. To the point of welding the left against him? ” On the left today, we don’t exactly agree on what we want but we know that we never want Manuel Valls again, continues Usul. It’s kind of our lowest common denominator. »

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Those who defend him argue that it is not Manuel Valls that has changed, but the left, breaking with its historical secular and universalist orientation. “ I remember the courage that was his in the face of anti-Semitism, terrorism, for secularism “, tweeted Amine El-Khatmi, the president of the Printemps Républicain, also rallied to Emmanuel Macron. ” In his way of being and doing, he appears as a man of convictionsrecognizes Stéphane Rozès. But his recent journey since leaving Matignon seems particularly winding. »

When Manuel Valls escapes Manuel Valls

To the point of arousing sarcasm? “ There is a discrepancy between the place and the respect to which Manuel Valls is entitled in the general media and the fact that voters have not taken this character seriously for a long time. adds Usul.

Manuel Valls who meets Arnaud Montebourg pushing a wheelbarrow filled with jars of (French) honey in the desert before trying to infiltrate the citadel of “Europe Ecology Les Wokes” on behalf of Éric Zemmour: on December 10, the comic author Bakonet Jackonet posts on Instagram the first episode of “ Desmogratos “, a series that will count twelve, mixing absurd humor and real nods to political history. The central character, renamed ” Medieval Manual “, seeks to conquer the Elysée, not shrinking to do so before any compromise. Alas, our antihero will end up in a puddle of tears, before being saved by Lionel. Jozpin disguised as a horse.

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Beyond memes, this parodic content is widely available on the Internet – in 2016, Francetvinfo already published an article entitled “ 16 gifs of Manuel Valls that you must have seen, after the announcement of his candidacy » [à la primaire de la gauche] –, the figure of the former mayor of Évry inspires several authors of political fiction precisely because it appears caricatural. The opportunity to portray in broad strokes a real “traitor” and eternal “looser”, without those who laugh at these stagings needing to know precisely why.

Four months before the first round of the presidential election, I wanted to write a fantasy political comic, a bit like Game of Throne, where each political family would like to seize the throne of Macronie, I needed a character who could go to the meeting all these families », Explains Bakonet Jackonet to Marianne.

If the designer chooses Manuel Valls for this exercise, it is precisely for the similarities he says he observed between the French politician and the character of the traitor strategist Lord Baelish in the Game of Thrones saga. ” In political cartoons, the danger is to make the character sympathetic, it’s a bit like the “Chirac” effect of the Guignols de l’info. As I am addressing an audience of leftists who hate him, I also said to myself that there was less risk that the compassion that one can feel for him in the story will not be transposed in real life. “, continues the author who also wanted a character” which is not hyperpresent in the news to avoid having to alter the narrative by sticking to his public statements: “ He promised not to come back… »

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From ballot boxes to social networks, why Manuel Valls arouses so much hatred

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